The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) begins hearings tomorrow in the U.S. House.
The House Education & Labor Committee will hear testimony on ENDA on Sept. 23, according to committee spokesperson Aaron Albright. He said witnesses had not yet been finalized for the hearing and a subsequent markup for the legislation hasn’t been scheduled. Albright said the hearing “will be the first step in the legislative process” toward passing ENDA. “It’s to get our members up to speed on the issues, what’s going on out in the states, what some state laws are doing about it, and some good stories about companies who’ve embraced diversity — and some not-so-good stories,” he said.
Rep. Barney Frank tells the Washington Blade that he believes the bill will pass in the House this fall, but that it faces a tougher fight in the Senate. The lineup for the hearings has not been finalized, but among the witnesses is Craig Parshall, chief counsel for the National Religious Broadcasters Association. Parshall feels that Christianity itself is on trial.
A bill banning sexual orientation discrimination in hiring was first introduced in Congress in 1974. In 1994, the first version under the “ENDA” title failed passing in the Senate by one vote.