Protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from employment discrimination has
broad support, similar to protecting people from discrimination based on race, gender, age, religion
or disability. Not only the civil rights community, but Fortune 500 businesses, labor unions and people
from across the political spectrum believe this legislation is good policy.


States seem to be ahead of the federal government in job discrimination laws that protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals. Currently, no federal laws exist to protect against job
discrimination based on sexual orientation, however:

? 14 States and the District of Columbia have laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual

? 6 States have laws that already prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

? California and Nevada laws cover non-discrimination in employment. The other state laws are more inclusive covering employment and housing discrimination.

? Many critics of the legislation say that passing the law would lead to a tidal wave of court cases.
However, a 1997 General Accounting Office (GAO) study showed that creating such laws within states has not resulted in an overwhelming number of cases.


“I support the Employment
Non-Discrimination Act because I
believe that freedom and justice
cannot be parceled in pieces to
suit political convenience. As my
husband, Martin Luther King, Jr.,
said, “Injustice anywhere is a
threat to justice everywhere.” Like
Martin, I don’t believe you can
stand for freedom for one group
of people and deny it to others.”
– Coretta Scott King

“Enhancing our work environ-
ment to prohibit discrimination
on the basis of sexual orienta-
tion has not added any financial
cost to our organization. In-
stead we believe our philoso-
phy and practice of valuing di-
versity brings participation by
all employees.”
– Paul Allaire, Chairman and
CEO, Xerox.

“It’s time America realized that
there was no gay exemption in the
right to life, liberty and the pursuit
of happiness in the Declaration of
Independence. Anybody who
cares about real moral values un-
derstands that this isn’t about
granting special rights — it is about
protecting basic rights.”
– Senator Barry Goldwater