'President Bush and members of Congress should fight for the enforcement of policies they already support,' said HRC President Joe Solmonese.
WASHINGTON - Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Chris Shays, R-Conn., introduced bipartisan legislation today that would clarify existing law to ensure full enforcement of prohibitions against anti-gay discrimination in the federal workforce. This legislation, co-sponsored by Reps. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. Barney Frank, D-Mass. Mark Foley, R-Fla. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y. Danny Davis, D-Ill. and Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz. is supported by the Human Rights Campaign, which has been leading an effort to halt a rollback of protections in existence since the Carter administration.
"President Bush and members of Congress should fight for the enforcement of policies they already support," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "Although no law has changed, a rogue appointee is threatening to take away rights that have existed for nearly three decades. We laud Representatives Shays, Waxman and their colleagues for their efforts to ensure there's no rollback in rights for federal employees."
Special Counsel Scott Bloch, who one of the federal agencies responsible for investigating and settling claims of workplace discrimination, recently indicated at a Senate hearing that he has no intention of investigating or acting on certain claims of sexual orientation discrimination from federal employees.
In April 2004, the White House released the following statement: "Longstanding federal policy prohibits discrimination against federal employees based on sexual orientation. ﾃ President Bush expects federal agencies to enforce this policy and to ensure that all federal employees are protected from unfair discrimination at work."
For more than two decades, a federal statute, the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, has been interpreted to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace for federal employees. This legislation would clarify the protections of that law by explicitly making discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation a prohibited personnel practice under the act.
"This legislation would end Scott Bloch's bogus assertions that federal employees aren't free to enjoy the same non-discrimination protections they have enjoyed for over 25 years. We call on the Congress to quickly pass this bipartisan bill to prevent a further deterioration of non-discrimination protections in the federal workforce and work to enact legislation that protects the entire American workforce from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity," added Solmonese.
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.
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