Post submitted by Karin Quimby, former HRC Deputy Director, Project One America
As the ENDA campaign in Arkansas ramps up, thousands of Arkansans have already weighed in with Senator Pryor, urging him to vote for the Employment Nondiscrimination Act when it comes up for a vote on the Senate floor this fall. Our field organizers, and local volunteers from organizations like the Center for Artistic Revolution, are engaging people like the Mayor of Fayetteville, Lioneld Jordan, transgender leaders, the attendees at an Indigo Girls concert at Hendrix’s College and people of faith in churches across the state. They are writing letters, signing postcards, and making phone calls to the Senator.
Other supporters are weighing in publically in the press, like Karen Suen, who made the case, on behalf of her son, who is gay, in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Karen wrote about her son who grew up in Arkansas, attended St. James United Methodist Church, graduated from the historic Central High School, and is excelling in college in Chicago. He exudes happiness and joy, she wrote, but she worries that if he should choose to come home to Arkansas to work after he graduates he could get fired just because of who he is: “It breaks my heart to think that our laws make it risky for my son to come home and pursue a career in his home state.”
We are hoping that Senator Pryor will listen to a family friend like Karen Suen as well as to the thousands of constituents who have taken the time to contact him. We hope he will consider the polls that show ENDA is something that the American people support by huge margins: 70 percent of Republicans, 77 percent of observant Christians, and 72 percent of Deep South residents are for it according to a recent HRC poll. In Arkansas, nearly 65 percent of residents support it.