Monday, December 7, 2009

Take Action and Push Faltering ENDA!

As we approach the holiday season and the end of the year, the momentum behind the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is dropping.

29 states, including North Carolina, let you be fired because you're lesbian, gay, or bisexual. Thirty-eight states, including North Carolina, let you be fired for being transgender.

ENDA would help ensure that people's employment is based on the quality of their work, not their sexual orientation or gender identity.

You can take action now on this national issue. Go to:
(And if you'd be interested in doing some statewide phone-banking here in the ENC office during the day on Wed, 12/9, let us know: e-mail me at

On Friday, a coalition of national groups joined together to encourage action on this important issue. Equality NC and other state groups have since signed onto the statement as well. A copy of the press release is below.

There's a saying:

"The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago;
the second best time is right now."

The same is true of taking action for employment nondiscrimination.


December 4, 2009


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
Lisa Kove, Executive Director, DOD Federal Globe
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
Caleb Laieski, Director of Legislative Affairs, GLUAD
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

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