May 25, 2011
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Senators and Representatives:
On behalf of African American Ministers in Action, a project of People For the American Way, we write in strong support of the bipartisan Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) (H.R. 1397 & S. 811). We urge you to cosponsor this important civil rights legislation, and we thank those who already have, especially Representative Frank and Senator Merkley.
It is still legal to fire or refuse to hire someone simply because of his or her sexual orientation in 29 states, and in 38 states employers can do so solely based on an individual’s gender identity, despite the basic unfairness of such practices. These road blocks stand in the way of those Americans not protected under current law who have found themselves unable to financially support themselves and their families. It is time for the laws of the country to reflect public support for the principle of employment fairness.
Discrimination is wrong no matter how it manifests itself, however it disguises itself. If we’re going to build the beloved community that Dr. King spoke of, we must be conscious of discrimination, no matter where it rears its ugly head. As African American ministers, we know what it takes to stand up against systemic oppression. It is in solidarity and love that we recognize the plight of others and support this struggle for the same protections. Passage of ENDA would be a major step in the right direction by ensuring that current federal protections are extended to sexual orientation and gender identity.
ENDA is commonsense legislation that addresses injustice with a sensible solution. We strongly support ENDA and urge your cosponsorship.
Reverend Timothy McDonald, III
Reverend Dr. Robert P. Shine
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