Queer Nation Demands Comprehensive Federal Civil Rights Legislation
Posted by Melanie Nathan, August 21, 2014.
New York, NY (Aug. 21, 2014) – In its ongoing effort to pressure Congressional Democrats to advance comprehensive federal civil rights legislation that will give lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans the same rights and protections that all other Americans have, Queer Nation is targeting 34 House Democrats in a social media campaign called “Which Side of Your Mouth Should We Listen To?”
The House members support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which only bars employment discrimination against LGBT people and has a sweeping religious exemption that would let nearly 200,000 religiously affiliated employers fire or deny jobs to LGBT Americans.
The 34 Democrats wrote “The federal government has a moral responsibility to ensure that all citizens are treated equally and with dignity” in a July 15 letter to Pres. Barack Obama urging him to sign an executive order barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity by federal contractors.
“Apparently, this moral responsibility doesn’t apply to Congress because these 34 Democrats support ENDA, which only bars employment discrimination and has a religious exemption that is big enough to drive a truck through,” said Andrew Miller, a Queer Nation member. “Democrats must support legislation that gives LGBT Americans the same rights and protections that every other American has.”
Many national and state LGBT groups, including Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, and other community legal organizations, have dumped ENDA over its religious exemption.
Queer Nation’s campaign, which started a month ago, earlier targeted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who has since endorsed comprehensive federal civil rights legislation for LGBT Americans. Rep. Mark Takano, Rep. Mark Pocan, Rep. Mike Michaud, Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, Rep. David Cicilline, and Rep. Jared Polis, all of whom are gay, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a lesbian, and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, who is bisexual, were also targeted. Takano later backed comprehensive legislation. The campaign has received nearly 64,000 views on Facebook. It is also being distributed on Twitter and other social media networks.
Queer Nation is calling for a comprehensive civil rights law that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, education, credit, public accommodations, and federally funded programs.
Queer Nation is a direct action group dedicated to ending discrimination, violence, and repression against the LGBT community. READ MORE ABOUT ENDA