Remember the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)?
Earlier in the week, I checked Facebook and discovered I had been invited to join a new group to push for an inclusive ENDA. Inclusive means sexual orientation and gender identity (and expression but whose counting?). Not the palatable, baby steps, throw out the scary genderqueer folks version. The one that protects all people. So we can work and be productive members of society. Earn our keep. Etc.
The group asked people to call their federal legislators and get the 411 on their positions. Here's what I learned with three calls to DC.
Congressman Mike Doyle (D)
Supports a fully inclusive bill. Staffer didn't hesitate and knew exactly what ENDA was.
Senator Bob Casey (D)
He has told his staff in conversation he supports anti-discrimination measures that include sexual orientation. They do not know about gender identity. The staffer will ask him, but told me to wait for the issue to become public to learn his position with that regard. He wouldn't commit to “maybe” but only yes on sexual orientation, period. Took me a few minutes to get the staff to understand what I was asking about.
Senator Arlen Specter (D)
The first person who answered the phone said he had no public position, then transferred me three times. I ended up in a voice mail and asked for a call back. I'm still not sure they understood the question.
Sorry for the strange fonts. It happens.
So … now what? Well, the Facebook group plans to tabulate and create a strategic plan to reach out to the folks like Casey who need some work.
We have work to do here in Pennsylvania. Join the FB group and stay on top of this issue. Be vigilant, my friends.