Sweeping field and advocacy efforts to follow last fall’s historic and bipartisan passage of ENDA in the Senate
Washington – Americans for Workplace Opportunity (AWO), the bipartisan campaign to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) through Congress, is launching a national field and advocacy campaign to build support for ENDA in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, is proud to serve as a lead partner for the campaign effort. HRC is contributing $1.3 million to the $2.2 million campaign, and is leading field efforts on the ground in 30 key congressional districts in 21 states across the country.
“Last year’s Senate vote proved that there is nothing partisan about ENDA. Now it’s time for bipartisan majority for ENDA in the House to get its chance to support this commonsense bill,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “ENDA reflects our country’s fundamental values, and Americans from all walks of life believe that no one should be fired simply because of who they are. It’s time for House leadership to follow the lead of their colleagues in the Senate and nearly 8 in 10 Americans and bring ENDA to the floor for a vote.”
Last fall, HRC invested $2 million as part of AWO’s $2.5 million successful push for Senate passage of ENDA. HRC’s field efforts for the campaign focused on grassroots education and mobilization in seven key states, and generated more than 260,000 constituent contacts to Senators urging support for ENDA.
A survey conducted for AWO last year found that nearly 70 percent of Americans – and 56 percent of Republicans – support federal workplace protections for LGBT Americans. The survey, conducted by GOP pollster Alex Lundry, also projects support for ENDA to be above 50 percent in every single state.
In addition to the broad Republican support for ENDA, some of the nation’s leading businesses are among the most dedicated advocates of the legislation. In fact, more than 100 major businesses participate in HRC’s Business Coalition for Workplace Fairness, a group of leading U.S. employers that support ENDA. Businesses participating in the coalition include Alcoa, Caesars Entertainment, Coca-Cola, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, General Mills, Hershey, Marriott International, US Airways and Wells Fargo. A full list is available here.
HRC’s Corporate Equality Index also tracks the growing business support for workplace fairness. The 2014 Corporate Equality Index shows that 91 percent of Fortune 500s have sexual orientation non-discrimination policies in place, while 61 percent have gender identity policies.
The 10 Republican Senators who voted for final passage of ENDA in the Senate include: Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Susan Collins (R-ME), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), Mark Kirk (R-IL), John McCain (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Patrick Toomey (R-PA). Prior to its passage in the Senate, ENDA was approved by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in July 2013, by a bipartisan vote of 15-7.
Last fall, in the run-up to the Senate vote on ENDA, HRC released a report demonstrating the enormous re-election rates enjoyed by Republican lawmakers at the state level who voted for workplace non-discrimination measures. The report, available at www.hrc.org/GOPreport, found that no GOP state legislator who ever voted for LGBT workplace protections lost their re-election bid because of that vote. In fact, the report found that 91 percent of those Republican lawmakers were re-elected to office.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.