For years, discrimination has been an ever-popular issue, especially in the workplace. One of the most common bases for discrimination is gender, and more recently, gender identity and sexual orientation. Because of this, legislators drafted a bill called ENDA or Employment Non-Discrimination Act. ENDA was created based on existing non-discrimination laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. And similar to other anti-discrimination laws, ENDA would provide certain punishments to its violators. To know more about ENDA, here are some things that it is deemed to do:
- It would protect employees from being discriminated against based on their sexual orientation. This means employers and anyone in the workplace should not commit discriminatory actions against their lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, or transgender (LGBT) employees.
- It would expand the scope of discrimination laws to benefit more people.
- ENDA would forbid the use of a person's gender identity or sexual orientation as basis of his employment, promotion, termination, etc.
- It would cover federal, state, and local government, including the Congress.
- It would accept dispute cases based on gender identity discrimination, but its proceedings and remedies are more limited compared to existing employee rights laws.
With these, there are possibly a lot more things in store for employees once ENDA has been enacted. However, a number of groups have already started to question its conditions even before it is approved. Some of the arguments of these groups include:
- Traditional and recognized groups such as the Boy Scouts would be subject to trial because they require "boy" scouts to join their group.
- ENDA aims to protect a class that does not need protection.
- Employers would not be able to refuse LGBT applicants even if their sexual behavior poses risk to other employees.
- The federal government would directly oppose the teachings of major religions such as Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, and Islam.
- Marriage would be perceived by many people in a different way because of LGBT employees and individuals.
Every law has its own strengths and weaknesses. The problem arises if it has more disadvantages than its advantages as far as the general public is concerned. In the case of ENDA, legislators should be very particular regarding issues that protest groups have pointed out. Of course no lawmaker would want to pass a law that would not benefit his country and countrymen.