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Letter to the U.S. House of Representatives on ENDA




October 23, 2007

Dear Representative:

On behalf of the National Education Association's (NEA) 3.2 million members, we urge you to support passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) (H.R. 3685), scheduled for floor debate this week. This bill represents an important step in addressing basic civil rights in the workplace.

NEA has a long-standing commitment to the elimination of discrimination in the workplace in all facets of society. We believe that all persons must have equal opportunity for employment, promotion, compensation, and leadership. Passage of ENDA will support the fundamental American ideal that individuals should be judged in the workplace by their ability to perform the required job rather than by prejudice and discrimination. Poll after poll of the American public demonstrates the overwhelming support, across party lines, for passage of such anti-employment discrimination legislation.

Some opponents of ENDA have argued that it may be inappropriate for Congress to extend protections to individuals in jobs that involve contact with children, such as teachers and other school personnel. We vigorously disagree. Diversity among educators is not a threat, but rather a great asset to the profession and the students they serve. Unfortunately, prejudice and harassment continue to plague many gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender educators who educate our nation's children with great dignity and skill. 

We also urge your support for an amendment to be offered by Representative Baldwin (D-WI) that would expand the important protections under ENDA to transgender Americans. The Baldwin amendment would help ensure that no one is left out or exempted from the most basic civil rights and employment protections.

NEA believes that America must take affirmative steps to end discrimination in the workplace and elsewhere. Therefore, we urge your support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act as well as the Baldwin amendment.

Sincerely,

Diane Shust, Director of Government Relations

Randall Moody, Manager of Federal Advocacy