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New HRC 'grassroots' campaign v. Congress: No Excuses
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New HRC 'grassroots' campaign v. Congress: No Excuses

Human Rights Campaign
July 30, 2009

Human Rights Campaign Calls on the LGBT Community and Allies to Participate in National, Grassroots Push to Lobby Congress Face-to-Face

"No Excuses" campaign demands equality through in-district visits

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today launched a national, grassroots campaign called "No Excuses" to demand action from Congress on key issues of equality. Designed to take advantage of the congressional summer recess, when members are in their local offices and meeting with constituents, "No Excuses" will mobilize HRC's 750,000 members and their allies to meet directly with lawmakers and push for federal legislative change. Members and supporters can get involved by visiting: http://noexcuses.hrc.org.

"While we salute and acknowledge the heroic members of Congress who have worked tirelessly on our behalf, far too many have dragged their feet on basic matters of fairness and equality that have lingered too long and hurt too many LGBT people and their families," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "Yes, there are many challenges facing this Congress and this president. But LGBT people often face additional hardship protecting their families, their loved ones and their jobs, and too few in Congress are willing to champion these issues of basic fairness. Now, more than ever, members of the LGBT community need to make their voices heard face-to-face and in the districts where they live."

Using innovative online tools, one-on-one trainings and staff and volunteer follow-through, HRC members will press lawmakers to end discrimination in the military, treat all legally married couples equally, pass immigration reform that recognizes and honors LGBT families, outlaw workplace discrimination for LGBT employees, and treat all federal employees' compensation equally.

The interactive "No Excuses" website allows supporters to download a meeting toolkit, schedule a meeting and report back on how it went. To take action, visit: http://noexcuses.hrc.org.

The in-district meetings will focus on the following key legislative priorities in the 111th Congress:

--Repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which denies legally married lesbian and gay couples more than 1,000 federal protections;

--Prohibit workplace discrimination for the LGBT community by passing an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA);

--Repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" to ensure that service members who contribute to our nation's security are no longer summarily discharged for who they are;

--Pass immigration reform that recognizes permanent same-sex couples and ends the painful separation of families;

--And provide health benefits equally to the nearly 3 million federal government employees, including same-sex domestic partners.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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