President Barack Obama on Wednesday
reiterated his call for Congress to approve the Employment
Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which seeks to prohibit workplace
discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Following passage last month in the
Senate, House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, said that
he sees “no need” for ENDA when asked whether he would allow
a vote on the legislation.
The president made his remarks while
addressing a Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC)
audience in Washington, D.C.
“And as we empower our young people
for future success, the third part of this middle-class economics is
empowering our workers,” Obama said. “It's time to ensure our
collective bargaining laws function as they're supposed to so unions
have a level playing field to organize for a better deal for workers
and better wages for the middle class. It's time to pass the
Paycheck Fairness Act so that women will have more tools to fight pay
discrimination. It's time to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination
Act so workers can't be fired for who they are or who they love.”
Republican House members Charlie Dent,
Chris Gibson, Richard Hanna, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Jon Runyan this
week signed on to a bipartisan letter urging Boehner to bring ENDA up
for a vote.