Home / POLITICS / Pallone, Polis Lead 110 House Members in Sending Letter Calling for Executive Order Protecting LGBT Workers from Workplace Discrimination

Pallone, Polis Lead 110 House Members in Sending Letter Calling for Executive Order Protecting LGBT Workers from Workplace Discrimination


Press Release
– WASHINGTON, D.C.?Congressmen Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and?Jared Polis (CO-02)?led 110 Members of Congress in sending a letter to President Barack Obama today calling for an executive order prohibiting contractors without sexual orientation and gender identity anti-discrimination policies from receiving federal funds. Support for the executive order has grown in Congress with 38 more Members signing on than in a similar effort last year.

Pallone, a long-time advocate for LGBT equality, held a Capitol Hill briefing last year examining the need to require federal contractors to have sexual orientation and gender identity anti-discrimination policies.? At that time, he called on President Obama to sign an executive order requiring equal protection for LGBT federal contractors. ?Polis is a co-chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, which has come out in support of this letter calling for an executive order to protect LGBT workers from workplace discrimination.

?All Americans should be afforded the same protections in the workplace, and I am pleased to join so many colleagues in calling for action on the federal level.? said?Congressman Pallone. ?Right now, it is unacceptable that without legal consequences, a federal contract worker paid by American taxpayers may be fired on the basis of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. ?An executive order by the President is a necessary step forward in our efforts for LGBT equality, one that must be accompanied by passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination (ENDA) by Congress.?

“Our laws must match our values as Americans, which is why it is so critical to provide equal protections to all workers. President Obama has shown tremendous leadership and courage when it comes to standing up for equality. I am excited to see so much support for an executive order to prohibit federal contractors from discriminating and am optimistic that we will soon be able to pass the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, which would provide more comprehensive protections for LGBT workers,” said?Congressman Polis.

?An executive order from President Obama would ensure that hundreds of thousands of LGBT federal? contract employees could go to work every day without fear of being fired for who they are or who they love,? said?Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin.? ?I am grateful to these leaders in the House for speaking out on behalf of LGBT Americans who want nothing more than a fair shot at a job.?

?Freedom to Work applauds Reps. Frank Pallone, Jared Polis and more than 100 Congressional leaders for speaking out to ensure American taxpayers do not subsidize discriminatory corporations where LGBT employees fear they will get fired for who they are or who they love,? said?Tico Almeida, President of the LGBT organization Freedom to Work.? ?It?s now time for President Obama to build on his impressive record and sign this executive order giving millions of Americans a fair shot to build a career based on their talent and hard work.?

Full text of the letter and list of signatories follows:

March 20, 2013

President Barack Obama

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We write to thank you for your continued leadership on behalf of all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans.? We believe that a fully inclusive America benefits us all and that sexual orientation and gender identity should never be used to discriminate in employment practices.? For that reason, we request that you make signing an executive order that would prohibit federal contractors from discriminating in the workplace based on an individual?s sexual orientation or gender identity an initial priority of your second term.

Our request begins with a simple premise.? It is unacceptable that it remains legal to fire or refuse to hire someone based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.? Federal law continues to allow this and discrimination based on sexual orientation is legal in 29 states and discrimination because of gender identity is legal in 34 states.? Action at the federal level can put a stop to these unfair and discriminatory workplace practices in every state.

Last year, many of us wrote to you, 72 members of the House of Representatives in total, requesting that you sign an executive order that would require any company seeking a federal contract to have adopted workplace policies against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.? We remain committed to passage of the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would ban employment discrimination based on an individual?s sexual orientation or gender identity.? However, you can take action today to help prevent these types of unfair labor practices and to lay the groundwork for passage of ENDA.

Executive Order 11246, signed by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965 and subsequently amended, prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The executive order gave millions important workplace protections and to this day continues to stand as an important protection that is enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs at the Department of Labor.? According to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, an executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating based on sexual orientation and gender identity would protect more than 16 million additional workers.

Even without federal action, many companies are acting responsibly and instituting workplace policies that include sexual orientation and gender identity.? In fact, nearly 88 percent of Fortune 500 companies include sexual orientation in their workplace policies and 57 percent include gender identity.? Companies are taking this action because they know that adopting these policies will help them attract the best talent, reduce employee turnover and add to their bottom lines.

Still, research has shown that 43 percent of LGBT people and 90 percent of transgender people have experienced workplace discrimination.? This data reinforces our general premise that no American should be subject to workplace discrimination because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.? With a majority of American workers living in states that have not passed laws granting LGBT employees legal protections from workplace discrimination, an executive order will provide broad protections that will level the playing field.

We thank you for considering our request. We also reaffirm our commitment to working with you to ensure that members of the LGBT community receive the same protections and opportunities as all other Americans. Thank you again for your leadership on advancing LGBT equality, and we look forward to working with you on passage of ENDA to establish permanent LGBT workplace protections for our federal employees.

