Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is expected to reintroduce the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in the U.S. House this week, as early as Wednesday.
ENDA would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity for civilian nonreligious employers with over 15 employees. But speaking with Metro Weekly over the weekend, Frank was not optimistic about the bill’s passage in the near term:
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Although the bill is not expected to move forward in the House under the leadership of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Frank, talking with Metro Weekly on Sunday, March 27, says, “It’s an organizing tool. Obviously, with the Republicans in power, you’re not going to get the bill even considered.”
But, Frank — the longest-serving out member of Congress — says, “I’m going to be urging people to spend their time talking to those who have voted in the past for ENDA and are supportive of ENDA but where we’re not certain they’re still with us on the transgender issue.”
ENDA has been introduced in every Congress, except the 109th, since 1994. Originally, ENDA included protections based on sexual orientation; gender identity was not added until Frank reintroduced the bill in 2009.
President Barack Obama has said he supports the bill.