House committee decides to advance a version of ENDA that cuts out protections for transgender people

I am writing from the hearing room of the House Committee on Education and Labor. Sadly, I write to report that the Committee just passed by a vote of 27 to 21 the substitute Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that was introduced specifically to exclude transgender and other gender variant people.

We are greatly disappointed that the committee chose to move forward with a bill that is not endorsed by a single LGBT organization. It is historically unprecedented that Congress would pass a civil rights law that the civil rights community–including those it is meant to protect–do not want.

Tremendous effort by over three hundred organizations–including NCTE–and tens of thousands of individuals came close to fixing ENDA after it was precipitously gutted to exclude gender identity and transgender people. Unfortunately, we have fallen short at this stage.

It is not over. NCTE will continue over the next few days to look for opportunities to impact H.R.3685 to return to it the original intent of H.R.2015.

Additionally, because it is very unlikely that any Employment Non-Discrimination Act will be signed into law, NCTE and many of our allies will continue to work to demand an ENDA in the next Congress that meets the needs of the LGBT.

NCTE applauds the efforts of the many individuals and organizations who have worked so hard thus far on behalf of all LGBT people. We especially applaud the very brave NO votes cast this morning by absolutely firm LGBT supporters who voted NO as a statement that ENDA without gender identity is not worth passing. These members, who deserve our thanks for standing so strongly on moral principle include Reps. Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Linda Sanchez (D-CA), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH).

The National Center for Transgender Equality is a national social justice organization devoted to ending discrimination and violence against transgender people through education and advocacy on national issues of importance to transgender people. The National Center for Transgender Equality is a 501(c)3 organization.

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