ENDA. Yes, it's that important.
Oct. 4th, 2007 @ 09:44 pm
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.
did you see the op-ed on 9/27 in the la times on enda? google "male stewardess" and it should come up. my friend shana posted it on popnography earlier this week, and i used it this week in class to teach my high school kids expository lit skills. i was impressed that not one of these young people admitted their opposition when they responded to the article. i figured being in va there'd be a few who weren't so much in agreement with the authors. anyway, yes on enda.
I just looked it up. Good read.
Just a question: isn't it better to get SOMETHING (ENDA for L and G and B) than NOTHING (ENDA for nobody because there aren't votes to pass a T-Inclusive ENDA)?
1) We will get nothing either way as long as Dubya sits in the White House.
2) Without "gender identity" included, the only people who are protected are "straight acting" gay, lesbian and bisexual people (and even then, it's dicey). Lambda Legal, ACLU, NCLR and others all agree that without including gender identity, the law would have a loophole large enough to drive the Utah Bears Pride flaot through.
3) Don't believe what you hear about there not being enough votes to pass a Trans-inclusive version. It's simply not true and we've already seen significant movement from Congressional representatives in the last week. It just takes effort and unity on our side.
4) ENDA itself is a compromise – rather than asking for "everything at once," we're already accepting compromise by only getting employment protections, and not housing, public accommodation, or credit protections. Leaving an entire community behind is not compromise. It’s discrimination.
5) Those who've argued that it's "pragmatic" or part of "incremental" gains are making all the wrong comparisons. They say, for example, that this is equivalent to accepting, where possible, civil unions for now over marriage: even though we believe marriage is the goal we herald civil union gains as an interim measure. But that doesn't wash: Whether it's marriage or civil unions it's still for all of us and not just some of us. (Or did I miss the part where some genius said, Let's pass civil unions for lesbians first and come back to the gay men later, since lesbians might be less threatening than gay men?) Incrementalism does not mean cutting out whole groups of people.
Also, using that logic, why didn't the NAACP, Utah Dems and other civil rights groups go ahead with a hate crime bill that included the laundry list minus LGBT people? Better to have some hate crime legislation than none at all because there weren't enough votes in Utah to protect LGBT people, right?