LGBT/T Americans Outraged At Delay In Basic Job Rights

Press Release – December 4th, 2009


Washington, DC – 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

Additional organizations may be added.


Jenna Lowenstein

Director of Communications


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