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Friday, September 28, 2007

Transgender Rights: United We Stand!

There is a bill that was introduced in Congress in April saying that it would be illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote an employee based on the person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Apparently there are some members of Congress that need to be schooled on the concept of unalienable rights: "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." They want to exclude ... in a sneaky manner ... the part about gender identity. They are quietly trying to remove the rights of transgender people from this bill (Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA).

Nine national LGBT organizations announced Thursday they would fight any attempt to strip protections from the transgendered from the Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA. The groups include:
  • Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays
  • National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
  • National Center for Lesbian Rights
  • National Stonewall Democrats
  • National Coalition for LGBT Health
  • Pride At Work (AFL-CIO)
  • National Coalition of Anti-Violence Projects
  • Mautner Project
  • National Center for Transgender Equality

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) is threatening that if Congress passes a bill stripping rights from transgendered folks he will put forth an amendment adding rights for the transgendered. However, the nine organizations oppose this strategy and say they will oppose any bill that excludes transgender people:
"While we don’t doubt the sincerity of congressional leadership’s intent to take action and be helpful to the LGBT community, we cannot disagree more with this strategy. We will continue to work with LGBT-supportive members of Congress to urge their colleagues to immediately drop this strategy."
If you'd like to read more about this issue, please click here.

I wholeheartedly agree with the nine organizations. We in the LGBT community need to stick together on this one. Don't let them start dividing us. We have a whole lot in common ... you know ... fighting all those bigots that have rigid ideas of how you express yourself around masculinity and femininity ... and who you should sleep with.

Reminds me of this postcard I used to have up on my wall. In a bar, a woman is sidling up to a man that is dressed as a woman and she says to him/her: "You're a transvestite aren't you? I love that in a man."

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