Earlier this summer, Senators Jeff Merkley, Susan Collins, and Olympia Snowe introduced the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the U.S. Senate, a bill that (if passed) would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability. It's a bill that LGBT rights activists have pursued for more than a decade, and the general consensus is that the bill stands its best chance of passing during this session of Congress than at any other time in history.
Which is why it's downright surprising -- not to mention a little disappointed -- that 20 Democrats in the U.S. Senate haven't ponied up to support the bill. Among those Democrats include some of the stars of the progressive netroots, including Sen. Claire McCaskill, Sen. Jim Webb, Sen. Kay Hagan, and Sen. Jon Tester. They oughta know better.
Chris Geidner over at LawDork breaks down the 20 U.S. Senators who haven't signed on to support the bill, and notes that it's disappointing more of these folks haven't joined the ENDA club. That includes Senators from states as blue as Wisconsin and Delaware.
It's no secret that LGBT issues make Democrats in some parts of the country squeamish. But come on, there's nothing squeamish about standing up against discrimination in the workplace. And if Senators like Mary Landrieu (D-LA), who come from some of the reddest territory in the country, can support ENDA, then there's no reason Claire McCaskill or Kay Hagan or any of the like can't, either.
Check out the 20 U.S. Senators below who've not come through on this issue yet, and if you haven't already, sign this petition on change.org encouraging the U.S. Senate to pass ENDA legislation this year. Passing ENDA is a priority for the Obama administration. But the U.S. Senate has to come through for the White House first, and it's our job to pressure them to do so.
(The 20 U.S. Senators, and their phone numbers, who have yet to sign on as a co-sponsor of ENDA.)
- Baucus, MT – (202) 224-2651
- Bayh, IN – (202) 224-5623
- Begich, AK – (202) 224-3004
- Byrd, WV – (202) 224-3954
- Carper, DE – (202) 224-2441
- Conrad, ND – (202) 224-2043
- Dorgan, ND – (202) 224-2551
- Hagan, NC – (202) 224-6432
- Johnson, T., SD – (202) 224-5842
- Kaufman, DE – (202) 224-5042
- Kohl, WI – (202) 224-5653
- Lincoln, AR – (202) 224-4843
- McCaskill, MO – (202) 224-6154
- Nelson, Bill, FL – (202) 224-5274
- Nelson, Ben, NE – (202) 224-6551
- Pryor, AR – (202) 224-2353
- Rockefeller, WV – (202) 224-6472
- Tester, MT – (202) 224-2644
- Warner, M., VA – (202) 224-2023
- Webb, VA – (202) 224-4024