Citizens Against Hate

…seeking a kinder and gentler world

From National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC)

Posted by nicolen on October 5, 2007

From: The National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC)
Contacts: Vanessa Edwards Foster; Houston, Texas
Chair, Ethan St. Pierre, Haverhill, MA
Contact Email: ntacmedia@aol.com
Contact Phone: 832-483-9901
978-518-1835
Website: http://www.ntac.org
 
NTAC, Transgenders and Allies To Picket Over ENDA Betrayal
 
The National Transgender Advocacy Coalition is issuing a call to join ourmembers, members of other organizations and numerous individuals in

protesting the lavish October 6th annual HRC National Dinner in

Washington, DC.  Representative Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, will

be featured as keynote speaker at the event. 

Last week, after a hastily called “whip count” (where the majority party

whip polls members of committees or Congress to gauge whether

legislation has sufficient votes), Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) stripped

Gender Identity from the original bill.  This action was allegedly based on

the results of as yet unsubstantiated claims of not having enough support

for trans-inclusion.

Recently, Shannon Minter of the National Center for Lesbian Rights

(NCLR) authored and circulated a letter signed by more than 150 different

state and national organizations and submitted to House Speaker Nancy

Pelosi petitioning for a return to one inclusive bill for the Employment Non

Discrimination Act (ENDA), HR 2015 in its inclusive form. 

From this effort has come a new ad-hoc campaign: United ENDA, the new

collective of over 150 organizations (www.unitedenda.org) that have

agreed to the principles of explicitly inclusive legislation submitted to

Congress.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), which claims to be the largest U.S.

LGBT civil rights organization, has not signed onto an endorsement of

the statement signed by the members of United ENDA, opposing the split

of the proposed bill into separate legislation – one for sexual orientation

and one for gender identity. 

“We are very disappointed and angry that any civil rights organization

claiming to advocate for our rights can turn their backs on us when the

going gets tough,” said Ethan St.Pierre, Board Chair of NTAC.  “It

amounts to a betrayal, since HRC earlier promised to support only an

inclusive ENDA.”

At the Southern Comfort Conference (SCC) in mid-September, HRC Exec.

Director, Joe Solmonese made a promise as keynote speaker that HRC

would not only support an inclusive ENDA bill, but would also oppose

any attempt at submitting a non-inclusive bill.  While at SCC, HRC culled

many new memberships and donations from the transgender community. 

“After removing gender identity from a bill that would have protected

millions of transgender Americans from discrimination in employment, the

message being sent to the entire Congress and to corporate America is

that it is acceptable to discriminate against transgender, intersexed, and

other gender variant Americans,” NTAC Chair, St. Pierre added.

As a result of HRC’s rescission of their promise three weeks earlier, the

only transgender ever seated on their Board of Directors, Donna Rose,

resigned October 2, 2007 in disappointment.  Additional resignations from

the transgender community are continuing to come in, including Robbi

Cohn resigning from HRC’s steering committee for the Carolinas. 

In Rose’s resignation, she stated, “The relationship between HRC and the

transgender community is one scarred by betrayal, distrust, and anger. I

have become a focal point for much of that frustration,” she noted, adding

she “accepted that responsibility with the hope that I could help to

change [HRC].”

 “I call on other like-minded board members, steering committee leaders,

donors, corporate sponsors, and volunteers to think long and hard about

whether this organization still stands for your values and to take decisive

action.”

All those who stand in solidarity with the transgender community,

including HRC Board members wishing to make a statement, are

welcome to join us on Saturday, October 6th at 4:30 p.m. before the Major

Donors Reception.  The picketing will continue throughout the General

Reception and Banquet.

“We want to ensure people note that this is a non-violent protest, and that we should avoid working to our detriment by being profane or verbally

attacking,” said NTAC Media Director, Vanessa Edwards Foster.  “Icy

glares and stone cold silence work well. 

“Bring out your unequal signs and let HRC and Barney Frank know that

we’re quite aware of what they think of us.”

The event will take place at the Washington Convention Center, 801

Mount Vernon Place, NW (near 9th St & Mass Ave) Washington DC.  For

those coming in from outside of the city, this is on the Green Line at the

Mount Vernon Square / UCC stop.
 

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