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Statement by Bill Richardson Urging Congress to Pass Employment Non-Discrimination Act

November 07, 2007

WASHINGTON, DC-- New Mexico Governor and Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Richardson today released the following statement urging Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA):

"This should be a no-brainer for Congress: ENDA is an essential piece of civil rights legislation that has taken too long-- thirteen years-- to get to this point. It is hard to believe that we even have to debate prohibiting discrimination of any kind.

"I applaud Congressman Barney Frank for his tireless efforts in advancing the cause of equality and justice. However, let us be clear-- the struggle for equality is not over. I am disappointed, as I know Congressman Frank is, that gender identity is not protected in today's bill. That must be fixed.

"In my first year as Governor of New Mexico, I expanded anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation. I also signed into law New Mexico's first hate crimes legislation, which included acts based on sexual orientation, and I issued an executive order extending state health insurance benefits to all domestic partnerships. As President of the United States, I will fight for those same protections and rights for every American.

"ENDA is a pivotal step toward equal treatment under the law for every American. Along with my friends in the LGBT community, I look forward to the day when this no longer is an issue, when discrimination of any kind is not tolerated, and when we can celebrate our diversity as a nation and the protection of every American's civil rights."

Bill Richardson, Statement by Bill Richardson Urging Congress to Pass Employment Non-Discrimination Act Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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