Bishop Gene Robinson Calls For Federal LGBT Employment Protections

Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson today called upon Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ensure that no one can be fired based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Nine out of 10 voters already believe such a federal law exists, but only a handful of states actually offer the LGBT community protections, and in eight states, only sexual orientation is protected. Unlike Catholic Bishops in New York, Rhode Island, and Illinois, Bishop Robinson sees supporting LGBT equality as a matter of Christian principle:

The scriptures of the Old and New Testaments are filled with admonitions that we will be judged by the way we treat our most vulnerable members. For Christians and Jews, God is described as having a special concern for the poor, the marginalized, and the vulnerable. We are morally bound to take special care to protect those who are so marginalized. I believe that in our time, it is gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people who are the marginalized deserving of civil protections. Surely, in this great nation, we can at least do that much.

Though protections are inconsistent from state to state, progress is being made in the absence of a federal ENDA. The map below was current just four months ago, but since then there have been victories for transgender protections in Hawaii, Nevada, and today Connecticut. (Those states should appear as red now.) Still, the map has a bit too much orange, representing the 29 states that have no employment protections for LGBT people whatsoever: