An Open Letter to Chairman George Miller of the House Committee on Education and Labor, where the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is stalled while awaiting markup.
Dear Chairman Miller:
I know Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and that you are back in your home district in California to celebrate with your family and friends. But don't reach for that turkey yet. Many of my friends and family are unemployed and underemployed because of discrimination. We are wondering why you are holding up rescheduling the Employment Non-Discrimination Act in your Committee.
"Tweak" the language of the bill if you think you must, but why not get it on the schedule? How long could it take to "tweak"?
After the jump: Contact info for Chairman Miller, and The Advocate suggests that we vote on whether to scrap gender identity protections from ENDA.
I don't think this is asking much, but your Committee's office will only say that there are "no guarantees" about getting this done this year. My Thanksgiving is not looking very bright, and my winter holiday is looking very cloudy as well.
Don't you know that delaying the ENDA House vote until February, as currently seems likely because of your postponement, will place ENDA in the path of several major obstacles, including a Domestic Partner Benefits bill, a legislative logjam in the Senate, a major jobs initiative, midterm election campaigns, and a DADT repeal effort promised to begin in Spring 2010?
Please, before you reach for that turkey, get that ENDA markup back on the schedule.
Enjoy your holidays. I hope to enjoy mine.
Readers, if you'd like to tell Chairman Miller how you feel about ENDA being postponed with no date, please call the Committee on Education and Labor now, and ask that ENDA, HR 3017, be rescheduled immediately for a markup the first week in December. I think the office is open until 1. But feel free to leave a message on the voicemail.
Here's the number - dial early and often: House Committee on Education and Labor: 202-225-3725. (You can also call the toll free DC Capitol line and ask for the Committee: 866-220-0044)
There is also a petition to sign online: click here.
The Advocate has just put up a poll suggesting that we as a community vote on whether gender identity should be taken out of the bill. I couldn't believe my eyes. I'm stunned by how divisive this is at a time we should be pulling together.
Why is the Advocate suggesting that such a thing is even being considered? Leaders in both the House and Senate have assured us that no such idea would be considered. The main objections to the bill have nothing to do with gender identity, but are focused on concerns about protecting pedophiles and other sexual deviants, and religious freedom. What is with this poll? Does the Advocate think this is up for a vote?
Here's more contact info for Representative Miller. Call early and often. Please ask him to immediately reschedule ENDA, HR 3017, for a markup the first week in December.
A happy holiday to all. Let's hope we soon have something to be thankful for.
Representative George Miller:
(Toll free DC Capitol line: 866-220-0044)
Richmond, CA 510-262-6500
Vallejo, CA 707-645-1888
Concord, CA 925-602-1880
(Click here for email)