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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Expresses Support in Obama’s Use of Executive Order for ENDA

Image gives credit to Scott Applewright (AP).
After the House Speaker John Boehner has announced that most likely he will not schedule the Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA) for a vote on the house floor this year, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid on the other hand has expressed his support with the President’s plan to use his executive power to assert the bill.

During an interview with the Huffington Post, Reid has affirmed that if Pres. Barack Obama decides to use his executive order to ban employment discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT), then he would be in favor of it.

For years, the LGBT community and its advocates have been putting increasing efforts in pushing any law that would likely illegalize employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender preference. 

Fortunately for them, Obama is in favor of a law that would end employment inequality against LGBT. In fact, Obama’s previous pledge to use his executive power to pass such law has given them a bright hope.

However, their hopes started to fade after Obama has failed to mention anything about ENDA during his recent State of the Union address.

Their disappointment was further aggravated by Boehner’s recent statement that there was no way ENDA would pass the Republican-controlled House of Representatives this year.

It could be remembered that Boehner has been portrayed and considered as one of the opponents of the said bill.

Although the White House is hopeful that the bill would pass, ENDA remains stagnated in Congress after it made a historic pass in the senate floor last November.

So far, despite the existing labor laws barring employment discrimination, nothing bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender preference. If ENDA has been passed into a law, although an executive order would only cover federal workers, still, it could protect 16 million Americans or roughly 20 percent of the entire U.S. workforce.

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