Sincerely,

FRANK PALLONE, JR.???????????????????????????????????????????? JARED POLIS

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

LOIS CAPPS????????????? ??????????????????????????????????????????????? ADAM SCHIFF

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

JAMES P. MORAN??????????????????????????????????????????????????? JOHN LEWIS

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

JANICE D. SCHAKOWSKY???????????????????????????????????? JUDY CHU

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

RICK LARSEN?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? GWEN MOORE

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

CHRIS VAN HOLLEN?????????????????????????????????????????????? CAROLYN B. MALONEY

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

SAM FARR???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? BOBBY L. RUSH

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

NYDIA M. VEL?ZQUEZ?????????????????????????????????????????? BARBARA LEE

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

JOHN CONYERS, JR.?????????????????????? ??????????????????????? THEODORE E. DEUTCH

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

EDWARD J. MARKEY????????????????????????????????????????????? DINA TITUS

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

HENRY A. WAXMAN?????????????????????????????????????????????? ALAN LOWENTHAL

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

ZOE LOFGREN????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? KEITH ELLISON

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

STEPHEN F. LYNCH??????????????????????????????????????????????? JARED HUFFMAN

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

DIANA DEGETTE????????????????????????????????????????????????????? SANDER M. LEVIN

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

HENRY C. ?HANK? JOHNSON, JR.??????????? ??????????? EARL BLUMENAUER

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

ADAM SMITH?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? JULIA BROWNLEY

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

GARY C. PETERS????????????????????????????????????????????????????? MAXINE WATERS

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

MICHAEL M. HONDA????????????????????????????????????????????? LUIS V. GUTIERREZ

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

JAMES P. MCGOVERN??????????????????????????????????????????? BILL PASCRELL, JR.

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

DENNY HECK?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? DAVID N. CICILLINE

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

ALBIO SIRES???????????????????????????????????????????????? DONALD M. PAYNE, JR.

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

STEVE COHEN????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? CAROL SHEA-PORTER

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

TIMOTHY J. WALZ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? JIM McDERMOTT

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

PAUL TONKO?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? LUIS V. GUTIERREZ

Member of Congress??????????????????????????? ??????????????????????? Member of Congress

MARK POCAN????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? JANICE HAHN

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

CHARLES B. RANGEL????????????????????????????????????????????? GEORGE MILLER

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

JAMES A. HIMES????????????????????????????????????????????????????? JACKIE SPEIER

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

SUSAN A. DAVIS????????????????????????????????????????????????????? MARK TAKANO

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

PETER WELCH????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? NOR HOLMES NORTON

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

CHELLIE PINGREE?????????????????????????????????????????????????? FREDERICA S. WILSON

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

ALCEE L. HASTINGS?????????????????????????????????????????????? RA?L M. GRIJALVA

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

BOBBY SCOTT???????????????????????????????????????????????????????? MICHAEL E. CAPUANO

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

KYRSTEN SINEMA????????????????????????????????????????????????? ROSA L. DELAURO

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

BRUCE L. BRALEY?????????????????????????????????????? ??????????? BETTY MCCOLLUM

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

SEAN PATRICK MALONEY??????????????????????????????????? GRACE MENG

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

ANN McLANE KUSTER?????? ??????????????????????????????????? ANNA G. ESHOO

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

ALAN GRAYSON???????????????????????????????????????????????????? RON KIND

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

JERROLD NADLER?????????????????????????????????????????????????? JOE GARCIA

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

LOIS FRANKEL??????????????????????????????????????????????????????? BRADLEY S. SCHNEIDER

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

JOHN K. DELANEY? ??????????????????????????????????? ??????????? ELIZABETH H. ESTY

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

TIMOTHY H. BISHOP?????????????????????????????????????????????? ERIC SWALWELL

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

ELIOT ENGEL??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? SCOTT PETERS

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

GERALD E. CONNOLLY????????????????????????????????????????? ALLYSON SCHWARTZ

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

AL GREEN???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? JOYCE BEATTY

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

BRAD SHERMAN????????????????????????????????????????????????????? RUSH HOLT

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

DAN KILDEE???????????????????????????????????????????????? ??????????? DAVID PRICE

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????? ??????????? Member of Congress

LINDA T. S?NCHEZ???????????????????????????????????? ??????????? JUAN VARGAS

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

EMANUEL CLEAVER, II????? ??????????????????????????????????? GREGORY W. MEEKS

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

MIKE DOYLE??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? JAMES R. LANGEVIN

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

ANDR? CARSON????????????????????????????????????????????????????? KATHY CASTOR

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

DORIS MATSUI???????? ??????????????????????????????????????????????? DONNA F. EDWARDS

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

LOUISE M. SLAUGHTER???? ??????????????????????????????????? MIKE QUIGLEY

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????? ??????????? Member of Congress

BRIAN HIGGINS?????????????????????????????????????????????????????? JERRY MCNERNEY

Member of Congress??? ??????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

JOS? E. SERRANO??????????????????????????????????????????????????? EDDIE BERNICE JOHNSON

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress

SUZANNE BONAMICI???????????????????????????????????????????? NIKI TSONGAS

Member of Congress??????????????????????????????????????????????????? Member of Congress