Despite FLOTUS guest, no ENDAAround the Nation Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
WASHINGTON – Two lesbians were among the invitees joining the first lady at the Capitol during the president’s State of the Union address Tuesday. Lorelei Kilker, 31, a chemist from Brighton, Colo., was awarded monetary relief as a result of alleged workplace discrimination after the Obama administration investigated her case, determining it was likely she was victim to gender-based discrimination. Through a settlement reached between the company and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Kilker received $550,000 in recognition of the alleged discrimination she faced at her former employer, Western Sugar Cooperative. As a lesbian, Kilker was not protected against acts of workplace discrimination at the federal level despite the involvement of the EEOC in resolving her case.
However, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) – a proposed bill in the United States Congress – would have protected Kilker against discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation, and while the Obama administration supports the bill, it has thus far failed to gain enough support in Congress to reach the president’s desk for signature. Had ENDA already been in place, Kilker and all LGBT Americans would not need special help from the administration to find protection from sexual-orientation and gender-identity based discrimination.
The other lesbian joining the first lady was Air Force Col. Ginger Wallace, 43, who is currently training to deploy to Afghanistan through a program called the Afghanistan-Pakistan Hands program.
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