The Congressional Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions subcommittee today heard arguments for ENDA. Per PlanetOut:

Also known as HR2015, ENDA, introduced in April, would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote an employee based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force responded to this news today with a press release entitled Task Force, Inc., applauds House committee hearing on transgender-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act. An excerpt:

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., applauds the members of the House Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Subcommittee of the House Education and Labor Committee for holding a hearing today on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would protect against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The measure was introduced on April 24 by Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Chris Shays (R-Conn.).

The Task Force, Inc., was the first national organization to advocate for federal nondiscrimination protections when it worked with then-U.S. Reps. Bella Abzug and Ed Koch, both New York Democrats, to introduce a sweeping bill in 1974. The Task Force, Inc., has also played a leading role in ensuring ENDA is explicitly inclusive of transgender people. Eight years ago, the Task Force, Inc., vowed to oppose the legislation if it were not inclusive, prompting criticism from some community members and allies who felt the Task Force, Inc., was hindering ENDA’s progress. The Task Force, Inc., has remained steadfast and partnered with transgender activists and organizations to defend and secure a transgender-inclusive ENDA and has strongly encouraged lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender colleague organizations to do the same.

Let me, as a transwoman, applaud the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force‘s steadfast support for equality and diversity — even when support of transgender inclusion led to public condemnation.  Despite the critics, an inclusive ENDA looks to be on the way to passing both houses of congress.

And, lest we forget, let’s all applaud the Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions subcommittee for taking up the issues for the entire LGBT community today.

The time is always right to do what is right.
–Martin Luther King Jr.

Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen