Dear Mr. LaLonde:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. I appreciate your comments on this issue.
If our Constitution stands for anything, it is the ideal of individual liberty. To defend that liberty, we support democracy. But underneath both of those key values in the West, we believe in tolerance for our citizens.
Our history is one of expanding tolerance. In the 19th century, we ended slavery. In the 20th century, we gave women, racial and religious minorities equal rights. Now it is our turn to offer protection for those of a different orientation.
On April 24, 2007, Representative Barney Frank (D-MA) introduced H.R. 2015, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). This legislation would prohibit discrimination against employees on the basis of sexual orientation. As the co-author of the Conyers-Kirk Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2007, I was proud to cosponsor H.R. 2015.
On November 7, 2007, the House passed ENDA by a vote of 235-184. I voted in favor of the bill and voted against a procedural motion, or a "Motion to Recommit," which would have effectively killed the bill. ENDA now moves to the Senate for further consideration. Rest assured, if the Senate passes ENDA and the President vetoes it, I will vote to override his veto.
Thank you for contacting me on this important issue. Please feel free to visit my website, www.kirk.house.gov, or contact me again should other issues of concern to you come before the Congress. To stay better connected to current legislation please sign up for my e-newsletter at kirk.house.gov/newsletter.
Mark Steven Kirk
Member of Congress