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  WINDY CITY TIMES

Groups Back Trans-Inclusion
News Update, Mon., Oct. 2, 2007
2007-10-03

This article shared 3182 times since Wed Oct 3, 2007
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Over 90 national and state organizations that signed a letter delivered to Congress Monday, Oct. 1, urging to keep the Employment Non-DiscriminationAct ( ENDA ) trans-inclusive, including organizations with local ties.

Equality Illinois ( EQIL ) was one of the first state organizations to respond with an immediate 'all or nothing' attitude. After all the State of Illinois, Cook County, the City of Chicago, and local civil rights codes in areas such as Moline and Decatur were able to get non-discrimination laws on the books without leaving the trans community behind.

EQIL's Rick Garcia described the news of the introduction of new legislation that would exclude protections for trans individuals 'very disturbing' and 'sad.'

'If protecting transgender people can play in Peoria and Moline, it can and should play in D.C.,' Garcia said. 'Congressman [ Barney ] Frank bailed on transgender Americans,' Garcia continued, describing Frank as 'hardly a leader' in the LGBT community.

Garcia added that when it came to the passage of a statewide non-discrimination bill in Illinois, there was a suggestion that protections for trans people be taken out. 'They said it would make it 'easier' to pass it,' he said. 'We dug our heels in and said that is not a topic for discussion.'

Mary Morten, an Illinois board member of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force ( NGLTF ) worked on the Illinois and Chicago human rights ordinances. She expressed disappointment and surprise. 'I think sometimes we forget that we all are oppressed, and have to move forward together as a community,' she said. 'To forget those of us who are marginalized and underrepresented in our own ranks is a huge, huge shortcoming, and will only continue this state

of injustice.'

Many have also expressed dismay that the largest LGBT-rights organization in the country, Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) , hasn't made a statement or joined the over 90 other organizations in fighting for trans rights.

'What is going on?' asked Garcia. As the largest organization, Garcia feels that HRC needs to help give direction and inform organizations in the front lines, and not 'abandon' the trans community.

'ENDA without gender identity is no victory for this community,' he said.

Without and urging from staff, the NGLTF board reaffirmed its commitment to the trans community by only wanting to work towards an inclusive ENDA, according to Morten.. 'I'm very proud we have taken this stand as one of the

three largest LGBT organizations,' she said. 'They are standing strong, that either all of us move ahead, or none of us do. I think that is the right thing to do.'

Morten described it as 'confusing' that a national organization, especially one that has previously stated support for the trans community. would not join the forces. '…At time when we desperately need their support,

apparently we don't have it.'

National Organizations

National Association of LGBT Community Centers

National Black Justice Coalition

National Center for Lesbian Rights

National Center for Transgender Equality

National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs

National Coalition for LGBT Health

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc.

National Stonewall Democrats

National Transgender Advocacy Coalition

National Youth Advocacy Coalition

American Institute of Bisexuality

BiNet USA

Bi Mental Health Professionals Association

Bisexual Resource Center

Bi Writers Association

COLAGE ( Children of Lesbians And Gays Everywhere )

DignityUSA

Equality Federation

Equality Project Investor Advocates

Faith In America

Family Pride Coalition

Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders

GLSEN – the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network

GenderPAC

Freedom to Marry

Immigration Equality

International Federation of Black Prides

Keshet

Lambda Legal

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights Program at Human Rights Watch

Matthew Shepard Foundation

Metropolitan Community Churches

Mautner Project: the National Lesbian Health Organization

New Ways Ministry

Out & Equal Workplace Advocates

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays

Pride At Work, AFL-CIO

Reconciling Ministries Network ( United Methodists )

Transgender American Veterans Association

Transgender Law and Policy Institute

Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund

TransYouth Family Advocates

State Organizations

Equality Alabama

Equality Arizona

Equality California

Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center

Transgender Law Center ( California )

AMBI ( California )

Equal Rights Colorado

Love Makes A Family ( Connecticut )

Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C.

Equality Florida

MEGA Family Project ( Georgia )

Idaho Equality Committee of Your Family Friends and Neighbors

Equality Illinois

Indiana Equality

One Iowa

Kentucky Fairness Alliance

Equality Maine

Equality Maryland

Triangle Foundation ( Michigan )

OutFront Minnesota

Equality Mississippi

PROMO ( Missouri )

Montana Human Rights Network

Citizens For Equal Protection ( Nebraska )

Garden State Equality ( New Jersey )

New Jersey Lesbian & Gay Coalition

New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition

Concord Outright ( New Hampshire )

Seacoast Outright ( New Hampshire )

PFLAG-New Hampshire

Equality New Mexico

Empire State Pride Agenda ( New York )

New York Association for Gender Rights Advocacy ( NYAGRA )

Equality North Carolina

Equality Ohio

EqualityToledo Community Action

Kaleidoscope Youth Center ( Columbus, OH )

Basic Rights Oregon

Equality Advocates Pennsylvania

Northeastern PA Rainbow Alliance

Marriage Equality Rhode Island

Alliance For Full Acceptance – South Carolina

Equality South Dakota

Tennessee Equality Project

Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition

Equality Texas

Equality Utah

R.U.1.2? Community Center ( Vermont )

Equality Virginia

Equal Rights Washington

Center Advocates ( Milwaukee, Wisconsin )

-List compiled by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force


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