WASHINGTON, D.C., March 29, 2011 ( – A bill that would add “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as prohibited grounds of discrimination in the workplace is due to be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, although its primary supporter doubts the latest attempt will succeed.

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) has said he will reintroduce the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) this week, a measure that has been introduced in every Congress but one since 1994, consistently failing to gather enough support for passage.

Frank himself was less than optimistic regarding the bill’s chances, telling the gay news service Metro Weekly that the current Republican majority would undoubtedly kill the measure.

“It’s an organizing tool. Obviously, with the Republicans in power, you’re not going to get the bill even considered,” said Frank.

Frank nonetheless said he would be working to build consensus behind the measure’s protection of “transgender” individuals, a provision that has historically proved a stumbling block to the bill’s overall popularity.

Conservative leaders and the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have strongly opposed the bill for threatening to disallow faith-based businesses from making personnel decisions based on their religious beliefs.

In a letter to Congress last year, the bishops noted that while homosexual persons must be treated with respect, they nonetheless oppose the law as part of the gay lobby’s open strategy for dismantling traditional marriage, a development they called “a legal and moral disaster comparable in many ways to Roe v. Wade.”


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