Moving Video Explains Why LGBT Workers Are Fighting For ENDA
The veteran and police officer had a strong hunch why: she had told the bureau that she was transitioning to become a woman. Without a job, she was soon ruined financially, losing her family's home to foreclosure. But Macy has no legal recourse.
Macy is the first person spotlighted in a new series by the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank, as part of its campaign for Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, a federal bill that would ban discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans (watch the full video below). Currently, it's legal in 29 states to fire someone for being gay, and while California bans transgender discrimination, federal law doesn't (and Macy was seeking a federal job.)
handily approved ENDA with bipartisan support, and the bill almost has enough co-sponsors to beat a Republican filibuster.
Macy's workplace troubles, however, were resolved happily without ENDA; the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission unanimously decided that discriminating against transgender Americans was illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which bans discrimination based on sex. It was a landmark decision, but hardly as powerful as a federal law.
"I will be so happy that Macy v. Holder is just like a footnote in a book," says Macy, "and ENDA or something comes in and trumps it."
Watch her story below, and let us know: Do you support passing ENDA?
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Claire Gordon has contributed to Slate's DoubleX, the Huffington Post, and the book Prisons: Current Controversies. While an undergraduate at Yale University and a research fellow at Yale graduate school, she spoke on panels at Yale and Cornell, and reported from Cairo, Tokyo, and Berlin. Follow Claire on Twitter. Email Claire at firstname.lastname@example.org. Add Claire to your Google+ circles.more...