WASHINGTON — U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), on Thursday reiterated his opposition to federal legislation to prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Boehner said the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which the Senate passed last week, is “unnecessary” because “people are already protected in the workplace.”
“I am opposed to discrimination of any kind — in the workplace and any place else,” Boehner said in a news conference.
“But I think this legislation — that I have dealt with as chairman of the Education Workforce Committee long before I was back in the leadership — is unnecessary and would provide a basis for frivolous lawsuits. People are already protected in the workplace,” he said, indicating he is opposed to calling the measure for a vote.
“Listen, I understand people have different opinions on this issue, and I respect those opinions. But as someone who has worked in the employment law area for all of my years in the statehouse and all of my years here, I see no basis or no need for this,” Boehner said.
Article continues belowCurrently, it is legal in 29 states to fire employees based on their sexual orientation and in 33 states based on their gender identity, including the Speaker’s home state of Ohio.
A spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told LGBTQ Nation Thursday that Reid maintains that if Boehner would allow a House vote on the bill, it would most likely pass.