ENDA | Nancy Pelosi | News

Demand That House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Move Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to a Vote


Towleroad is participating in a blog swarm today with Daily Kos, Open Left, Bilerico Project, Pam's House Blend, Joe My God, Michelangelo Signorile, AmericablogDavid Mixner, Daily Gotham, Culture Kitchen, Taylor Marsh, PageOneQ, Dan Savage, Good as You, and others.

PelosiWe're asking you to contact Speaker Nancy Pelosi and ask that she move the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (HR 3017) to a floor vote. 

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, first introduced in 1994, would prohibit job discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people. Said openly gay Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry last year: "If we can get ENDA enacted and signed into law, it is only a matter of time before all the rest happens. It is the keystone that holds up the whole bunch, and so we need to focus our energies and attention there." 

Last year, a vote was promised in August, September, October, and November, but nothing happened. A House committee delayed mark-up of the bill in late November and it has not been rescheduled. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has told Democrats that she would not move controversial bills. The House Committee says it is ready to move, but Pelosi has done nothing, has offered no signal.

Meanwhile, millions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans continue to suffer discrimination and harassment in the workplace, and continue to be fired from jobs simply because they are LGBT. In 30 states, people can still be fired from jobs because of their sexual orientation, and the same is true in 38 states for gender identity.

With a majority in both houses of Congress in favor of ENDA, now is the time to move the bill. 

Please join us in demanding that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people be protected from job discrimination. Click here to contact Speaker Pelosi. 

Please call Speaker Nancy Pelosi at 202-225-4965. 

Ask that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, HR 3017, move to a vote. Please be polite, but firm. After you call, please tell us how the call went in the comments. If you get a busy signal or hang up, let us know that too. Let's work together to let Speaker Pelosi know that we want action now!

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  1. Pelosi's not gonna move it to the floor for a vote unless she's certain it's going to get a floor vote in the Senate. She and her caucus members have been left out on a limb to many times lately. House Dems vote on a "controversial" issue and then the companion bill never gets voted on in the Senate, so House Dems end up sticking their necks out for nothing. Dems from swing districts are saddled with a vote that can be used against them by an opponent, and the measure they were voting for doesn't get approved by Congress.

    Right now, there are almost 300 bills passed by the House that are awaiting action by the Senate.

    We need to be pressuring the Senate. As always, that's where the obstacle is to federal progress on LGBT issues.

    Furthermore, as with hate crimes last year, we probably don't have 60 votes for a stand-alone ENDA bill. To pass it this year, we're almost certainly going to have to attach it to a larger, must-pass bill.

    Posted by: 24play | Mar 18, 2010 9:20:43 AM

  2. I called her office and a women answered the phone and said "Speaker Pelosi's office, how may I help you?"
    Three quarters into saying, "Can you ask Speaker Pelosi to bring Employment Non" she put me thru to voice mail. Simply rude. I did leave a message for her.

    Posted by: Frank | Mar 18, 2010 9:27:38 AM

  3. John Berry is right, and the first national figure I've seen in a good while to articulate ENDA's importance so clearly. I've been amazed at people's willingness to put other gay rights issues ahead of employment non-discrimination. In states without some version of ENDA, gay marriage is non-starter, except as a way to rally the homophobes. Without ENDA at the federal level, gay rights will continue to make noise nationally, but function as a regional issue.

    Posted by: db | Mar 18, 2010 9:28:12 AM

  4. I truly think Obama and the Democrats have lost the plot. Here they are with a big majority and they still fail to bring this to a vote. What are they waiting for? The Congressional elections where the Democrats will have their butts whipped?

    Sometimes I think that the Democrats don't want a vote because it will expose the homophobes in the Democratic Party. I'm pesonally sick of them. This bad taste is going to last for years.

    Thanks for nothing, do-nothing Nancy.

    Posted by: jason | Mar 18, 2010 9:37:53 AM

  5. Thanks for participating with us, Andy. Together we can make a difference. It should be an interesting day.

    Posted by: Bil Browning | Mar 18, 2010 9:38:53 AM

  6. What's BitterEgo's Bil Browning doing here?

    I thought he couldn't stand Towleroad's rich, white, male readership.

    Posted by: 24play | Mar 18, 2010 9:49:58 AM

  7. I called and spoke to a woman (young lady). I asked if she could pass along a message to Speaker Peloski asking to bring EDNA a vote as soon as possible. The woman was polite and said she would pass along the message. Farewell pleasantries were made and now it's back to work.

    I didn't have an awful experience. Maybe it's the Southern accent.

    Posted by: JNJ | Mar 18, 2010 9:54:25 AM

  8. Those sons of bitches hung up on me!
    I expected rudeness, but not being hung-up on. I will try again later today, but I'm pissed right now.
    Whatev. This is going nowhere anytime soon. Dems will be voted out, we will be angry it wasn't passed, and they'll say they had more pressing issues to deal with, even though we haven't seen any movement on anything else either.

    Bye-bye Dems. I predict your reign has officially come to an end in 2010.

