Phil Reese

Tell Congress to move on ENDA now!

Filed By Phil Reese | September 10, 2010 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Action Alerts
Tags: Congress, employment discrimination, ENDA, GetENDA, getequal now, jobs, law, protests, Speaker Pelosi, swarm

Yesterday and Wednesday, we saw actions around the nation ENDASummerFinal.jpgcalling on Congress to move on ENDA. We saw a debate between Republican candidate Rick Tubbs and Chair of the Education and Labor Committee, Congressman George Miller interrupted by advocates. We saw an action at Congressman Chris Carney's office in Pennsylvania. Finally, in San Francisco, shut down Market Street, demanding that Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid move on ENDA now. According to reports at least a dozen protesters were arrested.

Now its time for you to get involved.

Call or write Speaker Pelosi today and tell her to move ENDA.

  • Official Speaker of the House Email: AmericanVoices@mail.house.gov
  • District Office - San Francisco:Phone: 415-556-4862
  • DC Office: Phone: 202-225-4965

Talking points and background after the jump.

What to tell Speaker Pelosi

  • Currently, NO FEDERAL LAW exists to consistently protect Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) individuals from employment discrimination
  • IN 29 STATES IT IS LEGAL TO DISCRIMINATE against individuals based on sexual orientation
  • IN 38 STATES IT IS LEGAL TO DISCRIMINATE against individuals based on gender identity or gender expression
  • STAT: 17% of LGBT Americans have been FIRED for who they are
  • STAT: 28% of LGBT Americans have been DENIED PROMOTIONS for who they are
  • STAT: 97% of Transgender Americans have been HARASSED in their workplace
  • For 36 years, since 1974, MANY bills to prevent sexual orientation or gender identity expression have been STALLED OR DEFEATED IN CONGRESS
  • STAT: 90% of Americans SUPPORT WORKPLACE RIGHTS for LGBT people
  • The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) WOULD PROTECT LGBT PEOPLE FROM DISCRIMINATION in the workplace for civilian, non-religious companies with over 15 employees, as well as federal, state, and local governments, unions, and employment agencies
  • By not voting in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a congress member IS CONDONING DISCRIMINATION IN THE AMERICAN WORKPLACE

Background

According to an email sent out by activist group GetEQUAL as part of their ENDA SUMMER campaign:

On July 24, 2010 at the annual Netroots Convention, speaker Pelsoi spoke to the conference attendees regarding ENDA, and said: "It's almost embarrassing to have to pass a bill to end discrimination in the workplace." Regarding timing of the passage of ENDA, she said, "I can't give you a time...I want to do it. You convinced me, now build the mass to make me do it." Last night we heeded her call and took to the streets of San Francisco to "build the mass." During evening rush hour, members of GetEQUAL, One Struggle One Fight and Pride at Work shut down Market Street and Castro in San Francisco; the message, "Pelosi: When jobs are lost, the market stops."

We have been waiting on ENDA and similar relevant bills to be passed for employment protections for 36 years. With large majorities in both chambers of Congress, and a self-professed "fierce advocate" in the White House, NOW is the time to pass ENDA.

You've got a personal stake in this. If you've ever suspected that you've been passed up for a job because you are gay, if you've ever been told by an employer or coworker that your sexual orientation is an issue, or if you've ever been fired for being gay, you know you have to act now to prevent this from ever happening.

If you haven't yet experienced discrimination based on your sexual orientation, your bubble will burst some day, my friend. Suddenly all this silly activism will hit home.

If you live in a state with employment protections, don't be ignorant and think you're protected. You could get transferred out of state, or you could live in a state like Illinois where Republicans are constantly trying to use dirty, sneaky tactics to undermine and attack the law.

Even if you're not gay, this could effect you. Beyond the effect that this could have on your life if one of your loved-ones is discriminated against for being gay, we rarely talk about folks who are straight and cisgender, and are fired for being gender non-conforming in some way. We really should talk about it more.

You know what to do. Now go do it. You are somebody. You deserve full equality. Right Here. Right now.


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Enda and dadt need to be tied together they are one and the same issue.Let's not allow Congress or the President to drive a wedge in our goals by taking a half step. If we only succeed in repealing DADT people will point to it and say that the military is being used as a social experiment.Also by tying the two together it will result in no one being left behind.

Very very good point, and I don't disagree with you. Any victory at this point is a partial victory. But I'm willing to accept incrementalism at this point--a win on just ONE of these issues won't be adequate for me, but it will bring me joy. I've been waiting for so long, I'll just be happy to get a real legislative victory.

I'm not settling for scraps, mind you, the day after the President signs the DOD authorization, I'm going to be at it 100% on ENDA again, but I just can't wait for us to reach a real goal. Please, for the love of God let us hit one of our goals!!!

Sorry but I won't settle for incrementalism I want my cake and by golly I plan to eat the damn thing. Look to the States where rights have only partially been gained and you'll see those who've have achieved them have become content to leave the others behind. That can't be or should be considered acceptable.We need to act out, we need to hit the streets and we need most of all to say anything less than full equality for all is unacceptable.Please don't tell me you support what HRC did the last time enda came up because that is where incrementalism leads to.

Headline in the San Francisco Chronicle yesterday:

Blocking Market Street to Convince Nancy Pelosi She's Wrong. Really?

"The LGBT groups that are protesting are upset with Pelosi for not bringing Employment Non-Discrimination Act to a vote. But while most San Franciscans would probably support the ENDA — I certainly would and probably so would Pelosi — conventional wisdom has it that she isn't bringing to a vote because it would lose. And what's the point in that? As many have said, this looks more like biting the hand that feeds them.",/i>

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/cwnevius/detail?entry_id=71950&tsp=1#ixzz0z8jV8jst

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/cwnevius/detail?entry_id=71950&tsp=1#ixzz0z8ik0LwF

Thats an op/ed title, not a headline, friend! ;-)

They didn't get any headlines - they just got laughter.

Thanks for posting, Mr. Reese. And for your comments regarding why this matters to ALL LGBT Americans. "NO QUEER LEFT BEHIND" is my new rallying chant.

Pelosi, or the US House, doing something with ENDA has everything to do with the US Senate and nothing to do with GetEQUAL.

DADT will be filibustered and ENDA will never be mentioned in the US Senate.

There is nothing effective about complaining. We need to change minds and stop lazily relying on politics or protest. WE need to do the work.