5 of the 12 House Democrats from Texas have failed to sign on as co-sponsors of ENDA

Cuellar, Green, Ortiz, Rodriguez voted in favor of 2007 bill

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, currently has 202 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to the Human Rights Campaign. The bill needs 216 votes to pass the House.

Five House Democrats who are uncommitted on ENDA — and haven’t signed on as co-sponsors — are from Texas. Four of those five voted in favor of ENDA in 2007, when the bill didn’t include gender identity.

HRC this week unveiled Countdown 2010, a grassroots initiative aimed at urging congressional action on both ENDA and  repeal of “don’t ask don’t tell.” And HRC listed Texas as one of the states where it will be focusing its efforts on ENDA.

This is a likely indication that HRC believes these five Democrats need to hear from their constituents about supporting a fully inclusive ENDA — and that they need to hear from them soon. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has promised a vote on ENDA by the end of the year.

With that, here are phone numbers for the Washington offices of the five House Democrats from Texas who haven’t signed on as ENDA co-sponsors. If you live in one of their districts, you may want to give them a call. You may also want to contact them via the Countdown 2010 website. All except for Chet Edwards voted in favor of ENDA in 2007.

Rep. Henry Cuellar (Laredo, Mission, Rio Grande City, San Antonio, Seguin): 202-225-1640

Rep. Chet Edwards (Waco, Bryan, Cleburne): 202-225-6105

Rep. Gene Green (Houston, Baytown): 202-225-1688

Rep. Solomon Ortiz (Corpus Christi, Brownsville): 202-225-7742

Rep. Ciro Rodriguez (San Antonio, Eagle Pass, Fort Stockton, Del Rio): 202-225-4511

—  John Wright

Open letter to several Texas Congressmen

Ret. Col. Stewart Bornhof
Ret. Col. Stewart Bornhoft

Dave Gainer forwarded the following letter to us from retired army colonel Stewart Bornhoft.

He wrote that it was his hope that Texas representatives Joe Barton, Chet Edwards, Gene Green and Dr. “No” Burgess read the letter.

To the 194 Representatives, the 12 Senators, and the 4 Service Chiefs who now find themselves in a minority, we know how you feel.  We’ve been there.

When you cast your vote or wrote your letters this week to prolong the prejudice and hypocrisy of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, you made a decision that put you on the wrong side of history. There are those in the majority who now are eager to “name and shame” you, but I suggest a higher path. While you shall certainly be held accountable, you still have a chance to set a better course.  Act now to voice your support for the goals of the Pentagon Working Group and the policies that will implement honest and open service. We extend a hand to you, hoping you will not push it way and remain sitting in the path of progress, but instead take that hand, stand, and walk forward with us.  We will all get there faster.

—  David Taffet