Thursday, October 04, 2007
International Federation Of Black Prides Supports HR 2015
Dear Black Pride Organizers/Attendees:
As you may know, a critical discussion regarding the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Same Gender Loving people (LGBT/SGL) is being debated in our nation’s capital, Washington, DC between the congressional leadership, its members and representatives from various LGBT/SGL related national organizations, including the International Federation of Black Prides (IFBP).
The discussion centers on language contained in the Employment
Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), drafted by the Congressional Leadership. Currently there have been two different bills drafted. One bill (HR 2015) includes language offering protections to all members of LGBT communities from employment discrimination and another offering protections from employment discrimination to members of only the LGB communities.
The IFBP has joined a majority of the national LGBT related organizations and civil rights organizations by declaring our vehement opposition to the language contained in the bill (HR 3685) offering protections from employment discrimination to members of only the LGB communities and excluding our Trans brothers and sisters.
Some have gone as far to say that “blacks didn't get civil rights over night” and we shouldn't expect that LGBT communities would get protections from employment discrimination in that way either. This is at best a “losers game” in political maneuvering that threatens to further harm members of our communities who have already been harmed the most by our various discriminating systems, including unfortunately by some in our communities.
We all know that members of our communities whether or not we are members of Trans communities, have been harmed by gender role stereotypes in employment and many other public interest areas. We also know that members of the LGB communities even with discrimination still happening, often have roads of recourse not yet available to members of Trans communities because of certain local laws offering such protections. In addition, we all know that members of Trans communities have been some of our brightest “torch barriers” on our road to many of the rights we enjoy today as members of LGBT communities. Further, in 31 states, it's still legal to fire someone because they're gay and in 39 states it is legal to fire someone for being Transgender.
The IFBP is clear that the exclusion of Trans people in the language of ENDA will represent a loss that will have a grave affect on members of African American/Black Trans communities and LGB communities given the high rate of discrimination, unemployment and poverty already present in these communities. Additionally, splitting the community on this issue only plays into the plans of those who want no bill to pass and wastes the resources the community could be devoting to passing this bill while disillusioning people; making them less motivated to become in resolving the many other issues facing our communities.
So today we are calling on you to lend your voice of support to the full inclusion of LGBT communities in the ENDA Bill that will be voted on by Congress.
ACTION STEPS YOU CAN TAKE TODAY:
1.Send an Email to your Congressional Representative by clicking;
2. Individuals can sign onto the two online petitions, and groups can
encourage individuals to sign them.
a. http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/transgender_inclusive_ENDA/ developed by the National Center for Transgender Equality and the Transgender Law Center.
b. www.nosubstitutes.org developed by
National Stonewall Democrats
3. Individuals/Organizations can also join the Facebook group “One ENDA: For the Employment Protections of All LGBT People”:
Thanking you in advance for raising your voice and raising our Pride!
Earl D. Fowlkes, Jr.
Michael S. Hinson, Jr.
Founder/CEO, IFBP Chair,
Board of Directors, IFBP,