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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | October 18, 2007

House Committe Advances ENDA Legislation That Splits LGBT Community

NCLR Joins 300 Other LGBT Organizations in Urging Support Only for an Inclusive ENDA that Includes Protections Based on Gender Identity and Expression


(Washington, D.C., October 18, 2007) — The House Committee on Education and Labor today passed HR-3685, the non-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill NCLR, and over 300 other organizations, cannot support because it abandons the transgender community. The first iteration of ENDA that was considered this session would have made it illegal to discriminate in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but the bill that passed out of committee today would allow transgender workers to suffer discrimination at work with no protection or recourse.

A gender identity-inclusive ENDA would not only protect transgender workers, but workers who are perceived to act inappropriately given their sex, such as someone called butch or effeminate.

“We are deeply disappointed that the committee has voted to move forward a bill (HR-3685) that is not supported by a single LGBT organization, and ignore a bill (HR-2015) that is fully supported by all LGBT organizations,” said NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter. “Today’s vote has an impact on real people who desperately need protection. Across this country, transgender people face extremely high rates of unemployment and homelessness due to employment discrimination. This is a crisis in our community, and one that state legislatures are taking action to address. We cannot possibly support a federal bill that leaves transgender people behind.”

More than 300 LGBT and other civil rights groups continue to urge community members to call, fax, and email their congressional representatives.

“Everyone should have the right to come to work knowing the only factor in employment decisions is their ability to do their job—no exceptions,” said ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Christopher Anders, “The LGBT community is a community, not a group of factions. We’re not fighting for a group—we’re fighting for all Americans to be free from discrimination at work, and we won’t support ENDA until all Americans are included.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.

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media contacts:

Erik Olvera
Director of Communications
National Center for Lesbian Rights
office: 415.392.6257 x324
EOlvera@NCLRights.org

Bethany Woolman
Communications Associate
National Center for Lesbian Rights
office: 415.392.6257 x305
BWoolman@NCLRights.org

Shannon Minter, Esq.
Legal Director
National Center for Lesbian Rights
Mobile: 415.595.2125
sminter@nclrights.org

Kate Kendell, Esq.
Executive Director
National Center for Lesbian Rights
415.392.6257 x307
Mobile: 415.595.2233
kkendell@nclrights.org

 

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