Pressing issue? Senate to tackle ‘gender transformation’

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Congress hasn’t passed a budget in five years, the president’s signature health plan is on life support, and a parade of White House scandals have yet to be fully investigated.

Instead of addressing these and many other more pressing issues, the U.S. Senate is poised to tackle discrimination against transgenders.

senator_merkley
Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, known as “ENDA” and introduced by “left coast” Sen. Jeff Merkley, will face a procedural vote Monday. The legislation “would make it illegal for companies, associations and government employers at all levels to use sexual orientation and gender identity as a basis for hiring and firing decisions, or to use these factors to discriminate against employees or applicants,” according to The Hill. http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/188967-gay-rights-bill-looks-to-protect-gender-transition-in-the-workplace

Section 8 of the Oregon Democrat’s bill, S. 815, addresses employees in the midst of “gender transformation,” providing that although employers may impose reasonable dress and grooming standards, an employee “undergoing gender transition” would be legally permitted to dress according to the gender “to which the employee has transitioned or is transitioning.” https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/s815/text

Thankfully, Section 6 of the bill would exempt religious organizations, and Section 7 would exempt the military.

The Senate is expected to vote Monday on a motion to end debate.

The Hill reported:

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), the ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and other Republicans complained in the report that there were no hearings on the bill, and said they are worried about the bill’s applicability in schools.

GOP senators also said the bill’s language is “too vague for employers to understand” what response is required under the law, and generally that the bill could create problems in workplace for some companies.

“S. 815 would force employers to ignore and silence the concerns of fellow employees, customers, and other users of their facilities,” the senators wrote. “The repercussions of disregarding such concerns could be devastating to an employer.”

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