GetEQUAL protests at Capitol for vote on ENDA: Pelosi told us to pressure her




Earlier today, activists from GetEQUAL staged another protest to push for LGBT legislation in Congress. Today, the focus was on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the venue was the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol today.

Last week, GetEQUAL published a list of timeline of broken promises from a myriad of elected officials promising votes on ENDA. To date, there have been no votes and, as far as we can tell, none are planned.

A press release from GetEQUAL’s provided context for the protest:

“We know that Speaker Pelosi has the political prowess and the political bandwidth to take on ENDA while the Senate is shepherding ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ through the legislative process,” said Robin McGehee, co-founder of GetEQUAL. “We are pressuring Speaker Pelosi to move on ENDA because, while we know that she values the legislation, we have yet to see her show the leadership she’s promised in taking ENDA out of committee and moving it through the House.”

“We are following her advice to ‘make her do it,’ and to ensure that she and the rest of the House see that people’s lives and livelihoods are on the line here,” said Heather Cronk, managing director of GetEQUAL. “As we head into the August recess, we will take the energy of today’s Rotunda action out into the states, and look forward to building popular support for the legislation in coalition with other LGBT organizations. We will concentrate on the districts where Representatives and Senators have not yet found the courage to step forward to support ENDA — both Republicans and Democrats.”

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.
(My emphasis)

On Saturday at Netroots Nation, Speaker Pelosi repeatedly told progressive activists to “make her” pass progressive legislation like ENDA, comprehensive immigration reform, and a comprehensive climate change bill. GetEQUAL activists took up that challenge and today’s action builds on prior actions that GetEQUAL has organized or co-organized, including sit-ins in Speaker Pelosi’s offices in March of this year, a shut-down of the Las Vegas Strip last week targeting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and several rallies at Speaker Pelosi’s district office in San Francisco, including one yesterday.

And, some photos from the protest courtesy of Ian Goldin/GetEQUAL.

The protest:

The arrests:


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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