    Fucking Skeletore...

    Posted by: Joey in CT | Mar 18, 2010 9:55:20 AM

  9. *Make that ENDA. (I didn't appreviate on the phone call.)

    Posted by: JNJ | Mar 18, 2010 9:56:04 AM

  10. I was told the person I needed to speak to was Steny Hoyer, the gentleman did not have her number and switched me to the directory where I was disconnected

    Posted by: George | Mar 18, 2010 9:58:09 AM

  11. I'm all for activism and making our voices heard, but choosing THIS WEEK, when everyone on the Hill is focused on healthcare (which impacts GLBT people as much as anyone else) to blog swarm about ENDA is a waste of energy.
    If anything, a blogswarm to include the GLBT provisions that were stripped from the healthcare bill might be a more productive and useful execerise.

    Posted by: Mark | Mar 18, 2010 10:04:46 AM

  12. Exactly, Mark.

    This action is targeted at the wrong chamber at the worst possible time.

    The complete and utter political ineptitude being displayed here is sadly familiar. I bet this was all Mixner's idea.

    Posted by: 24play | Mar 18, 2010 10:13:51 AM

  13. Is the week that Washington is fixated on the final vote on HCR the week you want to do this? Seems strategically, the 'blog swarm' would have more impact after the Big Vote, but what do I know?

    Posted by: kugel | Mar 18, 2010 10:25:11 AM

  14. Count me in. SayenCrowolf.com

    I'm on hold with her office now. Nobody's hung up on me just yet so we'll see how far I get.

    Posted by: Daniel MacDonald | Mar 18, 2010 10:40:00 AM

  15. Strange timing. I'm all for pushing this, but how could anyone possibly decide TODAY was the best day for it? I'm not talking about waiting forever, next week would be fine!

    Let's face it, the lady needs to be able to concentrate this week. She's got her hands full.

    Posted by: Chan | Mar 18, 2010 10:41:51 AM

  16. I agree that the timing seems odd on this what with all eyes being on the big health care reform vote, but I did call and did get an answer and was cut off and put into voicemail. I left a polite message and now it’s on with my day.

    Posted by: ichabod | Mar 18, 2010 10:44:31 AM

  17. I have heard that the language negotiations have been finalized and that the committee staff is finishing the final draft. Markup could happen as early as next week depending on the healthcare debate. With floor time being scheduled after the Easter break. I agree we should push for ENDA, it has the most sponsors in the House and Senate of any of the pro LGBT bills.

    Posted by: CGD | Mar 18, 2010 10:47:37 AM

  18. She's too busy with health care reform to bother. Bad timing.

    Posted by: Eric | Mar 18, 2010 11:46:35 AM

  19. There's only one show in town this week and that's health care.

    The Speaker has meetings with the Senate Parliamentarian - the reconciliation procedure involves both houses - and those 37 House Democrats who voted "no" last time. So far, each of these meetings have lasted way more than the one hour they schedule them for. She also has conference calls with the Senate Majority Leader, the Health and Human Services Secretary, the AARP, AMA, and the President. She's getting about 1,000 e-mails an hour. Which is, supposedly, still less than half of what the White House is getting.

    This week, at least, you can believe the politicians when they say they are busy.

    Posted by: John | Mar 18, 2010 11:57:08 AM

  20. Andy, I agree with many of the other comments...this is a very bad week to be doing this. Of all times when you know they are busy with health care why would you do this now?

    John, thank you for that run down of what Speaker Pelosi and everyone is dealing with. Today is NOT the day for a blog swarm. How could all those blogs not realize that?

    Posted by: Dean | Mar 18, 2010 12:19:33 PM

  21. I keep trying to call but all I get is a busy signal.

    Posted by: George McGinnis | Mar 18, 2010 12:23:35 PM

  22. I was switched to a voice mail before I finished my sentence. Are they being overwhelmed? I'm sure HRC (health care) is generating lots of calls. Hope they get lots of ours, too.

    Posted by: Josh | Mar 18, 2010 12:45:57 PM

  23. The young lady who answered cut me off as soon as I said HR 3017. She sort of laughed-chuckled and (politely) said she was going to transfer me to a voice mail where I could leave a message. The call was then disconnected.

    Posted by: JohnnyP | Mar 18, 2010 12:50:00 PM

  24. They too busy trying to BANKRUPT us!

    Posted by: Dave Ross | Mar 18, 2010 1:08:40 PM

  25. I call bullshit on this article. EMAILS DON'T DO SHIT. We've been emailing for fucking 8 years and this botox-injecting bitch doesn't give a FUCK what we think. If we want equality, if we want our rights, we have to do what Dan Choi did this morning: take militant action. Disrupt business as usual. The Democrats continue to lie to us, to shit on us, and to play us all for fools and sadly, too many queer are taking the bait. The Democrats are every bit as much the enemy as the Republicans. To the streets! No business until they finish OUR business!

    Posted by: Norm D PLume | Mar 18, 2010 1:38:45 PM

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