For those who are not "in the know" about the recent showdown in the LGBT community over whether or not ENDA will include the transgender community, it's been quite the adventure over the past week. I'm very proud to be doing my part. As my friends and loved ones, I'm on my knees asking for your help on this one. We have one week to get enough votes in the House to keep ENDA inclusive. If you've never called your representative before, do so now. If you've already expressed your support for ENDA, call again and specify that you only support ENDA that includes transgender people. Please.
Insist on a transgender-inclusive ENDA!
Tell Congress you’re watching: You want a transgender-inclusive ENDA passed this year!
Last week, leadership in the House of Representatives announced they were moving forward with a nondiscrimination bill that would not have protections for transgender people. The outcry from the LGBT community was united, and intense. I am very proud to work for an organization that took a clear and unamibguous position from the beginning, and I'm proud to be personally involved in the effort to keep ENDA fully inclusive (I'll blog more about that later). We stood together and said we would rather have no ENDA than a bill that left some of us behind.
You changed the course of Congress. On Monday, the House leadership announced that the committee vote that was scheduled for this week was postponed. But that doesn’t mean we’re out of the woods yet. We need to make sure that every single member of Congress has heard from constituents, urging him/her to support a transgender-inclusive ENDA. We also need to make the specific request: oppose any effort to weaken the bill, including by stripping or modifying any of the transgender protections.
Call your Representative TODAY at (202) 224-3121 and ask him/her to "support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), H.R. 2015, as originally introduced – a fully inclusive bill that provides workplace protections to gay, lesbian, bisexual, AND transgender individuals."
If your Representative says s/he supports the bill or is a cosponsor, please follow up with:
"Thank you. I urge you to fully support ENDA (H.R. 2015) as introduced, and to OPPOSE any effort to weaken the bill, including by stripping or modifying any of the transgender protections."
ENDA Must Contain Explicit Protections for Gender Identity
- ENDA should protect the entire gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community from unequal treatment in the workplace, especially those of us who are most vulnerable to discrimination.
- The LGBT community is one community, and we want to move forward, together, in one bill.
- Including explicit protections against discrimination based on gender identity not only helps transgender people; it also strengthens ENDA for the rest of our community by ensuring that an employer cannot fire or refuse to hire a gay employee for an “effeminate” walk or a lesbian employee for dressing "too butch."
- Despite advances in protecting transgender people on the state and local level, as well as in the private sector, it remains perfectly legal in 39 states to fire someone solely based on his or her gender identity.
- Recent national surveys have found that 65% of people believe it should be illegal to discriminate against transgender people in employment.
About the Employment Non-Discrimination Act
- This legislation would address discrimination in the workplace by making it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote an employee simply based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. It would reinforce the principle that employment decisions should be based upon a person’s qualifications and job performance.
- ENDA closely follows the model of existing federal civil rights laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, ensuring that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are treated in the same way as other groups protected under law – no better, no worse.
- Most of America’s smartest business minds understand that a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity has nothing to do with their job performance. That is why 200 Fortune 500 companies include gender identity in their nondiscrimination policies.
- Federal law has also been outpaced by the actions of state and local leaders. Thirty-seven percent of the country, including eleven states and more than 90 cities and counties, have passed protections for the transgender community.