Obama Pleads For Congress to Pass Law on LGBT Workplace Rights

Says "who you love" should never be an issue at work

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U.S. President Barack Obama hosts a reception in honor of national Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month in the East Room of the White House June 15, 2012 in Washington, DC.

President Obama made an emphatic plea for Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in an article published by Huffington Post on Sunday. The legislation would make it illegal to fire people because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

“Millions of LGBT Americans go to work every day fearing that, without any warning, they could lose their jobs,” Obama wrote. “It’s offensive. It’s wrong. And it needs to stop, because in the United States of America, who you are and who you love should never be a fireable offense.”

Obama further pointed out that a majority of Fortune 500 companies and small businesses have nondiscrimination policies, since “they want to attract and retain the best workers, and discrimination makes it harder to do that.”

Apple’s CEO Tim Cook echoed the President’s opinions in an article for the Wall Street Journal, also published Sunday.

“So long as the law remains silent on the workplace rights of gay and lesbian Americans, we as a nation are effectively consenting to discrimination against them,” Cook wrote.

ENDA has been introduced, without success, in every Congress except for one since 1994.