EUGENE, Ore. — Senator Jeff Merkley was celebrating a big victory Friday on the University of Oregon campus, but it may be short lived. A bill that would ban workplace discrimination against gays and transgendered people passed the Senate under his leadership. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is now in the hands of the House of Representatives, but it may never get a vote given Speaker John Boehner’s opposition.
Merkley says, “Discrimination is wrong for race. It’s wrong against seniors. It’s wrong against women. It’s wrong against the handicapped. It’s certainly wrong against our LGBT community. So it’s a significant stride towards fulfilling the vision of fairness and equality and liberty embedded in our constitution.”
He says even if it does pass though, it won’t impact Oregon too much, because a similar law was passed here in 2007. But, it would affect 29 states without legislation for this type of discrimination.