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LGBT organizations call for ENDA passage now
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LGBT organizations call for ENDA passage now

Courtesy of Pride At Work AFL-CIO

Pride At Work AFL-CIO and 21 other LGBT organizations reacted to the postponement of a scheduled markup on ENDA in the House Education and Labor Committee with a joint statement calling on Congress to pass ENDA immediately.

The Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) protects against employment discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. It was introduced in the House of Representatives on June 24 as HR 3017, and in the US Senate on August 5 as S 1584.

Pride At Work is an LGBT labor organization affiliated with the AFL-CIO, but it also includes members of Change To Win and independent unions, and non-union allies. King County Pride At Work can be reached at 206-261-8110 or OutFront.PrideAtWork@gmail.com

The joint statement of 22 LGBT organizations follows:

In light of continuing delays in the House of Representatives, we must state clearly and unequivocally: Passing basic job protections for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender people must happen now. At a time when our government is deeply focused on the critical issue of employment, it is inexcusable to delay action on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Each and every job lost to prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity needlessly compounds the unemployment challenges facing our nation. We call on Congress for the immediate passage of ENDA.

For decades now, we have called upon Congress to pass legislation to address the basic right of LGBT people to work free from discrimination at our jobs, and now Congress tells us we must wait another year. In 29 states, it remains legal to fire people based on sexual orientation and in 38 states, discrimination based on gender identity remains legal. In failing to take swift action to pass ENDA, our government allows unfettered bigotry to go unchecked, leading to the loss of jobs, fear in the workplace, economic instability, and personal hardship, while allowing employers to lose competent experienced workers. ENDA is urgently needed by our communities.

The majority of Americans consistently state their support for employment protections and voters have affirmed similar state and local measures. There is absolutely no reason for Congress to continue to delay this non-controversial bill or drop LGBT issues to the bottom of their agenda. We will not be denied basic rights any longer. Nothing is more important than protecting people's jobs, so ENDA must pass now. Further delays are absolutely unacceptable.

Matthew Coles & James Esseks, Co-Directors, American Civil Liberties Union LGBT Project
Jeanna Frazzini, Basic Rights Oregon
Terry Stone, Executive Director, CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Randi Romo, Executive Director, Center for Artistic Revolution
Bob Palmatier, Board Chair, Equality Alabama
Robin Tyler, Executive Director, The Equality Campaign, Inc.
Geoff Kors, Executive Director, Equality California
Toni Broaddus, Executive Director, Equality Federation
Nadine Smith, Executive Director, Equality Florida
Rick Garcia, Director of Public Policy, Equality Illinois
Ian Palmquist, Executive Director, Equality North Carolina
Stephen Skinner, President, Fairness West Virginia
Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director, Family Equality Council
Mary Griggs, Managing Director, Forum for Equality
Lee Swislow, Executive Director, Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders
Jarrett Tomás Barrios, President, Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
Eliza Byard, Executive Director, Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network
Joe Solmonese, President, Human Rights Campaign
Rachel B. Tiven, Executive Director, Immigration Equality
Earl Fowlkes, President/CEO, International Federation of Black Prides, Inc.
Travis Myles, Board Chair, Kentucky Fairness Alliance
Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director, Lambda Legal
Christian Berle, Director, Log Cabin Republicans National Office
Sharon J. Lettman, Executive Director/CEO, National Black Justice Coalition
Kate Kendell, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality
Rebecca Fox, Executive Director, National Coalition for LGBT Health
Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund
Michael Mitchell, Executive Director, National Stonewall Democrats
Gregory Varnum, Executive Director, National Youth Advocacy Coalition
Mo Baxley, Executive Director, New Hampshire Freedom to Marry
Laura Pople, President, New Jersey Lesbian and Gay Coalition
Paulin Park, Chair, New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy
Selisse Berry, Founding Executive Director, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
Jody Huckaby, Executive Director, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) National
Kathy Kelly, Executive Director, MEGA Family Project
Jo Kenny, Interim Director, Pride at Work AFL-CIO
C. Dray Drew, Executive Director, PROMO
Christopher Sanders, Tennessee Equality Project
Masen Davis, Executive Director, Transgender Law Center

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