Saturday, September 29, 2007

Update on ENDA

Today and yesterday, I received literally dozens of emails following up on the exclusion of trans protections from ENDA. It is now official - the inclusive ENDA has been dropped and replaced with two bills, addressing sexual orientation and gender identity separately. Most of the major national gay rights orgs have spoken up against the change, but HRC remains ominously reticent to say anything definitive. De ja vu again.

Here is one message, from NTLC, with links for action you can take. The major cosponsors of the inclusive enda were Barney Frank (MA) and Nancy Pelosi (CA) - Especially if you vote in either of those states, that's who to call.

(I'll leave out the part where they ask you to donate to NTPC. If you want to donate money to a trans rights cause, donate to SRLP instead.)

FROM NTPC:

Dear Friends and Allies

Congress members have decided to eliminate gender identity from the latest version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act ENDA) that was introduced on the House Floor today.

LGBT and allied organizations have been working together for years to pass a bill that would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under federal employment non-discrimination legislation. We want to see all gay, lesbian,
bisexual and transgender employees protected from workplace harassment and discrimination under federal law.

The intention behind members of Congress in favor of splitting an all inclusive bill into two pieces of legislation – one for sexual orientation and another for gender identity – appears to be a fear that a bill including gender identity would sink the whole ship. We need to let Congress know that we do not want our communities and our rights torn apart.

Don't let Congress take the ‘T’ out of the LGBT movement.

What can you do?

1. Sign TLC’s petition urging the Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Frank to introduce the original version of ENDA that includes both gender identity and sexual orientation.

Sign the petition:
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/transgender_inclusive_ENDA/

2. Call your representative today! Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask to speak to your representative’s office.

Find out who your representative is:
http://www.house.gov/writerep/

Here’s a link to all Representatives in Congress:
http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW_by_State.shtml

When the representative’s receptionist answers, you can say:

“Please tell [your representative] that I oppose any version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that does not include both sexual orientation and gender identity. Transgender people desperately need the protections ENDA would provide. Surveys of transgender people have found that more than 55% reported discrimination in the workplace, and almost 60% earned less than $16,000 a year. The entire country has an interest in seeing the transgender community thrive in the national economy. Without protection against discrimination, that is nearly impossible. Congress should pass the original version of ENDA that includes both gender identity and sexual orientation.”

Contact your representative:
http://www.kintera.org/site/lookup.asp?c=nlI2IeN1JyE&b=2579775


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