Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Action Alert: Urge Your Congressmember to Sign the ENDA Executive Order Letter

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | March 15, 2012 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Action Alerts, Politics
Tags: employment non-discrimination, ENDA, ENDA executive order, LGBT discrimination

President Obama is being urged by LGBT advocates and allies to sign an Executive Order to prohibit job discrimination by federal contractors based on sexual orientation or gender identity, the case for which I explained in detail last week.

In MetroWeekly, Chris Geidner reported this week that Candidate Obama said he fully supported and would sign such an order. And now, a letter has been issued by Members of the House of Representatives urging President Obama to sign the ENDA Executive Order. The text of the letter is after the jump.

Please contact your friendly U.S. Representative -- in other words, no need to ask die-hard conservatives -- and ask them to sign the letter . You can find your U.S. House Representative and contact info here. It's particularly important that we get full participation from members of the LGBT Caucus, so I've put their names at the end of this post, along with a link to find their phone numbers

Bilerico readers: Help us get as many members of the House as possible to put their name on that letter to the President.

Tico Almeida, Executive Director of Freedom To Work, has been working with some of our friends in the U.S. House for the past few weeks on drafting a Congressional letter from US House members to President Obama respectfully urging him to sign the LGBT Executive Order banning workplace discrimination at federal contractors. He reports that it has been a good team effort with multiple House offices and multiple LGBT organizations, and that he senses real momentum on the issue.

The letter is a very respectful one to the President. In essence, it says

1) this executive order is the right thing to do;

2) the polling is strong;

3) big federal contractors like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and Raytheon have had LGBT non-discrim policies for years, so this really is far from revolutionary, and we're only affecting the hold-outs.

The proposed EO would add four words "sexual orientation, gender identity" to the current text of EO 11246.

Text of the Letter to President Obama

Here's the text of the proposed letter to President Obama that Members are being requested to sign:

March XX, 2012

President Barack Obama

The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

Thank you for your leadership advancing equality for lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans. Your administration will be
long-remembered for its efforts to build an America that is fully
inclusive of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation or
gender identity. But, as you know, more work needs to be done.

To that end, we are writing to ask that you sign an executive order that
would prohibit federal contractors from discriminating in the workplace
based on an individual's sexual orientation or gender identity. This
order would extend important workplace protections to millions of
Americans, while at the same time laying the groundwork for
Congressional passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a
goal that we share with you.

In 1965, President Johnson established Executive Order 11246 prohibiting
federal contractors from discriminating against employees based on race,
color, religion, sex, or national origin. President Johnson's executive
order continues to stand as an important protection for many Americans,
and is currently enforced by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance
Programs at the Department of Labor. The opportunity to expand
protections against workplace discrimination to members of the LGBT
community is a critical step that you can take today, especially when
data and research tell us that 43 percent of LGB people and 90 percent
of transgender people have experienced workplace discrimination.
According to the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, an
executive order prohibiting federal contractors from discriminating
based on sexual orientation and gender identity would protect more than
16 million additional workers.

Beyond this executive order helping to solve the widespread problem of
discrimination against LGBT people, it would also help advance what is
viewed to be a best practice in corporate America: creating a level
playing field for LGBT workers. The majority of the 50 largest
corporations in America, for example, say that adopting inclusive
workplace practices - such as adding sexual orientation and gender
identity to corporate non-discrimination statements - helps attract the
best talent, reduce employee turnover, and overall is a plus to their
bottom lines.

Given these experiences, it is not surprising that the five largest
federal contractors - Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman,
Raytheon, and General Dynamics - have already adopted the policy this
order would require. In fact, the majority of the 25 largest federal
contractors have also adopted these policies. The Human Rights
Campaign's 2012 Corporate Equality Index report further shows that 86
percent of Fortune 500 companies have added sexual orientation to their
non-discrimination statements, and 50 percent have added gender identity
(this represents a growth rate of 1,567 percent for gender identity
inclusion over the past decade). A recent survey of small business
owners by the Center for American Progress (CAP) shows that these
practices are not limited to large corporations - clear majorities of
small business owners report that they also have added sexual
orientation and gender identity to their non-discrimination policies.

