President Obama released a statement Thursday commending the Senate for passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would bar discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Just as no one in the United States can lose their job simply because of their race, gender, religion or a disability, no one should ever lose their job simply because of who they are or who they love,” Obama said in a statement. “Today’s victory is a tribute to all those who fought for this progress ever since a similar bill was introduced after the Stonewall riots more than three decades ago.”
The president called on the House to take up the bill, which looks unlikely due to Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) opposition.
“Now it’s up to the House of Representatives,” Obama said. “This bill has the overwhelming support of the American people, including a majority of Republican voters, as well as many corporations, small businesses and faith communities. They recognize that our country will be more just and more prosperous when we harness the God-given talents of every individual.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Thursday that lawmakers who don’t support ENDA are on the wrong side of history.
“To oppose this legislation is to announce that you want to be left behind by history,” Carney said in a press briefing.