ENDA Advocacy: Putting Faith Into Action
January 14, 2010
This update on our continuing organizing around the Employment Non-Discrimination Act comes from David Hurley, currently in New Jersey:
This past Sunday I was invited to speak to Skylands Unitarian Universalist Fellowship to talk about ENDA and the faith community’s responsibilities to speak up and take action in support of fair workplaces on behalf of our LGBT brothers and sisters all across this nation. Skylands Fellowship sits in northern New Jersey’s 11th congressional district. Sunday turned out to be a beautiful, yet very cold morning in New Jersey. I woke up early to prepare my thoughts and then headed to the congregation shortly after 10 a.m. I take the responsibility of speaking about ENDA and my faith to a congregation very seriously and I must admit I was a little nervous at first. As soon as I walked into Linda Bonk’s congregation, the President of Skylands, all my nerves faded away. I can’t begin to describe how warm and inclusive Skylands Fellowship is. You can feel the love and the family atmosphere the second you walk in the door. There were many children present as well which really brightened my day. It made me feel so good to know that these children are being raised and exposed to such open and loving beliefs. As a man of faith, I do believe we have a responsibility to speak up about ENDA and look out for our LGBT brothers and sisters that are not as fortunate to live in states like New Jersey that has laws protecting its LGBT community. New Jersey is one of only 12 states with full employment protection for LGBT workers. I commend New Jersey. Over the last 35 years New Jersey has been one of the leading states in the nation with laws that protect and support the lives of its LGBT citizens regarding non-discrimination in employment, housing and civil unions, adoption, custody and visitation, hate crimes and bullying and abuse in its schools. Sunday’s last treat was having the opportunity to meet Terry McCorkell and Babs Casbar Siperstein, two of New Jersey greatest transgender activists. They heard HRC was speaking to Skylands Fellowship and came to participate in the ENDA discussion. Babs and Terry have been working tirelessly to pass ENDA for all Americans; I greatly respect their work. It was a great honor for me to meet the two of them and I very much look forward to working with the both of them to pass ENDA once and for all. And of course, after all was said and done, many in the congregation wrote letters in support of ENDA to the Congressman. Start the new year strong and contact your legislator to urge them to support ENDA! Do it now by going to www.passENDAnow.org.
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