WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), released the following statement after the Senate voted 61-30 to proceed to S. 815, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that would prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Senator Cardin is a cosponsor of ENDA and has been in previous Congressional sessions. ENDA would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote an employee based on his or her sexual orientation. Current federal law bars employment discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, national origin, age and disability, but does not include sexual orientation or gender identity.
“I’m proud to join my colleagues in supporting this important legislation that protects all Americans against any form of discrimination in the workplace regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Our country was founded on the core principle that all citizens are created equal. It’s time to remember that principle, and work to protect the civil rights of all Americans.”
Maryland is one of only 21 states that prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. And only 17 states include gender identity protection in those anti-discrimination laws. Several Maryland municipalities also have prohibited discrimination based on gender identity, including Baltimore City, Montgomery County, Howard County, and Baltimore County.