U.S. House Debates Anti-Discrimination Measure

Former Governor Bill Owens twice vetoed a bill that would bar workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. But last spring current Governor Bill Ritter signed a bill sponsored by Sen. Jennifer Veiga, D-Denver, making such discrimination illegal. Now, a bill that would do the same thing on the federal level is being considered in the U.S. House. Today the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee of the Committee on Education and Labor is hearing testimony on The Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007 (ENDA).

Helen Norton, a professor at the University of Colorado Law School, is one of six people testifying in support of the bill. Norton is the former Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice.

Two others are expected to testify against the bill.

continued…While 19 states have laws barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and 11 ban discrimination based on gender identity, there is currently no federal protection law.

ENDA, sponsored by Congress members Barney Frank, Chris Shays, Tammy Baldwin, and Deborah Pryce, would cover both sexual orientation and gender identity.

View a Webcast of the hearing here.