Sexual Orientation Discrimination Measure Enters Congress, Again

May 8, 2007 ( - A measure that bars workplace sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination has been reintroduced in the U.S. House of Representatives , according to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) .

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007  (EDNA) is expected to meet a more favorable fate in the current Democratic-controlled Congress than a similar measure introduced in 1994 that was later axed by a Republican-led Senate.

This time around, the legislation has garnered support from 32 co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle and includes a provision that would protect transgender workers. Among the sponsors are Representative Christopher Shays (R-Connecticut) and Representative Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio).

“This legislation is first and foremost about fairness – about allowing all Americans to pursue their right to earn a living. Workplace discrimination of any kind is wrong, period. Yet, in 33 states, it is legal to fire an employee based solely on the basis of his or her sexual orientation,” said Pryce in a written statement.

Some critics of the bill say that adopting EDNA could further complicate workplace privacy laws and step on the toes of some rules and regulations that govern the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), according to the HR News report.

According to Shays, the legislation would write into law non-discrimination policies that are already in place at corporations like AT&T, Raytheon and Xerox.