President Barack Obama is pressing lawmakers to pass the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, long-stalled legislation that would protect gays in the workplace.
“Right now, in 2013, in many states a person can be fired simply for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender...,” Obama wrote in a blog on The Huffington Post published Sunday. “It’s offensive. It’s wrong. And it needs to stop, because in the United States of America, who you are and who you love should never be a fireable offense."
Obama said the bill would help grow the nation's economy and create jobs.
"The majority of Fortune 500 companies and small businesses already have nondiscrimination policies that protect LGBT employees," he said. "These companies know that it's both the right thing to do and makes good economic sense. They want to attract and retain the best workers, and discrimination makes it harder to do that."
Obama became the first president to support same-sex marriage, but has resisted signing an executive order to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity by companies that have federal contracts.
The Democratic-led Senate is expected to take up the bill as soon as Monday. The House of Representatives, controlled by Republicans, is on recess and is not expected to pass the bill when it returns.