With ENDA getting closer and closer to death's door, these statewide nondiscrimination laws become all that much more important. H1728 in Massachusetts, GENDA in New York, the trans inclusive bills in Wisconsin, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Nevada, Maryland and Delaware ALL need to be fought for. They need to be fought for BEFORE marriage equality (in the states where is isn't the law already) so that TBLG people can be assured of a fair chance at employment because they need it for survival's sake and because an employed person has more economic power to support the fight for equal protections and equal treatment for all of the other issues that affect their community.
I've been unemployed now for 17 months. At least one job opportunity has been denied me because of who I am, never mind that I was extremely well qualified for the job. I'm sure other opportunities have been lost because of discrimination as well - I've sent out hundreds of applications - but this is one that I am certain was denied me because of trans/homophobia and misogyny. This harmful discrimination is legal in New York State, Massachusetts and in 36 other states in a country whose ideal is supposed to be equal protections for all people, not just the "right" people.
The cowardly politicians will never move on these laws as long as they hear more from the radical (ie fascist) "religious" right wing than they hear from the GLTB and allied communities. We have to drown out the hateful propaganda from groups like the "Traditional Values Coalition," "Focus on the Family," "MassResistence" or the "New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms" and the only way to do that is to get off your inertia, pick up the phone or a pen and call/write/visit your legislative representatives to tell them how important these bills are and how egregiously wrong their opponents are. Most people support equality when the whole truth is given to them but they won't get it if we stay silent.
Speak out for your community!
Speak out for your GLBT friends and family!
Speak out for yourself!