Video, Photos: GetEQUAL Disrupts House Education and Labor Committee Meeting, Delivers Markers for Mark-up of ENDA

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UPDATE: Here's a photo of the GetEQUAL ENDA action that happened today.

Video of the protest, AFTER THE JUMP...

Activist group GetEQUAL has disrupted a meeting of the House Education and Labor Committee and delivered a set of markers to Chairman Miller, urging mark-up and vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

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And a report from the Dallas Voice, which caught the livestream:

"The activists approached Chairman George Mitchell, D-California, and attempted to hand him a marker. Mitchell refused to take the marker but told the activist that the committee plans to take action on ENDA soon. 'We’re working on it as expeditiously as we can,' Miller said. The audio on a live stream of the committee hearing then cut out for a few minutes. When it returned, Mitchell explained to the audience that the interruption was related to ENDA. 'It’s not an easy piece. of legislation,' Miller said. 'It’s a really complicated piece of legislation. We want to get it right, but we expect to have it before this committee in the very near future.'"

Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) has offered to bail the group out if needed, reports McGehee.

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Robin McGehee (above), and below with other activists from GetEQUAL outside the Rayburn House Office building at the U.S. Capitol.

Video of the protest, AFTER THE JUMP...

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(photos via donald hitchcock)

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Comments

  1. I'm confused about something: Are Mitchell and Miller the same person?

    Posted by: DougChgo | Apr 21, 2010 10:29:23 AM


  2. Didn't Barney Frank just say that this is happening soon? I don't get this group.

    Posted by: David | Apr 21, 2010 10:31:15 AM


  3. First off, I don't believe a fucking word that comes out of Barney "Elmor Fudd" Frank's mouth. He wreaks of excrement every time he opens it. All we ever hear is "it's in the pipeline" or "it's going to happen soon." These exclamations of progress are thrown out to placate our community.

    I have no problem working within the system, but at this stage of the game it's time for the Congress to lead, follow or get the hell out of the way. Do what's right, not politically expedient.

    Posted by: Keith | Apr 21, 2010 10:55:04 AM


  4. Taking a page from CODE PINK, I see. Let's be seen as a crazy rude fringe group. Nothing will move progress slower, IMHO

    Posted by: J.R. | Apr 21, 2010 11:33:07 AM


  5. Robin McGehee is fast becoming the Medea Benjamin of the queer movement. Good for her!

    Posted by: Sam | Apr 21, 2010 11:34:57 AM


  6. I'm with Keith, I'm all for working within the system but there comes a time when you have to asess the situation and realize you're not being taken seriously. When that realizaton comes, it's then time to move on to more effective measures.

    Larry Kramer said you have to have anger in order to protest effectively and effect change....he was right on the mark.

    Posted by: Geoff M | Apr 21, 2010 11:54:10 AM


  7. @J.R. This did NOT make us look like a crazy rude fringe group. They were actually very polite, apologizing for the interruption but explaining that we were running out of time.

    We need to put pressure on Congress, and letter writing just isn't working anymore.

    Posted by: Ian | Apr 21, 2010 11:58:50 AM


  8. The ENDA Bill was ALREADY scheduled for markup.

    Bringing the Chairman a "marker because he couldn't afford one" is just childish.

    Posted by: David Cornish | Apr 21, 2010 12:09:16 PM


  9. I have no problem with these forms of non-violent civil disobedience -- and would be happy to actively participate and get arrested if necessary. We have to make it clear that we are here and we want out rights. I applaud this group's efforts.

    Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 21, 2010 12:10:38 PM


  10. the guy on the right looks familiar...

    Posted by: alan brickman | Apr 21, 2010 12:16:14 PM


  11. Go GetEqual!!! Those who deride their methods would have said the same about some of the pioneers in other civil rights movements. God forbid we upset the apple cart or someone gets arrested. Those with that attitude are not helping. Thank you to those brave enough to actually do this!

    Posted by: Rann | Apr 21, 2010 12:18:37 PM


  12. I must agree with the posters who support GetEqual and their efforts. They've done more to bring this in to the media, and people's living rooms for discussion, than anything the HRC has done in the past decade that I can recollect. Personally, I think a multi-pronged approach of protest, civil disobedience, and working within the system is needed to move equality legislation forward. . .so kudos to everyone who is working hard, from whatever angle, to affect change and bring legislation forward to promote equality.

