July 31, 2014 · 4 Av

Join Us

Key Topics

Give

Statement of Rabbi David Saperstein Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism on the Introduction of Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Saperstein: "We oppose discrimination against all individuals, including gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, for the stamp of the divine is present in each and every one of us."

Contact: Alexis Rice or Rachel Orkand (202) 387-2800

July 31, 2001

On behalf of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC), whose 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR), whose membership includes over 1700 Reform rabbis, I welcome the introduction of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2001.

First introduced in 1996, this vital legislation would extend employment protections currently provided based on race, gender, and disability to sexual orientation, repairing the injustice that allows gay and lesbian Americans to suffer discrimination in the workplace. Jewish tradition teaches us that all human beings are created b'tselem elohim -- in the divine image. As it says in Genesis 1:27, "And God created humans in God's own image, in the image of God, God created them; male and female God created them." Regardless of context, discrimination against any person arising from apathy, insensitivity, ignorance, fear, or hatred is inconsistent with this fundamental belief. We oppose discrimination against all individuals, including gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, for the stamp of the divine is present in each and every one of us.

The majority of the American public supports ENDA and equal rights for gays and lesbians in the workplace. Over 50% of Fortune 500 companies have policies consistent with ENDA, and ENDA has been endorsed by a wide variety of religious organizations, women's groups, labor unions, civil rights organizations, and businesses. We commend Senators Kennedy, Specter, Lieberman and Jeffords and Representatives Shays, Frank, Foley, and Tauscher on their introduction of this important bill. We have waited far too long for Congress to pass this legislation. We call on Congress to act quickly to make this the year America ends workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians by passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

###

The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaismis the Washington office of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations (UAHC), whose 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR) whose membership includes over 1700 Reform rabbis.



Chai Impact Action Center
Take action on these top issues!

 

 
Travel Justly, Social Action Prayers, Program Bank, Holiday Guides Travel Justly Social Action Prayers Social Action Program Bank Holiday Guides
© Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, 1996-2013
View our Privacy Statement
URJ CCAR