Sunday night, the Wall Street Journal published an opinion piece by Apple CEO Tim Cook, which urged the Senate to pass the Employment Nondiscrimination Act. Likely to be voted on this week, the bill would ban discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation or gender.
To support his argument, Cook cited anti-discrimination policies in place at Apple. “As we see it, embracing people’s individuality is a matter of basic human dignity and civil rights,” wrote Cook in the letter. “We’ve found that when people feel valued for who they are, they have the comfort and confidence to do the best work of their lives.”
"For too long, too many people have had to hide that part of their identity in the workplace. Those who have suffered discrimination have paid the greatest price for this lack of legal protection. But ultimately we all pay a price. If our coworkers cannot be themselves in the workplace, they certainly cannot be their best selves.
When that happens, we undermine people's potential and deny ourselves and our society the full benefits of those individuals' talents. So long as the law remains silent on the workplace rights of gay and lesbian Americans, we as a nation are effectively consenting to discrimination against them."
The bill will make its way Monday to the Senate, where its expected to receive enough Republican support in to pass, according to the New York Times.
This is not the first time an anti-discrimination bill to come before the Senate. In 1996, a similar bill failed to pass in the Senate. If this new intiative passes it will the first successful bill that protects gay men and lesbians in the workplace.