WASHINGTON, Nov. 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AJC applauds today's Senate passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) by a bipartisan vote of 64 to 32. This historic action represents a major step forward in the advancement of civil rights protections for all Americans.
ENDA would extend existing federal workplace discrimination laws to cover an employee's real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
"The Senate's passage of ENDA moves us one step closer to realizing the lofty goal enunciated by Rev. Martin Luther King fifty years ago, that a person should be judged by his or her character, and not by characteristics that have nothing to do with the ability to do a job," said Richard Foltin, AJC Director of National and Legislative Affairs.
"We look forward to working with the House of Representatives to pass ENDA, and ultimately to the President signing into law this critically needed civil rights legislation."
ENDA's exemption of religious organizations from its coverage provides an important protection for religious liberty—an area of central importance to AJC. Under ENDA, no religious institution would be required to violate the religious precepts on which it is founded.
Since its founding in 1906, AJC has been an outspoken champion of civil rights legislation. As American Jews, we recall how our parents and grandparents suffered discrimination in the past and remain committed to ensuring that the civil rights of all Americans are protected.
SOURCE American Jewish Committee