Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Queer Quote: Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) on ENDA

United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NE) issued a statement in honor of LGBT Pride Month and in it he discusses his wish to move forward with advancing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) through the United States Senate.
“In June, we have an opportunity to celebrate LGBT Pride Month by reflecting upon our recent victories and renewing our commitment to creating a more just and equal society in Nevada and across the country. 
“During this legislative session, Nevada’s lawmakers added crimes committed because of a victim’s gender identity or expression to our state’s hate crimes statute and took the first step toward ensuring that our Constitution does not discriminate against same sex couples who love each other and want to get married.  I am proud of the advances our state has made toward ensuring equality and dignity for all Nevadans. 
“In March, I joined 39 other U.S. senators in signing an amicus curiae brief with the U.S Supreme Court to make clear my belief that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. Because of DOMA, gay and lesbian married couples are denied more than 1,100 federal rights and benefits to which all other legally married couples are entitled; that is neither fair, nor right.  I hope that DOMA is struck down when the Supreme Court hands down its ruling sometime this month.  Finally, while Nevada has taken steps to ensure that individuals cannot be fired simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, in many states, no such protections exist.  I look forward to taking up the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) soon, to prohibit such job discrimination across the nation. 
Our nation is made stronger by its diversity.  I remain committed to ensuring that all Americans are treated equally, regardless of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other irrelevant factor.
I have bolded the last part of the statement myself, which is today's Queer Quote. It signals that despite the tsunami of gay marriage news coming in the next 3 weeks, movement on ending LGBT employment discrimination at the federal level may also occur this summer.

Hat/tip to Washington Blade!

UPDATE 06/12/2013 06:37PM
The full text of Reid's statement on LGBT Pride month is now available on his Senate website.

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