(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.