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GetEQUAL and Justice League – Activate! To Rep. Chris Carney: Stop Voting Against LGBT Constituents and Support Their Right to Employment Protections

GetEQUAL and Justice League – Activate! To Rep. Chris Carney (D-PA): Stop Voting Against LGBT Constituents and Support Their Right to Employment Protections

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Activists Tell Carney to Stop Only Worrying About His Job and Worry About his Constituents, Too

Williamsport, PA –GetEQUAL, a direct action lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization and Justice League-Activate!, a Pennsylvania based LGBT equality group, held a protest this morning targeting Rep. Chris Carney (D-PA) for his continued vote against his the rights of his lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender constituents.  The non-violent, civil disobedient action was carried out at 10 a.m. (ET) this morning at Rep. Carney’s congressional district office in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, asking him to sign a pledge to vote in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).  ENDA is a piece of federal legislation that would make it illegal to hire, fire or refuse to promote LGBT workers simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  Lesbian, gay, and bisexual employees can be fired from their jobs in 29 states, and transgender or gender-nonconforming employees can be fired in 38 states.

Rep. Chris Carney has a long-record of voting against his LGBT constituents.  In 2009, he voted against the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act and this year voted against the Murphy Amendment to the Defense Authorization Act – more commonly known as the compromise legislation to begin the process to repeal the military’s discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law.  Additionally, this year Rep. Carney has made it known that his intent is to vote against any Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) bill that would protect millions of hard-working, tax-paying LGBT workers – both in Pennsylvania and across the country.

“Rep. Carney has continued voting against protecting the jobs of millions of American workers simply for no other reason than because of who they are,” said Audrey Smith, co-founder of Pennsylvania based Justice League-Activate!.  “While Rep. Carney is out on the campaign trail worried about his own job, he continues to leave his LGBT constituents unprotected and without any form of federal employment protections.  Like all Americans, we are worried about our job security and Rep. Carney’s votes based on discrimination are completely unacceptable.  He needs to know that we Pennsylvanians expect him to protect OUR lives and jobs and not just his own!”

“As long as people’s lives and livelihoods are at stake, GetEQUAL will continue standing up with allied organizations demanding federal protections for millions of American workers,” said Robin McGehee, co-founder and director of GetEQUAL.  “Our ‘ENDA Summer’ campaign is in full-swing and politicians who vote against our community and those who promise to support equality but never deliver should be on the watch.  For 40 years the LGBT community has asked Congress to simply protect our right to employment and to provide for our families.  The passage of ENDA is way overdue.”

“GetEQUAL has promised that, as long as people’s lives and livelihoods are at stake, we will not stop standing up for those LGBT workers in dozens of states across this country without a voice, without any job security,” said Heather Cronk, managing director of GetEQUAL. “With the launch of our ‘ENDA Summer’ campaign, we told politicians that while they are back home campaigning to save their jobs, we intend on reminding them that their employment isn’t the only one on the line. Millions of LGBT workers punch a clock every single day unsure if today’s timecard could turn into tomorrow’s discriminatory pink slip. The time to pass ENDA is now.”

In addition to the action against Rep. Carney this morning, GetEQUAL, along with local advocates, has also targeted two members of the Democratic House Leadership this week demanding that they follow through on their promise to pass ENDA this year.  Last night, U.S. House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller (D-CA) was targeted during a campaign debate.  Rep. Miller, nearly six months ago, promised that after healthcare legislation was passed that he’d move on ENDA.  Healthcare legislation passed the House on March 22nd, 2010.

Later today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be targeted to make good on her promise to pass ENDA legislation this year.  The act of civil disobedience will start with a rally in the historic Harvey Milk Plaza and proceed with shutting down traffic on Market and Castro streets in San Francisco, located in Speaker Pelosi’s own congressional district.

In mid-July of this year, GetEQUAL released a timeline showing years of broken promises and excuses from elected officials that have led to the stalling of any federal protections being in place for LGBT workers.  The timeline is available at www.getequal.org/endatimeline.

GetEQUAL is a national, direct action lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization.  Emphasizing direct action and people power, the mission of GetEQUAL is to empower the LGBT community and its allies to take action to demand full legal and social equality, and to hold accountable those who stand in the way.  For more information on GetEQUAL, please visit:  http://www.getequal.org. You can follow GetEQUAL on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/getequal, on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/getequal, or on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/getequal.