The House of Representatives will vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in September. During the August recess, it’s really important that we all keep pushing members of the House to pass a fully inclusive HR 3017. According to Jillian Weiss, we need 218 votes to pass ENDA, and we have 205 confirmed members of the House on record to vote in favor of HR 3017. But that leaves 13 votes that we still need to confirm.
Transgender Americans are three times as likely to be unemployed as cis-gendered folks. We all need jobs to pay our bills and buy the occasional latte. An ENDA that doesn’t include protections for gender presentation doesn’t even really help lesbian and gay folks, because no one is going to be fired for displaying their sexual orientation. Most likely people will be fired for being too effeminate if they’re a guy or too masculine if they’re a woman. That’s gender identity, ya’ll. Sexual orientation is what happens in the bedroom (or in the back seat of your car, or in the walk-in freezer at work . . . HAWT!)
Sign up for Legislator of the Day e-mail alerts so that you can help us get the votes we need. But don’t just sign up for the alerts and then delete them from your inbox – you actually need to send an e-mail every day. It will only take a minute or two. Surely you could send 5 fewer Tweets each day to accommodate one e-mail for an important piece of legislation. The National Center for Transgender Equality has a great toolkit that you can download to get up to speed on the ins and outs of ENDA. Use the toolkit to craft the text of the e-mail that you plan to send out. And don’t forget to contact your own representatives, even if they’re already one of the confirmed yes votes. Remind them that you are counting on their support.