(San Francisco, CA, December 4, 2009)—In light of continuing delays in the House of Representatives, we must state clearly and unequivocally: Passing basic job protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people must happen now. At a time when our government is deeply focused on the critical issue of employment, it is inexcusable to delay action on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). Each and every job lost to prejudice based on sexual orientation and gender identity needlessly compounds the unemployment challenges facing our nation. We call on Congress for the immediate passage of ENDA.

For decades now, we have called upon Congress to pass legislation to address the basic right of LGBTQ people to work free from discrimination at our jobs, and now Congress tells us we must wait another year. In 29 states, it remains legal to fire people based on sexual orientation and in 38 states, discrimination based on gender identity remains legal. In failing to take swift action to pass ENDA, our government allows unfettered bigotry to go unchecked, leading to the loss of jobs, fear in the workplace, economic instability, and personal hardship, while allowing employers to lose competent experienced workers. ENDA is urgently needed by our communities.

The majority of Americans consistently state their support for employment protections and voters have affirmed similar state and local measures. There is absolutely no reason for Congress to continue to delay this non-controversial bill or drop LGBTQ issues to the bottom of their agenda. We will not be denied basic rights any longer. Nothing is more important than protecting people’s jobs so ENDA must pass now. Further delays are absolutely unacceptable.

Elias Rojas, Board Chair, Alaskans Together for Equality

Matthew Coles & James Esseks, Co-Directors, American Civil Liberties Union LGBTQ Project

Jeanna Frazzini, Basic Rights Oregon

Terry Stone, Executive Director, CenterLink: The Community of LGBTQ Centers

Randi Romo, Executive Director, Center for Artistic Revolution

Lisa Kove, Excutive Director, DOD Federal Globe

Alan Van Capelle, Executive Director, Empire State Pride Agenda

Lynn G. Zeitlin, Executive Director, Equality Advocates Pennsylvania

Bob Palmatier, Board Chair, Equality Alabama

Robin Tyler, Executive Director, The Equality Campaign, Inc.

Geoff Kors, Executive Director, Equality California

Toni Broaddus, Executive Director, Equality Federation

Nadine Smith, Executive Director, Equality Florida

Rick Garcia, Director of Public Policy, and Bernard Cherkasov, Chief Executive Officer, Equality Illinois

Sandy Vopalka, President, Equality Iowa

Betsy Smith, Executive Director, EqualityMaine

Kathy L. Williams, Ph.D., Chair, The Equality Network

Ian Palmquist, Executive Director, Equality North Carolina

Paul Scott, Executive Director, Equality Texas

Connie Watts, Executive Director, Equal Rights Washington

Stephen Skinner, President, Fairness West Virginia

Katie Belanger, Executive Director, Fair Wisconsin

Jennifer Chrisler, Executive Director, Family Equality Council

Mary Griggs, Managing Director, Forum for Equality

Lee Swislow, Executive Director, Gay and Lesbian Advocates & Defenders

Jarrett Tomás Barrios, President, Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation

Caleb Laieski, Director of Legislative Affairs, Gays and Lesbians United Against Discrimination

Eliza Byard, Executive Director, Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network

Jeff Graham, Executive Director, Georgia Equality

Joe Solmonese, President, Human Rights Campaign

Rachel B. Tiven, Executive Director, Immigration Equality

Earl Fowlkes, President/CEO, International Federation of Black Prides, Inc.

Travis Myles, Board Chair, Kentucky Fairness Alliance

Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director, Lambda Legal

Christian Berle, Director, Log Cabin Republicans National Office

Gunner Scott, Executive Director, Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition

Scott Gortikov, Executive Director, MassEquality

Michael J. Adee, Executive Director, More Light Presbyterians

Sharon J. Lettman, Executive Director/CEO, National Black Justice Coalition

Kate Kendell, Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights

Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality

Rebecca Fox, Executive Director, National Coalition for LGBTQ Health

Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund

Michael Mitchell, Executive Director, National Stonewall Democrats

Gregory Varnum, Executive Director, National Youth Advocacy Coalition

Mo Baxley, Executive Director, New Hampshire Freedom to Marry

Laura Pople, President, New Jersey Lesbian and Gay Coalition

Paulin Park, Chair, New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy

Selisse Berry, Founding Executive Director, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

Amy Johnson, Executive Director, OutFront Minnesota

Jody Huckaby, Executive Director, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) National

Kathy Kelly, Executive Director, MEGA Family Project

Jo Kenny, Interim Director, Pride at Work AFL-CIO

C. Dray Drew, Executive Director, PROMO

Christopher Sanders, Tennessee Equality Project

Masen Davis, Executive Director, Transgender Law Center

Shane Morgan, Chair, TransOhio

Alicia Skilman, Executive Director, Triangle Foundation

Beth Robinson, Chair, Vermont Freedom to Marry Action Committee

Sherry Corbin, Chair, Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force

Additional organizations may be added.

The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.