House Holds Committee Hearing on ENDA

September 5, 2007 at 12:37 pm 2 comments

On their second day back in session after the August recess, members of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions subcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee held a hearing on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The hearing consisted of two panels, one featuring members of Congress including openly gay representatives Tammy Baldwin and Barney Frank and a second panel featuring people impacted by anti-gay discrimination and business leaders.

Here is a recap of of testimony from the second panel from HRC Backstory:

Officer Michael Carney, who was profiled in today’s Boston Globe, spoke about the discrimination he faced when re-applying for his job as a police officer in Springfield, Mass. Thankfully, at the time, Massachusetts law prohibited such discrimination based on sexual orientation, and Officer Carney was able to file a complaint and get his job back. Today, Officer Carney is a highly decorated police officer and is testifying with the full support of Springfield police commissioner Edward Flynn.

Brooke Waits of Dallas, Texas told her shocking story of how she was fired the day after her supervisor looked at her personal cell phone and saw a picture of her kissing her girlfriend on New Year’s Eve. As Brooke told her story, she fought back tears and Members of Congress were seen wiping their eyes as well.

Officer Carney and Brooke Waits illustrated touchingly just two of the unfortunately many stories of discrimination that exist and the injustices that ENDA will make right.

Larry Lorber of the Proskauer Rose law firm expresses the concern that ENDA will add an additional burden on businesses already struggling to understand and comply with federal employment laws. This argument is quickly rebuffed by Congressman Andrews.

Mark Fahleson of the Remboldt Ludtke LLP law firm in Lincoln, Nebraska expresses his concern that the legislation’s “religious exemption” provision is overly complex.

For more on the hearing and updates on the status of the bill, click here.

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Entry filed under: Advocacy, Congress, LGBT, Politics.

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Rick Roberts  |  September 5, 2007 at 3:06 pm

    I won’t hold my breath. Dems are spineless, it’s an election year, and a filibuster awaits in the Senate. Maybe we should move off and start our own country where we can do things our way and not be thrown under the bus and scapegoated every election cycle.

    Reply
  • 2. Bloggernista  |  September 6, 2007 at 8:11 am

    Its going to be hard to get ENDA through Congress and even harder to get the president to sign the bill into law. The Democrats may be spineless, but they are still head and shoulders above the Republicans on LGBT issues.

    Reply

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