From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Statement on Introduction of Employment Non-Discrimination Act

October 2, 2003

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on the introduction of the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA):

"Every year, qualified, hard-working Americans are denied jobs because they are, or are perceived to be, gay, lesbian, or bisexual. Countless others live in fear of losing their jobs. In 36 states, it is legal to fire someone who is otherwise qualified simply because he or she is homosexual.

"Employees and potential employees should be judged on their merits, not on their sexual orientation. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would prohibit employers from making decisions about hiring, firing, promoting or compensating an employee based on sexual orientation.

"ENDA does not establish 'special rights' as some opponents have claimed. Rather, it provides the same, basic employment protection that is already in place to ensure that race, gender, and ethnicity are not determining factors in employment decisions.

"Throughout my time in Congress, I have fought for non-discrimination and other protections for the lesbian, gay, and bisexual community. I remain committed to equal rights and protections for all people, including protecting individuals from hate-related crimes and ensuring adoption rights and domestic partner benefits.

"I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. There is a large, bipartisan group of cosponsors that has been supporting this significant initiative for many years, and I urge the Republican leadership to bring ENDA to the floor for a vote."




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