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News - September 1996

Call your senator before Sept. 5 vote on Job Discrimination Bill

Act Now to Pass Bill Protecting Americans From Job Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

A historic vote in the U.S. Senate is set for Sept. 5 on a bill to end job discrimination based on sexual orientation. If you haven't contacted your senators yet, now is the time to act. Urge your senators to support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA, S. 932) as an amendment to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA, S.1740), and to oppose DOMA itself. This is the last chance you and your friends will have to make your voices heard before this critical vote -- so act now. Call your Senators at (202) 224-3121.

Background

Since the House passed the anti-gay marriage bill July 12, the Senate is our only hope for something positive to come out of this election-year spectacle. The bad news is that DOMA is virtually certain to pass the Senate. The good news is that it can at least deliver some basic fairness in the workplace if we each do our part to have the Senate pass the ENDA amendment to it.

The Defense of Marriage Act would allow states to ignore gay marriages performed in other states, and would create an unprecedented federal definition of marriage to exclude gay unions from all federal benefits should any state decide to legalize same-sex marriage.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would protect Americans from job discrimination based on sexual orientation. President Clinton endorsed ENDA last October.

While gay marriage is not legal in any of the 50 states, it is legal in 41 states to be fired from your job simply because you are gay. Congress should focus on the real problem of job discrimination against gay people that affects Americans right now. A Hawaii court case that has sparked the gay marriage debate is not expected to be decided for approximately two years.

With help from you and your friends, the ENDA amendment has a historic chance to succeed in the Senate.

Act Now

Contact your U.S. senators immediately and urge them to support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (S. 932) as an amendment to the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" (S. 1740), and to DOMA itself. Refer to each bill by its appropriate number. Call, fax, and e-mail your senators. You can also contact them through the Human Rights Campaign's World Wide Web site at http://www.hrcusa.org.

To call your senators, you can dial the Capitol switchboard, even if you aren't sure who they are. Just ask the switchboard operator and you will be connected. Ask for their fax numbers and e-mail addresses as well:

Call U.S. Senate: (202) 224-3121

Ask all of your friends to help out, too. For more information, please contact the Human Rights Campaign at (202) 628-4160 and ask to speak with the field team.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian and gay political organization, with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support, and educates the public to ensure that lesbian and gay Americans can be open, honest, and safe at home, at work, and in the community. To join, call (800) 777-4723.


©1996 Oasis Magazine. All Rights Reserved.