HRC Blog

Arkansans Speak Out on Transgender Workers Needing ENDA

Post submitted by Andrea Zekis

"We hate to see you go."   An employee expects to hear those words when they inform their boss of a new job or a move, but not a legal name change. Sadly, this is just one story of numerous cases of workplace discrimination experienced by transgender Arkansans.  
 
On Thursday, a small group joined together in Little Rock to ask U.S. Senator Mark Pryor to support passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.  Arkansas is one of 33 states that does not have employment protections that include gender identity, and Senator Pryor is one of a few Democratic Senators who has not indicated how he will vote on ENDA when it comes up for a vote.  The visit with the Senator's Deputy State Director in Little Rock focused on personal stories ranging from a woman who lost her job for coming out at work to a mother concerned about her child's future. Our stories were treated with sympathy and sensitivity by the Senator's staff member. She did not indicate where the Senator leaned on ENDA, even though she did mention his commitment to civil rights in Arkansas; however, the feelings expressed after the visit from the group were positive. Everyone was glad to have the opportunity to share why we each wanted the Senator's support for ENDA and grateful for the time to do so. I felt we made an impact sharing our touching, personal stories for ENDA.
 
For more information on the wide coalition supporting passage of ENDA, see Americans for Workplace Opportunity.
 

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