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Foster Commends Executive Order Banning Discrimination

Jun 17, 2014
Press Release

Washington, DC – Congressman Bill Foster commended today’s Executive Order banning federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Starting today, millions of Americans no longer have to fear being discriminated against for who they are, or for who they love. My father was a civil rights lawyer, and I was raised with a strong belief that all people deserve equal rights and protection under the law,” Foster said. “That is why I commend this Executive Order, which will end discrimination among federal contractors.  While this is truly an important day for members of the LGBT community across the country, the fight will carry on. Congress still needs to pass the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act to ensure all Americans receive basic workplace protections. I will continue to stand with the LGBT community in their struggle for equality, because everyone -- no matter who they are, where they came from, or who they love – deserves equal rights under the law.”

Congressman Foster is a strong advocate for the LGBT community and is a member of the LGBT caucus in Congress. Foster is a co-sponsor of H.R. 1755, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2013, which would provide basic protections against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would establish basic protections in the workplace to prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. There are currently only 18 states and the District of Columbia that prohibit discrimination on bases of sexual orientation and gender identity, and an additional three states that prohibit discrimination on the basis of just sexual orientation. While ENDA currently has 205 cosponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives, and it (S. 815) passed the United States Senate by a bipartisan vote of 64 to 32, House Republicans refuse to bring ENDA to the floor.

Earlier this year, Foster signed the Amicus Brief challenging Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibits recognition of marriage between same-sex partners, and he was an original co-sponsor to the Respect for Marriage Act, which would fully repeal DOMA and provide a uniform rule for recognizing married couples for federal law purposes. He also fought to bring up the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which included vital protections for the LGBT community.