It passed the Senate. Now we have to pressure the House.

CREDO action
We had a big win in the Senate. Now the House must call a vote on equal rights at work.

The petition to Speaker Boehner reads:
"Employers should not have the right to fire workers solely because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act passed the Senate. Stop blocking an up-or-down vote, and let all members of the House go on the record about where they stand on equal rights in the workplace."

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Dear 5849376,

Stop workplace discrimination.

Yesterday, a bill that would make it illegal to fire someone based solely on sexual orientation or gender identity passed the Senate. This is huge.

In a 64-to-32 vote, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which overcame a filibuster last week, was approved by the Senate.

But this bill can't become law until it passes the House. Speaker John Boehner has already said he's against the bill. And it's going to take an enormous amount of pressure from us to force him to allow a vote.

Tell House Speaker John Boehner: Allow an up-or-down vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Click here to sign automatically.

Earlier this year a similar situation played out in Congress when the Senate passed the Violence Against Women Act and House Republicans tried to block it. But intense public pressure and lobbying – including thousands of calls and hundreds of thousands of petition signatures from CREDO members – finally forced Speaker Boehner to call a vote on the full bill, with all the protections women deserve.

Now we need to do the same with the Employment Non-Discrimination Act by reminding Rep. Boehner and House Republicans of the public consequences of opposing a bill that protects people from discrimination.

Public opinion is strongly behind protection for equal rights in employment, with nearly 75% of Americans polled – and more than 60% of Republicans – responding in favor of such protection.1

Tell House Speaker John Boehner: Allow an up-or-down vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Click here to sign the petition automatically.

CREDO does not oppose adding appropriate exemptions for religious institutions in order to pass a bill that could prevent someone from being fired just for being gay. That said, it's important to note that this bill includes religious exemptions that we do not agree with. Specifically, allowing institutions that are affiliated with religious groups but are not primarily religious in purpose, to fire workers based on sexual orientation or gender identity. For example, we don't believe a hospital affiliated with a religious group should be able to terminate a gay groundskeeper. This bill, while representing a huge victory, is not perfect. Our work to protect all workers from discrimination continues.

And we know it will be extremely difficult to move this bill through the process in the House. Even though it is likely we will fail to pass the bill when it first comes up for a vote in the House, if we can get members of the House on the record as being for or against the Senate bill, we can then start organizing constituents to pressure the representatives who vote no on equality.

Without the leadership of Sen. Jeff Merkley, who has been the legislative champion on this bill since Sen. Ted Kennedy passed away, this bill would not have been brought to the floor and been able to break a filibuster. His stewardship of the bill, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's willingness to bring the bill to the floor, are commendable and deserve our thanks.

But the best way to recognize their leadership is to bring the pressure necessary to get a vote in the House, hold lawmakers accountable for their opposition, and build the support we need to win an up-or-down vote and put this bill on the president's desk for his signature.

Click the link below to automatically add your name to the petition telling House Speaker John Boehner to allow an up-or-down vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act:

Thank you for speaking out against discrimination.

Jordan Krueger, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

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Learn more about this campaign

1. Jeff Krehely, "Polls Show Huge Public Support for Gay and Transgender Workplace Protections," Center for American Progress, June 2, 2011.

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