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HRC announces 'No Excuses' campaign
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HRC announces 'No Excuses' campaign

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Staff Writer

The Human Rights Campaign launched a national, grassroots campaign called 'No Excuses' last week. HRC officials say the campaign is designed to demand action for Congress on key issues of equality.

The timing was not by mistake; HRC officials said "No Excuses" will 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.

"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 and have lingered too long and hurt too many LGBT people and their families," said HRC President Joe Solmonese.

According to Solmonese, using online tools, one-on-one trainings and staff and volunteer follow through, HRC members will press lawmakers to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), pass an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," pass immigration reform that recognizes permanent same-sex couples, and provide health benefits equally to the nearly 3 million LGBT federal government employees, including same-sex domestic partners.

"Yes, there are many challenges facing this Congress and this president," Solmonese said. "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, he said.

The HRC interactive "No Excuses" website allows supporters to download a meeting toolkit, schedule a meeting, and report back on how it went. To get involved, visit www.noexcuses.hrc.org.

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