ENDA (Again)

A few days ago, Barney Frank introduced HR 2981, a new version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which bans employment discrimination against anyone on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Unlike last time, this bill includes protections for transmen and transwomen. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that, according to drjillygirl at Pam’s House Blend, not enough Democrats are on board to pass the bill. As of two days ago, 48 Democrats are undecided on ENDA. They are:

Bobby Bright (AL), Parker Griffith (AL), Vic Snyder (AR), Dennis Cardoza (CA), Allen Boyd, (FL), Sanford Bishop (GA), David Scott (GA), Walt Minnick (ID), Bobby Rush (IL), Daniel Lipinksi (IL), Deborah Halvorsen (IL), Jerry Costello (IL), Peter Visclosky (IN), Joe Donnelly (IN), Brad Ellsworth (IN), Ben Chandler (KY), Frank Kratovil (MD), Dutch Ruppersberger (MD), Bart Stupak (MI), Mark Schauer (MI), Travis Childers (MS), Bennie Thompson (MS), Dina Titus (NV), Michael McMahon (NY), Scott Murphy (NY), Paul Tonko (NY), Daniel Maffei (NY), Earl Pomeroy (ND), Dan Boren (OK), Kathleen Dahlkemper (PA), Jason Altmire (PA), Christopher Carney (PA), Paul Kanjorski (PA), John Murtha (PA), John Spratt (SC), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD), Al Green (TX), Solomon Ortiz (TX), Henry Cuellar (TX), Gene Green (TX), Glenn Nye (VA), Bobby Scott (VA), Thomas Perriello (VA), Rick Boucher (VA), Gerald Connolly (VA), Alan Mollohan (WV), Ron Kind (WI), David Obey (WI).

You can find their email addresses here.

This should not be a hard bill to pass. The idea that people should not be able to lose their jobs because they are gay or transgender should not be controversial. For some reason that I do not understand, however, it seems to be.

And it’s really, really important. This might be our best shot at getting protection from employment discrimination for a lot of people who need it. It might also be our best shot at getting a bill passed that includes protection for transmen and transwomen. This really matters: my best stab at explaining why is here. Altogether too often, the burden of educating people about trans issues, and advocating for their rights, falls on trans people themselves. As I try to explain in that post, this is not fair. And now is a good time for those of us who are not trans to step up to the plate and explain to our representatives why this matters to us.

It’s not 1966 anymore. There is no excuse for the fact that it is still legal to discriminate against people on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. If your Representative is still on the fence, let him or her know how you feel.

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