TechNet Announces Support for Amendment that Strikes Discriminatory Language in Defense Bill
Washington, D.C. — TechNet, the national, bipartisan network of innovation economy CEOs and senior executives, today announced its support for an amendment that strikes language from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that sanctions discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The underlying language in question, which was offered by Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK), allows taxpayer-funded discrimination across the federal government by codifying expanded religious exemptions for grants and contracts and by removing existing anti-discrimination protections for LGBT workers.
In a letter to Rep. Charles Dent (R-PA), the sponsor of the amendment to strike the Russell amendment from the NDAA, TechNet’s president and CEO, Linda Moore, wrote: “I write today in support of your amendment to remove the Russell amendment from the National Defense Authorization Act. The technology industry is the nation’s most innovative sector precisely because it values and embraces a talented and diverse workforce. Unfortunately, discriminatory efforts, such as the Russell amendment, undermine these values by placing prejudice and fear above inclusion and diversity, which is bad for our employees and bad for business.”
“To ensure that our nation’s economy remains robust and innovative, we must support the best and brightest people. While the Russell amendment may be intended to promote religious freedom and liberty, it sanctions discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, which has no place in our country. Removing the Russell amendment from the National Defense Authorization Act makes clear that the federal government does not support such discrimination. TechNet is proud to support your amendment and to work for its passage.”
A copy of the letter is available upon request.
TechNet is the national, bipartisan network of technology CEOs and senior executives that promotes the growth of the innovation economy by advocating a targeted policy agenda at the federal and 50-state level. TechNet’s diverse membership includes dynamic startups to the most iconic companies on the planet and represents more than two million employees in the fields of information technology, e-commerce, advanced energy, biotechnology, venture capital, and finance. TechNet has offices in Washington, D.C., Silicon Valley, Sacramento, Seattle, Boston, and Austin.