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WASHINGTON – National direct-action LGBT civil rights organization GetEQUAL on Aug. 20 announced the launch of its grassroots “ENDA Summer” campaign. Designed to target representatives and senators from several key states, the campaign will focus on passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act by the end of th year. The 2010 target date for passage comes from repeated promises by Democratic House and Senate leadership that a vote on ENDA would be scheduled this year.
Recently, GetEQUAL released a timeline showing decades of broken promises and excuses from elected officials that have led to the stalling of any federal protections being in place for LGBT workers. The timeline can be viewed in its entirety at: www.getequal.org/endatimeline.
In an e-mail sent out launching ENDA Summer, GetEQUAL co-founder and Director Robin McGehee wrote, “We’re heading into the end of summer, and there has been both an eerie silence from Congress and whispers of surrender from the White House about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Despite these challenges from our elected leaders, GetEQUAL is determined to pull out all the stops to get ENDA passed in 2010.”
“This isn’t a legislative issue – this is a moral issue,” McGehee continued, “and we’re targeting legislators in specific states who have not yet shown the moral courage to support this legislation. We’re tired of legislators telling us that basic job protections for LGBTQ Americans are politically inconvenient – that some are more concerned with securing their own jobs than those of their constituents. We’re tired of being asked to wait. We’ve been waiting for 40 years.”
GetEQUAL has identified local organizers in each state who will spearhead this campaign. Those who sign up to join the “ENDA Summer” campaign will submit their contact information and will be paired with a local organizer in their particular state in order to obtain more information about actions planned in that state and how they can get involved.
The 15 targeted states include Arkansas, California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Tennessee.
In addition to this latest national ENDA Summer campaign, GetEQUAL has continued to make the passage of ENDA a cornerstone piece of its legislative priorities by pushing federal lawmakers to make good on their promises to the LGBT community that this 40-year-old piece of legislation would be scheduled for a vote in 2010.
GetEQUAL has staged sit-ins in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Washington, D.C., office, inside the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, and across Las Vegas Boulevard – all calling for the passage of ENDA in 2010. Those actions, along with two GetEQUAL-sponsored protests at Speaker Pelosi’s San Francisco district office, were designed to draw attention to the unfulfilled promises of both the Democratic House speaker’s and Senate majority leader’s promises to the LGBT community that ENDA would receive a vote before the legislative session ends in 2010. To view footage from the U.S. Capitol Rotunda protest, Las Vegas Boulevard protest, and others, go to http://www.youtube.com/getequal.
To get involved with the ENDA Summer campaign, visit http://www.getequal.org/endasummer.