Organizing in Arkansas for ENDA
August 9, 2013 by Karin Quimby, Political & Education Director, Project One America
This week I joined our two local organizers in Arkansas to ramp up the Americans for Workplace Opportunity campaign in the Natural State. HRC is a leading partner in the campaign to pass the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) in the Senate later this fall. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee moved the bill to the full Senate with a strong 15-7 bipartisan vote last month.
U.S. Senator Mark Pryor from Arkansas has not yet committed to supporting ENDA, and we hope to show him that Arkansans believe everyone should have the opportunity to get and keep a job and provide for themselves and their families.
Americans from all walks of life share the basic value that no one – including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people – should face discrimination in the workplace. There is currently no federal law barring workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, but in the coming months Congress can pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). This bill would prohibit workplace discrimination against LGBT people in the same way that discrimination is already barred on the basis of race and religion.
We’ve been up and down the state of Arkansas this week talking to leaders in the community, and to constituents at farmers markets and festivals, in watering holes and coffee houses, and in faith communities. In the hundreds of conversations we’ve had, it’s clear that Arkansans support workplace protections for LGBT people. We will continue this work until Senator Mark Pryor does too.
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