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Saturday, October 13, 2007

NGLTF Responds to Pelosi's Announcement

Task Force responds to the announcement from House Speaker Pelosi to go forward with a vote on a non-inclusive ENDA:

Statement from Matt Foreman, Executive Director National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“We completely disagree with this proposed strategy – it simply makes no sense. If the goal is moving an ENDA that protects all of us, passing a flawed, gay-only bill utterly undermines that objective. The notion that the House of Representatives will be willing to revisit a different ENDA before the end of the calendar year – when it has been unwilling or unable to take up a single pro-gay matter over the last 34 years - is more than implausible. We will do everything possible to convince members to end this misguided course of action.”

Human Rights Campaign:

Human Rights Campaign Secures Unprecedented Commitment from House Speaker for Vote on Inclusive ENDA

HRC Works with Speaker to Develop Solution to Bring Inclusive ENDA for a Vote Once Support Is Demonstrated by GLBT Community

WASHINGTON—The Human Rights Campaign has collaborated with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to craft a solution to the controversy surrounding the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Today, in a meeting with HRC and other gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy groups, Speaker Pelosi took an unprecedented step and committed to giving H.R. 2015, the fully-inclusive version of the bill, a floor vote in the House once enough support for it to pass has been secured. This commitment by the Speaker of the House is an unprecedented departure from the usual delays seen in Congress on an issue that will have already been considered by the full House.

Additionally, as the community continues to advocate and educate Members of Congress to secure enough commitments for final passage, the inclusive version of the legislation will receive committee hearings.

Although H.R. 3685, the version of the bill that provides workplace protections on the basis of sexual orientation only, will move to committee mark-up next week, Speaker Pelosi has given HRC her word that as soon as the commitments to pass a fully-inclusive ENDA are acquired, she will move that bill ahead.

“Speaker Pelosi’s promise to put a fully-inclusive ENDA to a vote continues to underline HRC’s passionate advocacy on behalf of the entire GLBT community,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “Our strategy throughout has been to stay at the table and fight for the ultimate goal that we all share. Today, that strategy has proven to be successful. With this commitment, the inclusive ENDA bill will continue to receive legislative action as it moves through the committee hearing process during the time HRC, and other coalition organizations, continue to advocate directly with Members to support this critical inclusive workplace protection bill.”

Solmonese continued, “Since the introduction of a sexual orientation only ENDA, HRC has ramped up its efforts to push for a fully inclusive ENDA that protects our whole community. Through calls to action to our supporters and frequent visits to Capitol Hill by our staff, Board of Directors and volunteers, HRC has fought hard to receive the kind of commitment that Speaker Pelosi gave us today.”

HRC has generated more that 80,000 calls, e-mails, letters and visits to Capitol Hill—more than any other GLBT or allied organization.

“Now the real work begins,” continued Solmonese. “We must maintain the momentum we have built up to persist in educating members of Congress and the public about issues facing the transgender community. HRC will continue to lead the lobbying and education campaign until we reach the goal we all share—workplace protections for the entire GLBT community.”

There is quite the discussion - promoting the inclusive ENDA over at Pam's House Blend.