Document Type

Congressional Testimony

Publication Date

9-23-2009

Abstract

We are long past the point when our laws should permit discrimination against any individual because of their sexual orientation. Just as we do not tolerate behavior that discriminates based on race, gender, national origin or religion, so should we be clear about discrimination based on the characteristic of being gay or lesbian. For many of America’s faith traditions, this is a religious value. It is a moral value. And for all of us, it is of great social and economic value, as evidenced by the nearly 90% of Fortune 500 companies that already have policies consistent with ENDA. They have concluded that we cannot send the message that gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender individuals are second-class citizens, undeserving of legal protections, benefits and equal rights. It is time for our laws to reflect these values and allow members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community to live their professional lives without fear of discrimination or the pressure to hide their true identity.