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Protecting LGBT Americans in the Workplace

Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The American Dream rests on the idea that all men and women can, through hard work and perseverance, achieve great things regardless of who they are or where they come from.  However, workplace discrimination cuts to the very core of this ideal, especially when we allow bosses and supervisors to discriminate based on whom an employee loves.

Today, 43 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans and 90 percent of transgendered Americans have experienced some form of workplace discrimination.  In Colorado, we already have non-discrimination laws protecting LGBT people in the workforce, and now it is time for the federal government to follow suit.

Since 1965, an Executive Order has prohibited federal contractors from discriminating against their employees due to national origin, religion, race or sex.  Last week, I joined with more than 30 senators to urge President Obama to sign his own Executive Order and protect the equality of all Americans by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to that list.

Just as I have urged Congress to follow Colorado's lead in passing meaningful anti-bullying laws to create a safe and secure learning environment in school for LGBT children, I will continue to fight to protect all LGBT Americans in the workplace.  While there is still work to be done in passing the more sweeping Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the president can take this important step now to ensure a level playing field for employees of federal contractors and underscore that hard work should pay off regardless of whom you love.

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