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Employment Non-Discrimination Act/ ENDA Introduction The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a proposed bill in the United States Congress aims at ending all discrimination that are based on ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation,’ against all employees by the employers (non-religious or civilians) of an organisation with more than 15 employees…
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Download file to see previous pages In 2009, after the Democrats came into power with a majority, House Representative Barney Frank, has reintroduced the ENDA that includes only the transgender class. With the recent changes in the Congress, the ENDA bill has gained new momentum, especially with the backing of President Barack Obama (The White House, Civil Rights- Strengthen Anti-Discrimination Laws, 2010), there are every prospects for the bill being passed within the present President’s term and becoming a law. Discussion What is this policy? The Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) is a federal bill that aims to stop all forms of bias or discrimination based on the sexual orientation of the employees, by the employer. The LGBT community in US has been demanding workplace protection right from the 1970s; however, it is only recently that the bill that accords protection to the LGBT sections has been presented in the Senate. Though the ENDA bill was presented in the Congress in 2009, it is still pending and is under scrutiny by the House Education and Labour Committee. What does it purport to accomplish and why has it been proposed? This bill “promotes the goal of embracing diversity in the workplace.  Proponents also argue that sexual orientation is protected under the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of equal protection and due process.  Without a federal statute, victims of discrimination are subject to a patchwork of state law protections that provide uneven and often insufficient protection, hence the need for a national standard in the form of ENDA” (Aden, The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, 2010). The advocates of this bill opine that homosexuality is a form of an individual’s personal identity, and not a “choice,” so the working people have a right to be judged according to their work performance, and not by their personal identities (American Psychological Association, 2011).  The APA in its various researches has reported that there exists significant bias against homosexuals within the U.S. workforce (ibid), thus making it necessary that a uniform law is made that would cover the entire country. The political actors supporting this bill are the Democrats, and the current US President in the White House, Barack Obama, is a staunch supporter of the cause and the bill. The opponents of this bill (the Conservatives, and religious groups), and various critics contend that ‘antidiscrimination laws’ like the ENDA tend to promote a lack of tolerance that are based on religious faith. Thus, it has been proposed that if such acts do not have any associated meaningful exceptions, specially made keeping in mind the different religious organizations and employers (with organisations that are faith based), that may have objections towards homosexuality from a religious point of view, then the passing act would have a negative effect. “Without strong exemptions, religious organizations will be required, as a condition of seeking workers to carry out their faith-based missions, to affirm conduct that is in diametric opposition to the moral principles of their faith” (ibid).  The opponents of this act contend that this bill is different from other ‘ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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