(Ed. note: The following is a guest post from HRC Regional Field Director Stuart Rosenberg in response to Marla Stevens' post on the ENDA. Enjoy.)
In light of recent posts on this blog regarding the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which was reintroduced in Congress this week, I wanted to share some additional insights on behalf of the Human Rights Campaign on why we have made putting these protections into law one of our top legislative priorities this year. We certainly respect right of people like Bilerico.com contributor Marla Stevens to question the merits of passing ENDA and are prepared to debate and defend the need for this federal legislation. However, to summarily dismiss the ways that GLBT people in Indiana and the other 32 states that offer no protections to gay, bisexual and lesbian Americans and the 41 states that offer no protection for gender identity, diminishes the legitimate ways ENDA will actually help people in our community.
In many states, the prospects for providing employment protections are quite dim, which is why a federal law is needed. HRC's staff was on the ground with you in Indiana to help successfully beat back an anti-gay marriage amendment in the Indiana Legislature earlier this year so we have a sense of what you are up against. Passing ENDA would indeed be a step in the right direction for the GLBT community in Indiana and in the U.S. -- and we need your help to make that happen.
Your members of Congress are critical to our success. We need the GLBT community contacting and reaching out to the new members you helped elect last November. The opposition in Congress from the radical right will be intense. We've already seen their campaign to defeat Hate Crimes and ENDA start. Nothing would empower our opponents more then defeating our legislative initiatives in this new Congress. We need every vote we can muster -- and your state's delegation is critical.
I'd like to make a few additional points that address specific concerns about the legislation [after the jump]: