“There is still a lot of work to do” before DOMA will be repealed. “Look at the trouble we’re having with ENDA.” he added. But [Brian] Bond conceded that there are inconsistencies in President Obama’s positions. In response, Morgan Meneses-Sheets, executive director of Equality Maryland, stated, “Respectfully, we need President Obama to push for full inclusion of the LGBT community on ENDA, on marriage- we need the full get, not the lesser get. The highest office in the land sets the tone for the whole country.” Bond agreed, but expressed frustration at the often intense criticism levied, particularly by bloggers, against an administration that is “99 percent supportive of your issues.

~As quoted in Pam’s House Blend‘s Extra, extra: the White House is frustrated by ‘gay bloggers’ (emphasis added)

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is a big deal for the transgender subcommunity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community. If you ask most trans-identified people what the current, most important national issue is for our subcommunity, the answer will more often than not be ENDA. That we don’t have either the House or Senate currently working with any diligence to pass ENDA — that LGBTQ community still has no idea what the “bathroom language” that Rep. Barney Frank and other House member will be attaching to a final version of ENDA is going to look like, and that the President Obama has failed to be a leader and “fierce advocate” for a fully inclusive version of ENDA…

Well, I’m left wondering if our politicians know the difference between the political grapes and lettuce of the LGBTQ civil rights movement regarding employment, and the actual people who are left oppressed when Congress and the White House fail to show leadership on LGBTQ employment issues. Congress sees an LGBT employment bill; I see the oppressed people who are impacted by the passage or non-passage LGBTQ employemnt bill.

I know I’m left with that question of what I do — what do we do as a community beyond what we’ve been doing this whole session of Congress — to further passage of ENDA.

This is what GetEqual — the organization I recently joined the board of directors for — is doing with regards to ENDA:

It’s the ENDA Summer

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Image: GetEqual's ENDA Summer Campaign GraphicWe’re heading into the end of summer, and there has been both an eerie silence from Congress and whispers of surrender from the White House about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Despite these challenges from our elected leaders, GetEQUAL is determined to pull out all the stops to get ENDA passed in 2010.

We’ve heard promises for 40 years that this legislation will be passed – but we have a moral obligation to speak out while it is still perfectly legal for employers in 29 states to fire someone for their sexual orientation and in 38 states to fire someone for their gender identity or expression.

Our elected leaders tell us that this legislation is “complicated” and we should continue waiting.

But while Members of Congress are back in their home districts trying to save their jobs, we are left waiting for legislation that would safeguard ours. There are millions of LGBTQ Americans who are at risk of losing their jobs, at a moment’s notice, because there are no federal job protections in place.

Join the “ENDA Summer” campaign today: http://www.getequal.org/endasummer

This isn’t a legislative issue – this is a moral issue. And we’re targeting legislators in specific states who have not yet shown the moral courage to support this legislation.

We’re tired of legislators telling us that basic job protections for LGBTQ Americans are politically inconvenient – that some are more concerned with securing their own jobs than those of their constituents. We’re tired of being asked to wait – we’ve been waiting for 40 years.

GetEQUAL has created a targeted list of legislators who we think need to hear from you in order to pass this legislation in 2010, as promised. [1] Every day that this legislation is not passed, there are LGBTQ Americans scared to be “out” at work, fearful of losing work stability, discriminated against for not conforming to gender stereotypes, or fired for acting “too gay.”

Join the “ENDA Summer” campaign today: http://www.getequal.org/endasummer

We appreciate your ongoing commitment to taking bold action to secure LGBTQ equality, and we look forward to connecting you with our local organizers on the ground in your state!

Get Out! Get Active! GetEQUAL!

Robin McGehee

Co-Founder and Director, GetEQUAL


For me, it is ENDA Summer time.
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