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UW's new grassroots gay rights activism group called SOLE
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UW's new grassroots gay rights activism group called SOLE

As you may or may not know, I am involved with UW's new grassroots gay rights activism group called SOLE, or Students Organizing for LGBT Equality. Our newest project is an online petition in support of ENDA, or the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. This piece of legislation would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and other members of the queer community from being fired on the grounds of sexual orientation and/or gender expression. I believe that as of right now, it is legal in 29 states to fire or refuse to hire someone on the basis of his/her/hir sexuality--that is over half the country. In 41 states, it is legal to fire or refuse to hire someone on the basis of his/her/hir gender expression, and the transgendered community reports upwards of 60% unemployment rates.

Legal protection of a similar nature is already in place for most other minorities, so to me, this feels like the next logical step. ENDA has already been delayed once, and there has been some speculation as to whether or not the bill will still include transgendered people. The letter our petition is based on demands ENDA's prompt passage and asks that it remain trans-inclusive.

Hopefully, our petition will gain momentum through facebook, the internet in general, and word of mouth. We hope to gain signees from all over the country so we can send the letter with signatures from each state's citizens to all of our senators and state representatives. It will only take a minute of your time, and hopefully it will help encourage our government to pay attention to the immediate needs of its people.

The website for the petition is: http://www.signonamerica.org

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