Hearing on bill to ban LGBT work discrimination

House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Martinez, on Wednesday morning will hold the first full House committee hearing on a bill that would bar employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

H.R. 3017, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, authored by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., would prohibit employment discrimination, preferential treatment, and retaliation on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity by employers with 15 or more employees. For now, it’s legal to discriminate in the workplace based on sexual orientation in 29 states, and in 38 states based on gender identity.

Those scheduled to speak at Wednesday’s hearing include:

  • U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisc.
  • U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.
  • Stuart Ishimaru, Acting Chairman of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • William Eskridge Jr., John A. Garver Professor of Jurisprudence, Yale Law School
  • Vandy Beth Glenn, fired from her Georgia state legislative job when she told her supervisor she was transitioning from male to female
  • Camille Olson, partner at Seyfarth Shaw LLP
  • Craig Parshall, senior vice president and general counsel, National Religious Broadcasters
  • Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center
  • Brad Sears, executive director of the Charles R. Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, UCLA School of Law
  • The bill’s 159 co-sponsors include the entire Bay Area delegation but for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco; the Speaker customarily refrains from cosponsoring, debating or voting on all but the most vital legislation.

    Josh Richman

    Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

    • Larry Bush

      I believe the first congressional hearing was in 1982 by then-congressman John Burton (D-SF), and held in San Francisco. I covered that hearing as a reporter. It was a committee hearing and John Burton was the chair

    • Elwood


      You mean this isn’t “the most vital legislation”?

      A bill by Barney Frank in George Miller’s committee?

      Saints preserve us!

    • RR, Uninvited Columnist

      Will the Obama health plan cover sex-change ops?

    • Ralph Hoffmann, Guest Columnist

      Elwood, this bill, when law, will stimulate the economy in a time when over !0% of straights can’t even
      get a job, and many are underemployed!

    • Tom Benigno

      Hello Ralph:
      How are you I haven’t seem too much of your writings lately, do you still reside in the SR area. You should go to face book and see the link to Honor in Office under my name. It will help you to understand why we are in trouble.” MOST OF THE ELECTED OFFICIALS DON’T READ THE BILLS THEY VOTE ON”.This is why we are in trouble.

    • Ralph Hoffmann, Guest Columnist

      Hi Tom: I live in downtown Walnut Creek now. I’ll check your link out. It makes sense, in a time of a lot of nonsense.