Nearly 300 Organizations From Across the Nation Unite to Press Congress to Secure Transgender-Inclusive Employment Nondiscrimination Legislation

National, state and local groups representing broad spectrum have sent a

letter to Congress urging lawmakers to pass an Employment

Non-Discrimination Act that includes gender identity

Oct 10, 2007, 01:00 ET from National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc.

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Nearly 300 organizations
 from throughout the nation -- and representing the full scope and breadth
 of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community -- have
 launched a vigorous and vocal united lobbying and advocacy campaign to win
 passage of a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), H.R.
 2015. Called United ENDA, the campaign builds off the past week's
 unprecedented efforts by legal groups, political organizations, grassroots
 activists and many others to maintain protections on the basis of gender
 identity in ENDA as the measure was originally introduced.
     The groups, which include leading legal organizations such as Lambda
 Legal and faith groups such as the Religious Coalition for Equality, have
 signed a joint letter to Congress objecting to a diminished bill that
 abandons transgender people. These organizations, in an ever-expanding
 list, comprise United ENDA. As a result of letter and direct lobbying by
 staff from LGBT organizations and constituents, a scheduled House committee
 hearing on a version of ENDA that strips protections for transgender people
 was postponed last week.
     United ENDA groups are coordinating lobbying and communicating daily to
 keep pressure on Congress. In the past week alone, thousands of
 constituents have called or sent e-mails to their U.S. representatives
 urging them to support a transgender-inclusive ENDA.
     Below the listed media resources is additional information, including
 an update about what United ENDA has accomplished within the last week.
     Media Resources:
     Get background on ENDA.
     Read the letter to Congress signed by nearly 300 organizations.
     Read responses and analysis from leading LGBT legal organizations:
 joint statement from legal groups and additional analysis from Lambda
     Key Facts about United ENDA:
     United ENDA was formed officially on Oct. 3 by the 150 organizations
 that signed a letter urging Congress to only support a
 transgender-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act. There are now 282
 organizations that belong to the United ENDA campaign and the list
 continues to grow every day.
     United ENDA has coordinated a broad campaign to pass the original
 Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H.R. 2015) with unified protections for
 all LGBT people and to oppose any amendment or bill that would leave some
 in our community behind.
     Nearly every statewide LGBT advocacy organization has joined United
 ENDA as well as nearly every national LGBT advocacy organization that
 lobbies members of Congress. Every national LGBT legal group has joined the
     The combined membership of the United ENDA member organizations is at
 least 1.7 million. (This number only reflects membership data from 120 of
 the 282 member organizations.)
     While United ENDA is a campaign of primarily LGBT-specific
 organizations, United ENDA is helping to coordinate lobbying strategies
 with numerous non- LGBT groups who share the goal of passing a
 trans-inclusive ENDA this Congress, including USAction and its state
 affiliates, the Young Democrats of America, and the National Organization
 for Women.
     Key Actions of United ENDA and Member Organizations:
     -- Coordination of Lobby Efforts. United ENDA helps to coordinate the
        lobbying efforts of the member organizations of United ENDA, including
        Hill meetings, keeping track of who is committing to support the bill,
        providing lobby report mechanisms for grassroots lobbyists, and
        maintaining communication with members of Congress who share the
        position of United ENDA.
     -- Action Alerts. Alerts were sent to members of United ENDA organizations
        asking members to call or e-mail members of Congress with the message
        to support H.R. 2015 and oppose any effort to strip protections for
        gender identity from the bill. For a PDF copy of a sampling of alerts,
        contact Roberta Sklar, communications director of the National Gay and
        Lesbian Task Force, at
     -- Organizational Coordination. The United ENDA campaign holds daily
        briefing calls to coordinate activity. The United ENDA coalition
        maintains the list of supporting organizations and coordinates the
        delivery of the updated letter to members of Congress supporting H.R.
        2015 and opposing any amendment or bill that would leave some in our
        community behind.
     -- Faith Organizing. United ENDA member organizations and volunteers have
        alerted more than 2,000 pro-LGBT congregations and asked their members
        to take action in support of H.R. 2015, and created flyers for church
        bulletins to engage congregants. The National Religious Leadership
        Roundtable, the Institute for Welcoming Resources and the Bishops and
        Elders Council have all organized faith leaders of multiple
        denominations to weigh in with their members of Congress.
     -- Student Mobilization. United ENDA member organizations have mobilized
        student activists by contacting more than 120 LGBT campus resource
        centers and giving them tools so their students can take action to
        preserve a fully inclusive bill. Through Campus Pride, GLSEN, Campus
        Progress and other organizations, students have coordinated and
        participated in lobby visits at home and in D.C.
     -- Phone Banking. United ENDA volunteers have engaged in phone banking to
        ask members to call their representative using scripts provided by
        United ENDA.
     -- Press/Media Outreach. A number of United ENDA member organizations have
        released press releases stating organizational positions. (Many of
        these statements are available in the previously mentioned PDF.)  An
        audio press conference attended by 30-plus media outlets was held Oct,
        1, the day before the originally scheduled committee mark-up, to
        amplify the messages of the various organizations that have since
        formed United ENDA.
     -- Additional Letters to Members of Congress. United ENDA member
        organizations have also initiated a religious organization sign-on
        letter and a letter from HIV/AIDS organizations has been delivered to
        Congress. A number of statewide organizations have developed state-
        specific sign on letters to their congressional delegations.
     -- Online Activism. United ENDA member organizations have established two
        online petitions and a Facebook group. More than 10,000 people have
        joined or taken action through these sites over the last week. See developed by National Stonewall Democrats and
        developed by National Center for Transgender Equality and
        Transgender Law Center.

SOURCE National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc.