APA Advocates Help LGBT Legislation Pass Through the Senate

Supporters turn their attention to overcoming resistance in the House

On Nov. 7, 2013, the United States Senate approved the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) of 2013 (S. 815) by a vote of 64-32. For advocates and champions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) employment rights, attention now turns to the U.S. House of Representatives, where ENDA's prospects appear dim.

Leading up to the Senate vote on final passage, APA undertook several actions:

  • Circulating four separate Public Policy Action Network (PPAN) action alerts at key points in the legislative process.
  • Circulating a targeted alert to New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania members of the PPAN, asking them to urge Sens. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., Dean Heller, R-Nev., Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Pat Toomey, R-Penn., respectively, to vote yes on cloture, a procedural hurdle allowing the bill to move forward.
  • Submitting a letter of support (PDF, 97KB) for the bipartisan legislation introduced in July 2013.
  • Disseminating an ENDA fact sheet (PDF, 116KB) to Congress, policymakers, national advocacy organizations and APA members.

ENDA seeks to extend basic protections against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity — ensuring no one can be denied employment or a promotion, or be fired, simply for being LGBT. Adoption of ENDA would mean that legally employers could not discriminate against LGBT individuals on the basis of their LGBT status.

ENDA represents a long-standing priority for APA. In 1975, APA's first policy statement on LGBT (PDF, 24KB) issues identified ending employment discrimination as a key goal. ENDA has been a key element of APA's LGBT policy portfolio for almost 20 years. Please sign up for PPAN email alerts to help support these and future efforts.