While I hold no illusions as to the reach of this blog I cannot but add my voice, however faint, to the roar of support the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA, HR 3017) is getting today in the blogosphere. With the continuing delays in Albany for the Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act (GENDA) this bill is vital to New York's gender variant community as well as for all of us around the country. Especially now, when the NY legislature is all wrapped up in the budget mess, GENDA will be ignored for at least until afterward, and even longer if (as I suspect) it's used as a bargaining chip in that debate.
Employment protections for the BTLG always seem to be the last item on everyone's list but our own. One of the many reasons is because we have so few voices in our capitols. So few of us seem to be willing to make that phone call or send that email in order to agitate for our due. For many of us a big reason we don't is fear, fear of being outed and suffering the consequences of being outed among which are being fired from our jobs because we don't have any recourse to that kind of legal discrimination against us. Our political opponents, those who wish to force us off the map of social inclusion, know this and that's why they fight so hard against it. If we have jobs we feel safe in, we can then contribute all the more easily to the fight for marriage and immigrant reform and all the other issues that concern us but we can't even start if we are chronically un- or underemployed or afraid we will lose our livelihood if we speak out.
ENDA would be a big first step then to all of the other equality measures we are fighting for. We need to make our voices heard. We don't have to come out to do this either, we can call, voice our support for ENDA and leave it at that - our orientation or gender identity do not have to be mentioned. It may help to talk about those things if you feel comfortable about it but it certainly isn't a requirement.
So we need to call Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, to ask her to give the go ahead for this bill to be marked up and sent to the floor of the house and if your representative isn't yet a cosponsor or a vocal supporter of ENDA you need to call them too. Ms Peolsi's number is 202-225-4965 I keep getting a busy signal and I will keep trying until I get through.
From Jillian Weiss, at The Bilerico Project:
Let's call and call and then call again - we need to be a thorn in her side about this, otherwise she'll think she can still safely ignore us. Please, do it now!
Will you join with us in asking that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people be protected from job discrimination?
Please call Speaker Nancy Pelosi at 202-225-4965. Ask that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, HR 3017, move to a vote.
Please be polite, but firm.
After you call, please tell us how the call went by clicking here. If you get a busy signal or hang up, let us know that too.
If you want more information on Speaker Pelosi's position on ENDA as stated by her office, you can find it here
Let's work together to let Speaker Pelosi know that we want action now!