WASHINGTON - Last night, the Human Rights Campaign's Board of Directors voted to reaffirm the 2004 policy supporting a fully inclusive version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Therefore, HRC will not support the newly introduced sexual orientation only bill. The board's position articulates a process for continued dialogue with House leaders about strategies that have been put forth to, in the end, achieve passage of a fully inclusive ENDA.
"We are now faced with definitive Congressional action to move forward a version of the bill stripping gender identity. Though we support a fully inclusive ENDA, we acknowledge the legislative strategy put forth by Congressman Frank and the Democratic leadership to obtain a clear path towards an inclusive bill in the future," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. "We look forward to working with them to accomplish the goal all of us share - ending workplace discrimination against the entire GLBT community."
"Since 2004, HRC has had in place a policy that supports only a fully inclusive version of ENDA and the Board of Directors voted to reaffirm that position," Solmonese continued. "Therefore, we are not able to support, nor will we encourage Members of Congress to vote against, the newly introduced sexual orientation only bill. And will continue working with our allies in Congress to support a comprehensive, legislative strategy to achieve passage of a fully inclusive ENDA as quickly as possible."
The Human Rights Campaign has been and continues to be on the front lines actively and exhaustively advocating for an inclusive piece of legislation that protects all members of our community. HRC has led the charge on Capitol Hill for an inclusive bill and has focused grassroots organizing in 40 congressional districts across the country targeting moderate Members of Congress to educate them on the need for a bill protecting the entire GLBT community.
"For more than a decade HRC has been aggressively working to secure employment protections for the entire gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Even in the dark days of anti-gay leadership in Congress, we moved Corporate America forward because we refused to accept that progress wasn't possible. And today, we again reject the notion that progress isn't possible by rededicating our efforts to specifically educate members of Congress on the need for gender identity protections in the workplace," said Solmonese.
"Some may say we should have joined the growing chorus of public dissenters earlier. We believed, and still do, that the correct course of action was to continue dialogue with our allies on the Hill and work to the last minute to effect change," said Solmonese. "That decision, in addition to yesterday's letter signed by GLBT and civil rights organizations, paid off when we were able to engage in direct conversations that resulted in a guarantee from House leadership to postpone the mark-up until later this month."
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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