Daily ENDA Update from Mara Keisling

A wonderful quote:

“This is our moment of truth and we cannot blink…This is not the time to do the bigots’ work for them, to make excuses, or to call fear ‘pragmatism.'”

Nadine Smith
Equality Florida

My friend Nadine is exactly correct. We cannot blink.

We are hearing from other lobbyists, Congressional staffers and even members of Congress that constituents have really been turning out the visits, phone calls and other contacts. Please keep it up. We definitely have people talking on Capitol Hill. We have a wall in the office that has a list of Congresspeople whose support we must have to win and another wall that has a list of Congresspeople who have confirmed their support over the past week or so. We have been moving names over from one list to the other for several days as they are confirmed as supporters and we are very excited about how quickly that list is growing.

Please remember that tomorrow (Monday) Congress is closed for Columbus Day, but that many legislators will be back in their districts doing parades, town hall meetings and etc. These are really great places to have a few moments with your Congressperson. We at NCTE will be open tomorrow and, along with many allies, will continue to work on the education that is having huge impact.

So much has happened over this weekend. A whole lot of people have visited with their members of Congress back in the districts. I just received another visit report a few minutes ago from South Carolina. Sometime yesterday it appears that we passed 300 organizations who have signed on to support a unified ENDA. We’ll have a more exact number tomorrow when Ryan gets back to updating the list. If yours is an organizations that has signed on to the statement, but your name hasn’t appeared on the list yet, please be patient—300 names is a lot to process so it can take a while and we did get a bit behind this weekend.

About 75-100 activists led by the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition (NTAC) gathered at HRC’s national dinner last night to further advance a transgender-inclusive ENDA. A concurrent vigil took place in the Castro in San Francisco that also had a great turnout and impact. I stopped by the DC protest and was honored to see a really great mix of transgender people and allies, all really worked up and taking thoughtful, respectful and effective action.

I saw a very interesting note in the New York Post, which has never been very supportive of transgender people. The note said: ” THAT we erred yesterday in referring to a pre-op transsexual as “a she-male” – a term GLAAD informs us is “a dehumanizing slur.” We apologize to any and all we may have offended . . .” It is amazing progress that the post would apologize to transgender people for using insulting language. I also think it bears noting that GLAAD has been doing a very solid job in recent years working with media outlets on ever more fair coverage of transgender people and our lives.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who answered our call for increased support. This ENDA crisis has really increased our expenses and your financial help is genuinely helping a great deal as we have ramped up to do this important work. If you would like to help with a donation, please send a check to NCTE or go to our website at http://nctequality.org/donate.html. We still really need your financial help to make our work happen.

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