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ENDA Update - What You Can Do Today
by National Center for Lesbian Rights
Thursday Oct 11th, 2007 12:57 PM
The recent revisions to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)
have left us with a bill that no competent attorney representing the
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community would ever
support.
Dear Friend of NCLR,

The recent revisions to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)
have left us with a bill that no competent attorney representing the
lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community would ever
support. Over 300 LGBT and other civil rights and community
organizations are on record as opposing the new version of ENDA for a
number of very compelling reasons. In just the short past two weeks we
have seen an unprecedented mobilization in our community. We are
united in our support for ONLY a fully-inclusive ENDA. In the past ten
days our community has flooded congress with over 15,000 calls and
letters. DO NOT STOP NOW. This show of strength is inspiring and a
harbinger of what we can do in the future if we harness and maintain
this collective vision of justice for all.

As a legal organization, our opposition to the stripped bill is
grounded in the reality of the cases we have seen and the stories of
clients we have heard over the years.

It is critical that we all stay engaged with ENDA by calling our
representatives--even if you have called them already. Our voices
need to be heard now more than ever. Click here for details on how to
stay in contact with your representative.

http://www.nclrights.org/site/R?i=0e3nW_zss5_UQUmORcNweg..

If you live in one of the following districts your representative has
been identified as a critical vote: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas,
California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota,
Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North
Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina,
South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

We have been working with our colleague organizations for years to
pass an Employment Non-Discrimination Act that will protect the
victims of discrimination we see every day. For years, we have also
made clear to key leaders in Congress that including gender identity
in ENDA is the only way to protect all of us. The loopholes in the new
bill are not only based on the removal of gender identity, the section
of ENDA which provided a religious exemption to some employers, has
been broadened to encompass hospitals and universities run by
"faith-based" groups. Under the new version, employers do
not have to provide equal benefits to LGBT workers.

Your representatives need to hear from you now. If you have already
called, please call again. If you have not yet made a call, make this
the first time. Tell your representative to only vote for an inclusive
bill.

NCLR, Lambda Legal, the ACLU LGBT Project, Gay & Lesbian Advocates
& Defenders, and the Transgender Law Center are all unified in our
opposition to a bill that will leave many lesbian, gay, and
bisexual--as well as transgender employees--with no redress
if fired from their jobs or unfairly denied employment. Collectively,
our organizations have litigated more cases on behalf of lesbian, gay,
bisexual, and transgender people in the United States than anyone
else, including handling scores of employment discrimination cases
over the past three decades.

The revised ENDA marks a major step backwards in the development of
laws that protect LGBT employees from discrimination. By dropping
"gender identity" from the bill, this enormously important
law completely betrays the transgender community. Our transgender
brothers and sisters have stood with this movement from our earliest
beginnings. Transgender individuals lose jobs, are rejected from
consideration for employment, and are passed over for promotion at
greater rates than lesbian, gay, or bisexual employees.

But the removal of "gender identity" is not devastating to
just transgender people. It will affect all of us who are lesbian,
gay, or bisexual. How? In ways we have seen time and again: under the
revised ENDA employers can claim--they have before and we know
they will again--that a firing was based not on sexual
orientation, but rather on an employee's failure to act feminine or
masculine enough. This kind of sex stereotyping is at the root of much
of the discrimination against lesbians and gay men.

We have been working with our colleague organizations for years to
pass an Employment Non-Discrimination Act that will protect the
victims of discrimination we see every day. For years, we have also
made clear to key leaders in Congress that including gender identity
in ENDA is the only way to protect all of us. The loopholes in the new
bill are not only based on the removal of gender identity, the section
of ENDA which provided a religious exemption to some employers has
been broadened to encompass hospitals and universities run by
"faith-based" groups. Under the new version, employers do
not have to provide equal benefits to LGBT workers.

There is no good reason to support this inferior, flawed, and
unacceptable version of ENDA. Over a dozen states have passed laws
that include gender identity. We cannot and should not accept a
federal law which is riddled with loopholes when we can and have been
successful in passing laws that truly do protect us all from
discrimination on the job. NCLR and our colleagues are committed to
fighting for everyone in our community. We are committed to fighting
for not only the best ENDA we can get, but the ENDA we all deserve.

With hope,

Kate

NCLR's ENDA Action Page
http://www.nclrights.org/site/R?i=ePFUNb9OHjWJM6CJPX5ZPA..

ENDA: get the facts
http://www.nclrights.org/site/R?i=fo3fTgKNs85YBCEZczCa6g..

NCLR's legal analysis
http://www.nclrights.org/site/R?i=e0DXqr-YTeQt8TGn-PMXsQ..
style=

United ENDA
http://www.nclrights.org/site/R?i=yyNtBMrrYXGxOIeujMLcSw..

NCLR National
Office 415.392.6257 | Southern
Regional
Office 727.490.4260 | Washington,
D.C., Regional
Office 202.737.0012 | Complete
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Strippped bill good ideaStepThursday Oct 11th, 2007 2:53 PM