Three members of Missouri’s delegation in the US House of Representatives, including both of the Congressmen who represent the City of St. Louis, are co-sponsors of a proposed federal law, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 2015), that would extend federal anti-discrimination protections currently based on race, religion, gender, age, nationality, and disability to sexual orientation and gender identity. ENDA would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote employees just because of their sexual orientation.
The bill, which is a carefully crafted piece of law, would not apply to very small businesses, to religious organizations, or to the military. It would not allow quotas, or apply retroactively. (It would also not change much in the City of St. Louis, where a civil rights ordinance already prohibits such discrimination.) It would, however, change some business practices elsewhere in Missouri, one of the 30 or so states in which it has been legal to fire someone because of their sexual orientation.
I hope the bill passes, and I strongly support the decisions of US Reps Lacy Clay and Russ Carnahan (and Kansas City’s Rep. Cleaver) to co-sponsor the legislation