House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) apparently told the 113-member LGBT Equality Caucus that there is “no way” the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would pass this year. According to Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA), who spoke with the Washington Blade, Boehner “said it wasn’t going to happen in this session.” The meeting took place sometime last week.
ENDA, which would make it illegal to fire or not hire people for their sexual orientation or gender identity, was notably absent from President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. Obama could issue an executive order protecting at least the LGBT employees of federal contractors, which would also apply to small businesses not covered by ENDA, but the White House insists it prefers a legislative approach. It seems Boehner will not be allowing that approach anytime soon.
Boehner has previously claimed that the LGBT employment protections are “unnecessary.” In the meantime, it remains legal in 29 states to fire people for their sexual orientation and and in 33 states to fire people for their gender identity.