CommunityPam's House Blend

LGBT groups issue joint statement on the continuing ENDA delays by Congress

ENDA is basically dead for 2009 based on the signals coming from the Hill; it’s nice to know that this Congress believes that employment protections for LGBT employees are a back burner issue and those who vulnerable and without any state protections can continue to twist in the wind. LGBT orgs registered their anger in a joint press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 4, 2009

LGBT AMERICANS OUTRAGED AT DELAY IN BASIC JOB RIGHTS

In light of continuing delays in the House of Representatives, we must state clearly and unequivocally: Passing basic job protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people must happen now. At a time when our government is deeply focused on the critical issue of employment, it is inexcusable to delay action on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Each and every job lost to prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity needlessly compounds the unemployment challenges facing our nation. We call on Congress for the immediate passage of ENDA.

For decades now, we have called upon Congress to pass legislation to address the basic right of LGBT people to work free from discrimination at our jobs, and now Congress tells us we must wait another year. In 29 states, it remains legal to fire people based on sexual orientation and in 38 states, discrimination based on gender identity remains legal. In failing to take swift action to pass ENDA, our government allows unfettered bigotry to go unchecked, leading to the loss of jobs, fear in the workplace, economic instability, and personal hardship, while allowing employers to lose competent experienced workers. ENDA is urgently needed by our communities.

The majority of Americans consistently state their support for employment protections and voters have affirmed similar state and local measures. There is absolutely no reason for Congress to continue to delay this non-controversial bill or drop LGBT issues to the bottom of their agenda. We will not be denied basic rights any longer.  Nothing is more important than protecting peoples’ jobs so ENDA must pass now. Further delays are absolutely unacceptable.

Matthew Coles & James Esseks, Co-Directors, American Civil Liberties Union LGBT Project
Terry Stone, Executive Director, CenterLink: The Community of LGBT Centers
Toni Broaddus, Executive Director, Equality Federation
Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director, Family Equality Council
Lee Swislow, Executive Director, Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders
Jarrett Tomás Barrios, President, Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
Joe Solmonese, President, Human Rights Campaign
Rachel T. Niven, Executive Director, Immigration Equality
Earl Fowlkes, President/CEO, International Federation of Black Prides, Inc.
Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director, Lambda Legal
Christian Berle, Director of the Log Cabin Republicans National Office
Sharon J. Lettman, Executive Director/CEO, National Black Justice Coalition
Kate Kendell, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights
Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality
Rebecca Fox, Executive Director, National Coalition for LGBT Health
Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund
Michael Mitchell, Executive Director, National Stonewall Democrats
Gregory Varnum, Executive Director, National Youth Advocacy Coalition
Selisse Berry, Founding Executive Director, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
Jody Huckaby, Executive Director, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) National
Jo Kenny, Interim Director, Pride at Work AFL-CIO
Masen Davis, Executive Director, Transgender Law Center

Media Contacts:

Calla Devlin Rongerude                                
Communications Director
NCLR
415.392.6257 x324
Mobile: 415.205.2420
cdevlin@nclrights.org        

Justin Tanis
Communications
NCTE
202.903.0112
Mobile: 505.610.7812
jtanis@nctequality.org        

Brad Luna
Communications Director
Human Rights Campaign
202-216-1514
Mobile: 202-812-8140
brad.luna@hrc.org

Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
646.358.1463
Mobile: 202.641.5592
isorensen@theTaskForce.org

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