Originally published on Advocate.com September 26 2011 9:30 AM ET
North Carolina senator Kay Hagan announced over the weekend that she will cosponsor federal legislation to ban anti-LGBT employment discrimination.
“I’m announcing today that I will be signing on as a cosponsor to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA),” Hagan, a Democrat, said in a statement released in conjunction with the NC Pride Festival at Duke University. “Discrimination must never be tolerated, and I believe that all Americans deserve an equal opportunity to fulfill their potential.” (Qnotes has a full report on Hagan’s c-sponsorship here.)
According to the Human Rights Campaign, several North Carolina LGBT advocates met with Hagan last week to discuss ENDA. “We had been told that we were allocated 15 minutes and that it was possible that Senator Hagan would have to cancel at the last minute,” said Linda Stroupe, a parent involved with Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. “She not only met with us but asked questions and spent almost 45 minutes with us.”
Following the North Carolina legislature’s approval earlier this month of an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment to be put before voters in May, Hagan said in a statement that she “remains wary of attempts to alter constitutions in the heat of today's charged political environment.” Stroupe said Hagan began the meeting “by telling us how disappointed she was about the actions of the N.C. Senate and House,” according to HRC.
With Hagan’s support, the Senate version of ENDA, introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, now has 41 cosponsors.