WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jim Himes (CT-4) released the following statement today regarding the White House’s announcement that President Obama will sign an executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of their sexual orientation. Himes is a cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would permanently extend these protections to all Americans. The Senate passed a version of ENDA last year, but the House Republican Majority has not brought the bill to the floor for a vote.

“The President’s action will ensure that millions more Americans will be able to do their jobs without facing discrimination or harassment because of who they are or whom they love. This is a major step forward for civil rights and equality, but we still have more work to do to end discrimination in our nation’s workplaces. It is outrageous that our country doesn't have a federal law banning discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation or gender identity. ENDA will fix this problem, and I strongly encourage Speaker Boehner to finally allow the House to vote on this critical legislation. Protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination is the right thing to do morally, and it’s good for American business. ”