Bad news: ENDA has been shelved. Congress is putting off voting on ENDA (the Employment Non-Discrimination Act) until the beginning of 2010 -- when election-year pressures will make it harder than ever to get this important legislation passed.
It is now more urgent than ever to call and write your senators and representatives to demand that they pass ENDA now. Below is the e-mail that I just sent, for your inspiration:
Dear [Decision Maker],It is unacceptable that today -- in the 21st Century -- it is still legal for employers to discriminate on the basis of actual or suspected sexual orientation or gender identity. This is the state of affairs in a time when unemployment is high and jobs are hard to come by. In 29 states, it's still legal to fire a person because of their sexual orientation, and in 38 states, it's still legal to fire someone for their gender identity or expression. I know you've heard these statistics before, but please take a moment to really think about them. Legalized discrimination against any minority in 2009 is simply absurd. And now I hear from my friends in the LGBT community that Congress is willing to let the discrimination continue into 2010, when election-year pressures may make it more difficult to get ENDA passed.Over the course of our history, Americans have made great strides in fighting the egregiousness of institutionalized oppression. Anyone who still supports racial segregation, for example, is rightfully marginalized in today's society as reactionary and bigoted. The American people have finally overcome enough deep-rooted prejudice to elect a qualified man of a mixed racial background to the office of U.S. President. Even so, to say that our society is "post-racial" is laughable at best, but at least no respectable American would suggest that we return to a state of blatant, legal racial discrimination.The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said in 1967 that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice." That is true, but we've waited long enough. Dr. King also said that "the time is always ripe to do right." Please do your part to create a more just society now by supporting ENDA (H.R. 3017 / S. 1584) and bringing this important bill to a vote sooner rather than later.Thank you, and may you have a warm and happy holiday season.Sincerely,[Your Constituent]