Unfortunately, there are current examples of why this executive order is
so critically needed. DynCorp, a military contractor that profits from
billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars, was recently found to have been
permitting a hostile work environment in which one employee was bullied
at work and called hateful and derogatory anti-gay slurs on a daily
basis. After more than 50,000 citizens signed a petition started by
Freedom to Work (a new LGBT organization), DynCorp agreed to add LGBT
protections to its non-discrimination policies. However, many more
companies will take this positive step if you approve the executive
order.

Finally, recent polling shows that the American public would support
this executive order. A second poll from CAP, for example, found that
approximately three out of four likely 2012 voters support protecting
LGBT individuals from workplace discrimination. Further, this poll
showed that the support for such protections transcends partisan, age
and religious lines.

We thank you for considering our request. We also reaffirm our
commitment to working with you to ensure that members of the LGBT
community receive the same protections and opportunities as all other
Americans. Thank you again for your leadership on advancing LGBT
equality - it has improved the lives of many, and has helped our nation
live up to its great ideals.

Sincerely,

LGBT Equality Caucus Members

And here is the list of the 101 members of the LGBT Caucus in the 112th Congress -- these especially you should call if you are from their district. Feel free to call your Representative not on the list if you think they're LGBT-friendly. Take a look and see if your Representative is on the list. You can find your U.S. House Representative and contact info here.

Co-Chairs

Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
Barney Frank (D-MA)

Jared Polis (D-CO)
David Cicilline (D-RI)

Vice Chairs

Rob Andrews (D-NJ)
Xavier Becerra (D-CA)
Lois Capps (D-CA)
Yvette Clarke (D-NY)
Joseph Crowley (D-NY)
Diana DeGette (D-CO)
Keith Ellison (D-MN)
Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)
Mike Honda (D-CA)
Barbara Lee (D-CA)

James McGovern (D-MA)
Jerry Nadler (D-NY)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
Linda Sánchez (D-CA)
Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL)
Henry Waxman (D-CA)
Peter Welch (D-VT)

Caucus Members

Gary Ackerman (D-NY)
Shelley Berkley (D-NV)
Howard Berman (D-CA)
Tim Bishop (D-NY)
Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)
Robert Brady (D-PA)
Bruce Braley (D-IA)
Michael Capuano (D-MA)
André Carson (D-IN)
Kathy Castor (D-FL)
Judy Chu (D-CA)
Hansen Clarke (D-MI)
Gerald Connolly (D-VA)
John Conyers (D-MI)
Susan Davis (D-CA)
Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
Ted Deutch (D-FL)
Michael Doyle (D-PA)
Eliot Engel (D-NY)
Anna Eshoo (D-CA)
Chaka Fattah (D-PA)
Bob Filner (D-CA)
Marcia L. Fudge (D-OH)
Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ)
Charles Gonzalez (D-TX)
Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)
Janice Hahn (D-CA)
Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI)
Richard Hanna (R-NY)
Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
Nan Hayworth (R-NY)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Brian Higgins (D-NY)
Jim Himes (D-CT)
Maurice Hinchey (D-NY)
Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Rush Holt (D-NJ)
Steve Israel (D-NY)
Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)
Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)

Bill Keating (D-MA)
Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)
John Lewis (D-GA)
David Loebsack (D-IA)
Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
Nita Lowey (D-NY)
Carolyn Maloney (D-NY)
Doris Matsui (D-CA)
Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY)
Jim McDermott (D-WA)
George Miller (D-CA)
James Moran (D-VA)
Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
Bill Pascrell (D-NJ)
Gary Peters (D-MI)
Chellie Pingree (D-ME)
Mike Quigley (D-IL)
Laura Richardson (D-CA)
Steven Rothman (D-NJ)
Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-MP)
Loretta Sanchez (D-CA)
Adam Schiff (D-CA)
Kurt Schrader (D-OR)
Robert "Bobby" Scott (D-VA)
José Serrano (D-NY)
Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Jackie Speier (D-CA)
Pete Stark (D-CA)
Betty Sutton (D-OH)
Paul Tonko (D-NY)
Edolphus Towns (D-NY)
Niki Tsongas (D-MA)
Nydia Velázquez (D-NY)
Frederica Wilson (D-FL)
Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)



Recent Entries Filed under Action Alerts:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.