Today is a day of mixed emotions for me. This morning the Senate passed by a 60-39 margin (John McCain R-AZ abstained) Sen. Ted Kennedy's (D-MA) Hate Crimes amendment to HR 1585 that covers transgender people like myself.
You'll recall the trip I made to DC last May in order to lobby in favor of HR 1592 (the Hate Crimes Bill) and HR 2015, the Employment Non Discrimination Act or ENDA. And that's a nice segue into the bad news part of this post.
During the night a Washington Blade story broke the news that there may be a move underway to cut transgender people out of HR 2015. That news has incensed myself and other transgender activists who have seen this scenario replayed over and over during the last decade.
Some gay and lesbian activists make the claim that GLBT civil rights legislation such as ENDA won't pass with transpeople in it. They cut us out of it, claim they'll come back and help us pass a transgender-only bill after they get 'their' rights and then leave us hanging out to dry.
Not this time. We're beyond sick and tired of this crap. We're the ones dying, we're the ones being discriminated against and we're being arrogantly told by some elements of the gay and lesbian community that 'it's not your turn' to get rights?
What kind of Bush Bizarro World logic is that? Without the 'gender identity' language in this bill it doesn't cover YOU.
ENDA's currently being debated in the House Committee on Education and Labor's Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions. We transpeople need your help. We have initiated a a phone and letter writing campaign in order to keep transpeople in this bill.
Call, write, e-mail, fax - don't wait, contact them now!
Further information on how to reach House members is available at www.house.gov.
Committee on Education and Labor
2181 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
If you call or write, please emphasize these points.
*Transgender people are the most discriminated against minority in the workplace today, with estimates of over 70% of transgender people having actually experienced workplace discrimination.
*Without transgender inclusion, gay and lesbian people will continue to face legal discrimination in the workplace because of their lack of congruence with societal norms of gender presentation and behavior.
If you have personal discrimination stories to tell, I encourage you to do so. That tends to be powerful testimony. It might make the difference in turning a hardline NO vote to a YES one, or if they're worried about political retribution, give them cover to abstain.
Who to direct the call or letter to:
Members of the Committee on Education and Labor.
Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions Members in Bold
Pertinent Staff Members:
Jody Calemine, Labor Policy Deputy Director
Jeffrey Hancuff, Staff Assistant, Labor
All Phone numbers are in the (202) area code
* George Miller, Chairman (CA-07) 225-2095 Rm 2205
* Dale E. Kildee (MI-05) 225-3611 Rm 2107
* Donald M. Payne (NJ-10) 225-3436 Rm 2209
*Robert E. Andrews (NJ-01) 225-6501 Rm 2439 (Subcommittee chair)
* Robert C. Scott (VA-03) 225-8351 Rm 1201
* Lynn C. Woolsey (CA-06) 225-5161 Rm 2263
* Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15) 225-2531 Rm 2463
* Carolyn McCarthy (NY-04) 225-5516 Rm 106
* John F. Tierney (MA-06) 225-8020 Rm 2238
* Dennis J. Kucinich (OH-10) 225-5871 Rm 2445
* David Wu (OR-01) 225-0855 Rm 2338
* Rush D. Holt (NJ-12) 225-5801 Rm 1019
* Susan A. Davis (CA-53) 225-2040 Rm 1526
* Danny K. Davis (IL-07) 225-5006 Rm 2159
* Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-07) 225-2435 Rm 1440
* Timothy H. Bishop (NY-01) 225-3826 Rm 225
* Linda T. Sánchez (CA-39) 225-6676 Rm 1222
* John Sarbanes (MD-03) 225-4016 Rm 426
* Joe Sestak (PA-07) 225-2011 Rm 1022
* Dave Loebsack (IA-02) 225-6576 Rm 1513
* Mazie Hirono (HI-02) 225-4906 Rm 1229
* Jason Altmire (PA-04) 225-2565 Rm 1419
* John Yarmuth (KY-03) 225-5401 Rm 319
* Phil Hare (IL-17) 225-5905 Rm 1118
* Yvette Clarke (NY-11) 225-6231 Rm 1029
* Joe Courtney (CT-02) 225-2076 Rm 215
* Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) 225-5456 Rm 1508
* Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, Ranking Member (CA-25)225-1956 Rm 2351
* Thomas E. Petri (WI-06) 225-2476 Rm 2462
* Peter Hoekstra (MI-02) 225-4401 Rm 2234
* Michael N. Castle (DE-At Large)225-4165 Rm 1233
* Mark E. Souder (IN-03) 225-4436 Rm 2231
* Vernon J. Ehlers (MI-03) 225-3831 Rm 2182
* Judy Biggert (IL-13) 225-3515 Rm 1034
* Todd Russell Platts (PA-19) 225-5836 Rm 1032
* Ric Keller (FL-8) 225-2176 Rm 419
* Joe Wilson (SC-02) 225-2452 Rm 212
* John Kline (MN-02) 225-2271 Rm 1429 Subcommittee Ranking Member)
* Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05)225-2006 Rm 1708
* Kenny Marchant (TX-24) 225-6605 Rm 1037
* Tom Price (GA-06) 225-4501 Rm 424
* Luis G. Fortuño (PR) 225-2615 Rm 126
* Charles W. Boustany, Jr. (LA-07) 225-2031 Rm 1117
* Virginia Foxx (NC-05) 225-2071 Rm 430
* John R. "Randy" Kuhl, Jr. (NY-29) 225-3161 Rm 1505
* Rob Bishop (UT-01) 225-0453 Rm 124
* David Davis (TN-01) 225-6356 Rm 514
* Timothy Walberg (MI-07)225-6276 Rm 325
* Dean Heller (NV-02) 225-6155 Rm 1023
Important Members of Congress Who Need To Be Contacted:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) 225-4965 Rm 235
Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) 225-4131 Rm 1705
Barney Frank (D-MA) 225-5931 Rm 2252
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) 225-2906 Rm 2446
Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) 225-3315 Rm 2135