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On Monday, U.S. Senators on both sides of the aisle voted to move forward with a bill that would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Senate is expected to have a full vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, later this week, though the bill faces an uncertain future in the House. Supporters say these protections are long overdue for LGBT employees, while opponents claim that the bill will result in costly, frivolous lawsuits and threaten employers’ religious freedom. We discuss the issues surrounding ENDA.

Guests:
Maya Rupert, policy director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights
Walter Olson, senior fellow at the Cato Institute; founder of the blog Overlawyered.com; and author of "The Excuse Factory," a book on lawsuits in the workplace

  • geraldfnord

    This _will_ interfere with some employers’ religious—or, more accurately, that of the actual persons who work for the fictitious persons who don’t really merit religious freedom, as ‘freedom of conscience’ has no bearing on a corporation that has none—and I am for that.

    If the employees of Your Christian Identity Bakery doesn’t want to serve ‘mud people’, but they’re employed by an entity created by the State and protected thereby (in the state of nature there is neither limited liability nor bankruptcy), too bad.

  • geraldfnord

    Can the gentleman from Cato come up with an argument that weren’t a perfect analogue to those repeated ad nauseum (et per sæcula seculærum) by racist, white, southern Democrats from 1950 to 1966? (Where did all those guys go, I can’t rightly recall….)

  • Another Mike

    I dream of a world where Garp’s Roberta Muldoon can work at Victoria’s Secret.

  • Sam Badger

    Anyone who opposes this law is doing much more to reinforce discrimination, social inequality and bigotry than opposing gay marriage. If gay people cannot get protection from being arbitrarily fired for bigotry then their economic rights are dependent on the moral character of their employer.

    Saying it is bad just because it “produces litigation” is just begging the question. “This law to give the right to sue in the context of discrimination is bad, because it will lead to litigation which is bad”. Litigation occurs to help alleviate some kind of injustice – like getting fired from your bigoted boss. Saying you don’t want this litigation is just a way of allowing economic discrimination. Evidently, the Cato institute thinks its ok for businesses to sue one another, but a gay man cannot sue a homophobic business for the greater injustice of losing one’s job in the most unfair way possible. Supporting the rights of rich bigots to discriminate against gay people makes one an apologist for that kind of behavior, no matter how much libertarian jingo is thrown around.

  • People often forget that there are still many states that don’t have any legislation protecting from discrimination based on sexual orientation. Federal legislation would expand some of that protection to the people who live in those states as well.

  • Skip Conrad

    How do you handle the restrooms?

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