US: Republican donors push for bill banning anti-gay workplace discrimination

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A group of Republican donors and former GOP lawmakers have joined a gay rights coalition to push the US House to vote for a bill banning workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

According to USA Today, Paul Singer, a billionaire hedge fund founder and big Republican donor, has put forward $375,000 towards the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Mr Singer said: “America is a place where the freedom to be who you are shouldn’t be a barrier to your ability to get a job and provide for your family.”

Fellow billionaire and GOP donor Seth Klarman also donated $375,000 to the campaign led by the Human Rights Campaign, which has itself put up an additional $1.3 million to lobby House Lawmakers into supporting the measure.

The group is aiming to pressure House GOP leaders, including Speaker John Boehner, to reconsider their decision not to vote on the legislation this year.

Former representative Deborah Pryce said: “Leadership needs to hear from America. They need to hear from their own members, and they need to hear from the constituencies that support it.”

Last year, President Barack Obama called on Congress to pass the legislation. He said: “This bill has strong bipartisan support and the support of a vast majority of Americans. It ought to be the law of the land”.