Murkowski Votes to Protect Alaskans From Discrimination

Senator: Judge Workers on Merits, Performance

WASHINGTON, DC — Senator Lisa Murkowski today cast her vote in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill that protects Alaskans from discrimination.  Murkowski also supported an amendment to the bill protecting religious freedom in implementation of the law.  Moments ago, the legislation passed the Senate by a count of 64-32.

On the floor of the Senate, Murkowski expressed the view that employees should be judged solely on the basis of ability or skill:

(Murkowski makes argument for ENDA: “No discrimination” – 11/6 – Click image for excerpt.) 

“Current law protects against discrimination in the workplace for many classes of individuals. Many of us have been involved in working to refine these laws that protect against discrimination affecting employment practices not on the basis of one's merits or qualifications but on the sole basis of factors unrelated to an individual's work experience, such as race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, disability, and sex or gender.

“We have made sure to put protections in place against discrimination in the workplace for these classes, these categories of individuals. But for those in the LGBT community for whom discrimination on the basis of sex does not apply, ENDA bridges that gap. 

“It is time that that gap is resolved.  In fact, the separation that has been in place would be eliminated. Discrimination should never be accepted in any workplace or anywhere for that matter. It's just pretty simple -- just no discrimination. I am a strong, strong believer that individuals should be judged on their merits and not how they look or how they are perceived to be.”

ABOUT ENDA: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 currently protect employees from unlawful employment practices on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin.  The Employment Non-Discrimination Act extends employment non-discrimination protections to individuals on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  Other employment discrimination protections currently exist for individuals with disabilities and pregnant workers.