Inclusive ENDA Introduced! Urge Your Senators to Support Crucial Legislation

On August 5th, Senator Jeff Merkley (OR-D), joined by Senators Susan Collins (ME-R) and Edward M. Kennedy (MA-D), introduced the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill which would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees from workplace discrimination.  The bill would add sexual orientation and gender identity to existing federal employment non-discrimination laws.

Transgender people face tremendous discrimination in the workplace, and in these difficult economic times, it is imperative that Congress pass ENDA to ensure that transgender people, like all Americans, have an equal opportunity to participate in the workforce.

Currently, 12 states and more than 100 localities have LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination protections, covering nearly 40 percent of Americans. Additionally, more than 150 Fortune 500 companies have enacted nondiscrimination policies protecting LGBT workers. While these advancements have helped to protect workers in many places, many more remain unprotected.  The fact remains - in 38 states, you can be fired from your job because you are transgender.

There's no question about it.  ENDA's introduction in the Senate is exciting news. And it's our opportunity to make sure that every single person in the LGBT community is protected from workplace discrimination.  Here are a couple of things you can do:

Call Your Senators

Call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and have them connect you to your Senator (click here to find your Senator). Tell them: “I am a constituent and I would like you to please tell Senator _______ that I would like him/her to become a cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. ENDA would ban discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the workplace.”

Meet With Your Senators

The most effective way to convey your support for ENDA is to visit your Senator's office.  Because Senators will be home over the August recess, now is a great time to schedule a meeting with other community members and your Senator (or the Senator's staffers) in your local district office.  Click here to find contact information for district offices.  Sample meeting request letters, and other talking points and resources for your meetings, are available from our United ENDA coalition partners:

Let us know!

Let us know how your meeting went.  Download the Visit Report Form to tell us whether your Senator expressed support.