Speaker Pelosi, we have been promised a vote on ENDA in the House in March. And we mean to get it.
Tomorrow is lobby day for ENDA, and a couple hundred people are expected in DC to go talk to their legislators person to person. Here at The Bilerico Project, we arranged scholarships for those unemployed because of discrimination to get to DC and tell their stories to Senators who are on the fence. Thank you to all of those who donated. I would particularly like to thank those who assisted with major donations, including Mary Ann Horton, a well-known trans advocate of long standing, of Red Ace Technology Solutions, and Meghan Stabler, of the Board of Directors and Allyson Robinson, Associate Director of Diversity, of the Human Rights Campaign. Thank you also to Jody Huckaby and Elizabeth Fregiato of PFLAG, who graciously assisted with handling the administrative work associated with such endeavors. Thank you also to Mara Keisling and her team at NCTE, holding the policy conference, lobby training and lobby day occurring in DC this week. Our scholarship recipients are in DC right now, with hundreds of others, getting training on the latest lobbying techniques, and getting ready to tell their stories to those Senators on the fence about ENDA.
For those of you who are not going to DC for the ENDA lobby day tomorrow, you can support the hundreds of people in DC by dialing the phone. My request is that you call Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office at 202-225-4965 and ask that she move ENDA (HR3017) to a vote.
This is serious. We have one chance to move ENDA forward before the mid-term elections, and this is it. Meanwhile, the LGBT community is laboring under high unemployment and underemployment, a large wage gap, and persistent harassment, as shown by a slew of studies.
Chairman George Miller, of the House Committee on Education and Labor, where ENDA is currently awaiting markup, is ready to go.
Rep. Barney Frank, lead sponsor of ENDA in the House, is ready to go, and wants a vote in March.
Our problem now is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Call and demand that she move ENDA (HR3017) to a vote.
By the way, we will be participating in a blogswarm on Thursday with many other bloggers and activists to pressure Speaker Pelosi to move ENDA. You should call today, of course, but I want you to know that the pressure will not let up until ENDA moves.
Who's holding up the train? Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, who says that she will move the bill to the floor when there are enough votes, but she can't whip the bill to find out if there are enough votes because it hasn't been marked up yet, but yet she's unwilling to tell Chairman George Miller of the House Committee on Education and Labor to schedule a markup.
Chairman Miller, meanwhile, is saying that Speaker Pelosi has asked him to hold off on a markup until health reform is done.
No, you don't, Speaker Pelosi. You don't get to talk out of both sides of your mouth. You need to grow a spine and get the job done. And pass ENDA. Because there are plenty of votes for ENDA. What's missing is the backbone, while we watch our unemployment benefits run out, and start hiding those heart-shaped couple pictures and try to decide how to appear more gender-conforming so we can just get a damned job.
Why do we have to work so hard to get simple rights that everyone else has in the job market?
It sounds to me that, when it comes to gay rights, we are too hot to hold. Sure, the Democrats want to be our BFF and hold our hands in the dark, especially at voting time.
I've heard this before. It goes like this: When we're out in public, honey, please don't hold my hand. If you want to survive, stop being so public about your identity. Get back into that closet. Disavow your love, walk like a man or a lady, and make up a pretend opposite-sex partner. I love you, but it has to be our little secret. I can't stand up for you in public, you see, don't you understand my position?
Oh my dear LGBT community, think again. The Republicans are coming. If we don't get a law now, you are in trouble. Silence will not save you. Sweet promises only last a night. Diamonds are a girl's best friend, my dear, and the only thing harder than diamond is a law.
As my mother used to say, if you don't ask, you don't get. She had her diamonds, trust me. Do you?
Speaker Pelosi's number: 202-225-4965. Demand ENDA (HR3017)
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