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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

ENDA Passes House of Representatives

The version that passed is not the completely inclusive version. This was posted to the Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota EList by President Alan Shilepski. Alan deserves some credit for raising the issue with Ramstad, as does David Strand, who raised the issue publicly at a town meeting. I have forwarded this message to Peter LaBarbera of Americans for Truth and Tom Prichard of the Minnesota Family Council for comment.

Another surprise vote is Colin Peterson, who was one of the original co-sponsors of the Federal Marriage Amendment. Kudos to Colin Peterson.

I am thrilled to report that ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) passed the US House of Representatives, and that Congressperson Jim Ramstad from Minnesota was one of the 35 Republicans voting to support it.

On October 11 Minnesota Log Cabin Republicans had called his office and also emailed our hopes that he would consider supporting this bill. We had earlier passed out post cards at Pride for people to mail their Representatives in support of this legislation.

Now things will move to the US Senate.

Alan Shilepsky
MN Log Cabin Republicans
www.mnlogcabin.org

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: "Log Cabin Republicans"
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2007 23:58:35 GMT
Subject: BREAKING NEWS - Historic Legislation Passes US House

Log Cabin Praises Bi-Partisan House Passage of Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

35 Republicans Vote for Historic Legislation Providing Workplace Fairness

(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin Republicans praise the U.S. House of Representatives for bi-partisan passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The law, which would prohibit discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation, passed the U.S. House by a vote of 235 -184.

"This historic day marks tremendous progress in efforts to provide basic fairness for gay and lesbian Americans," said Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon. "This long overdue bill makes it very clear that what matters in the workplace is competence and fairness—not sexual orientation."

35 Republicans voted to pass the bill, which is the most significant piece of gay rights legislation Congress has ever passed.

Log Cabin, which has consistently supported ENDA, worked hard to gain Republican votes. "We thank all those courageous Republicans who stood up to do the right thing," said Sammon. We especially thank lead co-sponsors Representatives Christopher Shays (R-CT) and Deborah Pryce (R-OH), as well as the other original co-sponsors of ENDA."

Speaking on the floor of the U.S. House, Rep. Pryce said, "gay Americans currently hold the dubious distinction of being the only segment of our workforce that can be overtly denied an opportunity to contribute to our economy and to earn a living....The concept of ENDA, the fundamental American right to earn a living, should be a principle around which everyone in this chamber, regardless of party or ideology, should be eager to embrace."

Log Cabin members across the country filled out postcards to their members of Congress urging them to vote "yes" on ENDA. Log Cabin also worked hard lobbying GOP members of Congress on this bill.

This bill has strong support among the American people, including Republicans. A June 2007 poll by GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio showed that an overwhelming 77% of Republicans believe an employer should not have the right to fire an employee based solely on their sexual orientation.

In 30 states, it is legal to fire someone for being gay. "Today's bi-partisan vote shows this is clearly an issue that crosses party lines. ENDA is a common sense bill supported by the vast majority of Americans," said Sammon. "We ask the Senate to move ahead on passage of this bill and when the bill reaches President Bush's desk, we urge him to sign it."

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Log Cabin Republicans is the nation's largest organization of Republicans who support fairness, freedom, and equality for gay and lesbian Americans. Log Cabin has state and local chapters nationwide, full-time offices in Washington, DC and Sacramento, CA, a federal political action committee and state political action committees.

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