Press

Task Force hails introduction of transgender-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act in U.S. House of Representatives

Date: 
April 24, 2007

MEDIA CONTACT:
Roberta Sklar, Director of Communications
media@theTaskForce.org
646.358.1465

Task Force, first national organization to advocate for federal nondiscrimination legislation in 1974, plays leading role in ensuring ENDA explicitly includes transgender people

WASHINGTON, April 24 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., applauds today’s introduction of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would protect against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The measure was introduced by Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Chris Shays (R-Conn.).

ENDA would provide legal recourse to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the 33 states that don’t currently have employment nondiscrimination laws that cover sexual orientation and to transgender people in the 42 states that do not provide protection on the basis of gender identity or expression.

The Task Force was the first national organization to advocate for federal nondiscrimination protections when it worked with then-U.S. Reps. Bella Abzug and Ed Koch, both New York Democrats, to introduce a sweeping bill in 1974. The Task Force has also played a leading role in ensuring ENDA is explicitly inclusive of transgender people. Eight years ago, the Task Force vowed to oppose the legislation if it were not inclusive, prompting criticism from some community members and allies who felt the Task Force was hindering ENDA’s progress. The Task Force has remained steadfast and partnered with transgender activists and organizations to defend and secure a transgender-inclusive ENDA and has strongly encouraged LGBT colleague organizations to do the same.

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“We vowed we would not support an Employment Non-Discrimination Act that left behind the transgender members of our community. We were willing to go to the mat on this, and the measure introduced today is the direct result of that perseverance and our profound belief that equality is not to be divvied out to a select few; it is a fundamental human right for all. Today marks a critical milestone for our community and our country. For decades, a majority of the American people have supported protecting our community from discrimination. Congress needs to act, at long last, this year.”

Additional media resources:

Learn more about the Task Force’s long history of working on federal nondiscrimination legislation. Download a copy of the Task Force map illustrating current state nondiscrimination laws.

Visit the Task Force’s ENDA Action Center.

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and by building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.