Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Rep. Barney Frank Re-Introduces ENDA

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) has reintroduced the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
The bill currently has 111 cosponsors; some are making bones of the fact that there are 92 fewer cosponsors than in the 111th Congress, but considering the fact that Democrats lost 63 seats in the Republican Wave of 2010, this is not terribly surprising.
And as Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Rights, tells Metro Weekly:

"We know we lost more than 40 of our co-sponsors to the election, so this isn't especially disturbing that not everyone is signed on as co-sponsors yet," she said. "It's not like today was some sort of a deadline. There will be more in the next couple of days. If you look through the list, you're going to find some obvious people who want to be and will be co-sponsors and just haven't gotten around to it yet."
Frank calls the reintroduction an "organizing tool," and when I spoke with Keisling a few days ago she confirmed that introducing the bill is the best way to ensure that lobbyists can meet with the various members of Congress to talk to them about the bill; our representatives are a bit busy to meet with lobbyists about a bill that hasn't even been introduced.

While ENDA is obviously not going to pass under Republican Congressional leadership, we have the next 1.5 years to reach a critical mass of incumbents who support the bill.  If we do the lobbying and educational work now, it will make passing ENDA that much easier when we have a favorable political climate.  Let's start a strong push for ENDA today, so that when we have a pro-equality majority tomorrow, we'll be ahead of schedule.

Why don't you take a moment to call your representative and ask him or her to cosponsor this very important legislation - or thank them if they already do.

No comments:

Post a Comment