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Task Force slams Senate’s failure to advance Paycheck Fairness Act to a vote

June 5, 2012

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force responded to the U.S. Senate’s failure today to allow a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill designed to strengthen laws prohibiting sex discrimination in wages. The Paycheck Fairness Act failed to receive the 60 votes needed to advance to a vote.  Nationally, women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. African-American women earn 62 cents on the dollar and Latina women average only 54 cents on that dollar. The Task Force Action Fund has been lobbying for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey says:

Women work their tails off to feed their families and pay the rent. In many households, they are the sole breadwinners. So what do they get in return? Far less than what a man earns for similar work. Something is seriously wrong with this picture, and yet the mostly male Senate diddles around and refuses to do anything about it.

We’re not talking about a radical concept here. We’re talking about passing a bill that would help reduce the discriminatory pay gap between women and men. This isn’t simply a matter of principle, it’s about women being able to put food on their family’s table, it’s about being able to pay the bills, it’s about having a roof over one’s head, it’s about having a fair shake, it’s about not being discriminated against in pay solely because of your gender.

Pay equity affects each of our lives, and the lives of all our families. It is shameful that many senators today turned their backs on the economic security of American women and their families — this includes lesbian, bisexual and transgender women, particularly women of color, who are vulnerable to inequity.

The obstructionists in Congress who toy with women’s lives do so at their own peril. This is something many women will not forget, especially when they’re cutting that next round of checks to pay the bills and especially when they cast their next ballot.

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