    Posted by: Keith | Apr 21, 2010 12:30:07 PM


  13. Low-hanging fruit.

    The obstacle to passage of ENDA is the Senate.

    http://www.care2.com/causes/civil-rights/blog/enda-house-vote-coming-soon/

    But Robin McGehee and GetEqual will now surely claim victory when ENDA is marked up in the House AS SCHEDULED.

    Posted by: 24play | Apr 21, 2010 12:37:56 PM


  14. Well, I'm not gonna pick apart every little thing they do, since - at least for now - it seems they intend to do a little civil disobedience at every opportunity. Great. Some actions will be better than others. The stuff they did yesterday made news outside of gay media, so that's fantastic.

    Yes, there's an angry edge to the gay rights movement. But anyone who believes it "tars" the entire movement or the whole gay community are those who already believe all us queers are handed revised Homosexual Agenda sheets on the first of every month.

    Posted by: Zlick | Apr 21, 2010 12:54:13 PM


  15. I'm starting to believe that some people viewed candidate Obama as some sort of supernatural figure capable of relieving all our woes in one stroke. When it turns out he is just a mortal man, they're so livid they decidedly do an about-face and start attacking their own.

    All the while, the Tea Party crazies delight in the shadows as we devour ourselves.

    Posted by: Rodney | Apr 21, 2010 1:06:39 PM


  16. Why was part of the audio blanked out? It sounded like someone on the committee began to say something like "this is the problem with this, there's no end to it. We're never going to satisfy them (laughs)". Then the audio goes blank. Trying to shield a homophobic committee member? What else did he say? So now we have a (dem?) member of congress who thinks our civil rights fight is a "problem" and reacts with derisive laughter? Where's the rest of the tape? Who cut the audio? We must know who our true allies are and who are the ones that have been USING us for decades.

    Posted by: gaylib | Apr 21, 2010 1:42:14 PM


  17. Rodney, it's not that he's a "mortal man" as you put it. He's a craven liar. If you're not upset about that, there's something wrong with you.

    Posted by: gaylib | Apr 21, 2010 1:43:43 PM


  18. In my eyes, he hasn't lied. He just hasn't done what he promised YET.

    Posted by: Rodney | Apr 21, 2010 1:51:11 PM


  19. @Gaylib:

    I agree with you. Can someone investigate this and find why and who was blanked out (in the 2nd video starting @ :45) ?

    They start off saying: "this is the problem with this, there's no end to it. We're never going to satisfy them"


    And what did they say after that?

    Posted by: Bostonian | Apr 21, 2010 2:24:43 PM


  20. Did he call us "them"? And use the word "satisfy" in a way that describes equal rights like it's a reward?

    Posted by: Rodney | Apr 21, 2010 2:46:57 PM


  21. GetEqual has done more in their few months of existence than HRC has done EVER. It's time for HRC to close up shop.

    Posted by: Name: | Apr 21, 2010 2:49:14 PM


  22. The video with their conversation with Representative Polis was very disturbing. They are actually lecturing Rep. Polis who is gay on how many states its legal to fire someone who is LGBT- lecturing a Rep of Congress who is gay? Nice touch.

    Polis gave a very good answer, which is sad- but showed something- would you rather us go ahead without the trans protections- because that is the hold-up. Of course they cry no to that.

    It was obvious they had their talking points, but not much to go beyond that. If you're going to go to all this trouble- be able to make a cogent article to a gay congressperson who I would assume you feel is not your enemy.

    Seeing Congressman Polis lectured by these four was just painful to watch.

    Posted by: demarcation | Apr 21, 2010 2:54:37 PM


  23. I agree Demarcation, and really, what has GetEQUAL done? The notion they have done more HRC is naive and silly.

    They have pissed off more folks, I'll say that.

    Posted by: wondermann | Apr 21, 2010 3:17:43 PM


  24. Wow, GetEqual is the organization of TODAY.

    HRC really is becoming a joke, especially with their desperate ways of coming to blogs to discredit them. They are so transparent when they post it's funny.

    The train has left the station and activists like the one in these vidoes are the ones who going to make the difference NOW.

    Thumbs up for these individuals! Go GetEqual!

    Posted by: FunMe | Apr 21, 2010 10:32:48 PM


  25. Good job GetEqual!

    I am proud to call Robin both a friend and neighbor.

    Posted by: Richard | Apr 22, 2010 12:14:06 PM


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