The LGBT organization responsible for acts of civil disobedience across the country is planning additional actions on Thursday to encourage passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Activists affiliated with GetEQUAL were set to protest U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif), who has yet to schedule a vote on ENDA, and Rep. Chris Carney (D-Pa.), who hasn’t signed on as a co-sponsor to the legislation.
Actions against Pelosi were planned in her home district in San Francisco. Protesters intended to start with a rally in Harvey Milk Plaza and proceed with shutting down traffic on Market and Castro streets.
One Struggle One Fight, another civil disobedience organization; and Pride at Work, an LGBT constituency group of the AFL-CIO, were set to assist in the protest.
In a statement, Gabriel Haaland, spokesperson for Pride at Work, emphasized the need for Pelosi to bring ENDA to a vote.
“Why is the Speaker of the House, who hails from the gayest city in America, blocking legislation that protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers from workplace discrimination?” Haaland said. “Every day we live without the passage of ENDA is another day Congress turns a blind eye to discrimination against the LGBT community.”
Pelosi has said a House vote on ENDA won’t take place until Congress finishes legislative action on repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
Sit-in scheduled for Carney’s office
Also on Thursday, activists affiliated with GetEQUAL were set to stage a sit-in protest at Carney’s office in Pennsylvania to encourage him to support ENDA publicly.
Carney has a history of voting against pro-LGBT measures in Congress. He voted against hate crimes protections legislation and against an amendment that would lead to repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” according to GetEQUAL.
Working with GetEQUAL on the protest is Justice League-Activate!, a Pennsylvania based LGBT equality group.
Audrey Smith, co-founder of Justice League-Activate!, emphasized in a statement the importance of Carney supporting ENDA.
“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,” she said. “Like all Americans, we are worried about our job security and Rep. Carney’s votes based on discrimination are completely unacceptable.”
Actions against Pelosi and Carney come on the heels of another action taken against Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) on Wednesday.
GetEQUAL interrupted a debate between Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) and his Republican opponent Rick Tubbs to call for passage of ENDA. Miller is chair of the House Education & Labor Committee, where the legislation currently sits.
UPDATE: Blogger Zack Ford reports that the sit-in protest in Carney’s office proceded as planned.