Postcards to US Congress ask for workplace protection

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

On Monday the national staff of Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) will hand-deliver more than 12,000 pro-equality postcards from constituents across the country to both the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

The individually written cards were collected from 40 states across the country as part of PFLAG’s campaign, “People Don’t Get Fired for Being Straight” to support the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

“Constituents are sending a clear, strong message, urging their members of Congress to support workplace fairness by passing ENDA,” Jody M. Huckaby, PFLAG’s executive director, said.

“More than 170 Representatives and 70 Senators will be receiving PFLAG postcards from their constituents.”

PFLAG National’s ENDA campaign has brought a chorus of voices from states that are not the usual suspects when it comes to supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality.

Georgia, Ohio, and Indiana generated over 1,000 postcards each, exceeding expectations and leading the campaign turnout.

PFLAG members wrote personal messages to their members of Congress, including their names and addresses, and returned them to the PFLAG National office in Washington, D.C. for delivery on Capitol Hill.

“Lawmakers can not ignore the thousands of constituent demands for workplace equality,” said John Cepek, PFLAG president.

“From Georgia to Ohio and Indiana, from New York to California, the time has come to pass this bill and protect all American workers.”

ENDA, if passed, would extend federal employment discrimination protections that are currently provided on race, religion, gender, national origin, age, and disability to also cover sexual orientation and gender identity.

Two postcards in particular stood out, according to PFLAG staff members.

They were written by children of LGBT parents, worrying that their parents could potentially be fired simply for being LGBT.

The Employment Non Discrimination Act was introduced in the House by a bipartisan group of legislators including Representative Barney Frank, Deborah Pryce, Tammy Baldwin and Chris Shays.

The House is considering the bill in committee this week, and a floor vote is expected as early as next week. Senators Edward Kennedy and Olympia Snow are soon expected to introduce the Senate version of ENDA.

Chrys Hudson © 2007; All Rights Reserved.