A Republican congressman from Colorado has joined a small number of lawmakers within his party to co-sponsor the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) announced in a statement he would become a co-sponsor of the legislation, which would bar employers from discriminating against LGBT workers.
“I see this legislation as the workplace equivalent of the Golden Rule — do unto others, as you would have them do unto you,” Coffman said. “In the workplace, in 2014, we should judge employees the way we would want to be judged — based on our qualifications, our contributions and by our character, period.”
The six other Republicans who co-sponsor ENDA are Reps. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (Fla.), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Charles Dent (Pa.), Jon Runyan (N.J.), Chris Gibson (N.Y.) and Michael Grimm (N.Y.).
Christian Berle, legislative director for the LGBT group Freedom to Work, applauded Coffman for joining other Republicans to support the legislation.
“When I met with the congressman to discuss this legislation, he impressed me with his conservative case for giving LGBT Americans a fair shot to contribute to our economy,” Berle said. “He’s a strong conservative who understands that ENDA is good for business and the right thing to do.”
The Human Rights Campaign gave Coffman a score of “0” on its scorecard for the previous Congress. Although Coffman opposes same-sex marriage, voted against “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” repeal and doesn’t co-sponsor any other LGBT bill, he cast a “yes” vote for an LGBT-inclusive reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act.