THE FULLY INCLUSIVE EMPLOYMENT NON DISCRIMINATION ACT IS NEEDED NOW. TRANSGENDER AMERICANS ARE BEING DISCRIMINATED AGAINST AT AN ALARMING RATE.
CONTACT THE WHITE HOUSE AND YOUR LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATIVES AND LET THEM KNOW WE NEED ENDA NOW. (editorial emphasis on statistics below)
(MCT) -- The new year has ushered in two measures of fairness for transgender people.
First, Amanda Simpson became one of the nation's first transgender presidential appointees. With three decades of experience in the aerospace and defense industry, Simpson signed on as a senior technical adviser to the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security.
And second, on Jan. 1, the Obama administration updated the Equal Opportunity Statement on the federal jobs Web site to explicitly include gender identity. No longer should anyone looking for a job with the federal government be discriminated against because of the job seeker's gender identity.
Transgender people still face pervasive challenges and discrimination. That became obvious once again with some of the hostile reaction to Simpson's appointment and the jobs site update.....
....While Simpson's appointment and the change to the federal job site are reasons to celebrate, the ensuing reactions by some highlight the critical need for broader nondiscrimination protections based on gender identity. As Simpson herself said upon her appointment, "So many employers and people in this country are not willing to look past" someone who is transgender. "That's why this is important."
A forthcoming national study of 6,450 transgender people by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality finds that transgender workers face rampant discrimination. A whopping 97 percent say they been mistreated, harassed or discriminated against at work, while 47 percent have lost a job, been denied a promotion or been rejected in the hiring process as a direct result of being transgender. The study also finds that transgender people have twice the unemployment rate of the general population.
Clearly there is a problem, but there is also a solution: passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers from being fired due to bias instead of job performance.
It is unacceptable that in 60 percent of the country it is still legal to fire someone for reasons that are unrelated to the employee's performance, skills and talents.
ENDA would afford essential employment protections under federal law so that employers across the nation will understand that discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation will not be tolerated, whether it is in the private or public sector.
Simpson's appointment and the new nondiscrimination policy for federal hires are steps forward. Now it's time for Congress to do its part to help end the rampant discrimination against transgender Americans by finally passing ENDA.