September 6, 2013 at 12:04 pm EDT | by Chris Johnson
Obama’s political arm raising money for ENDA fight

President Obama’s political arm is raising money from supporters to push for passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

OFA seeks donations from ENDA supporters (Screenshot via Organizing for Action)

OFA seeks donations from ENDA supporters (Screenshot via Organizing for Action)

Organizing for Action, the successor organization to Obama’s presidential campaign apparatus that advocates for his policy positions, sent out an email from Executive Director Jon Carson to supporters on Thursday with the subject line, “It’s 2013 — this shouldn’t be legal.”

“A lot of Americans don’t know that it’s still legal in some states to discriminate in the workplace on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity,” Carson writes. “Yep — it’s 2013, and every American still doesn’t have that basic protection under the law.”

The email continues to say that ENDA would rectify this issue by making sure “no one can legally be discriminated against in the workplace for being gay or transgender.”

A link within the email redirects to the OFA site, which allows the reader to sign a petition calling on Congress to pass ENDA.

After the reader enters an email address, another page pops up asking for a donation to OFA in several designated amounts up to $1,000. It’s not immediately clear whether the donations will be used for ENDA or for other purposes.

“LGBT Americans deserve the same treatment in the workplace as everyone else, and ENDA is a common-sense bill with bipartisan support,” Carson writes in a follow-up email. “We all know this won’t be easy. It’ll take the people who believe in equality standing up and fighting for it.”

Heather Cronk, managing director for GetEQUAL, said she’s glad OFA has “finally agreed” there’s a need an end workplace discrimination for LGBT people, but said the organization can do more than compiling a list of ENDA supporters.

“If OFA is serious about ending workplace discrimination and not simply building a list, they will immediately call on President Obama to show leadership on this issue by doing two things: 1) signing an executive order, in the tradition of Franklin D. Roosevelt, that would end the practice of discrimination by federal contractors, and 2) calling on Sen. Reid to schedule a vote on ENDA as soon as possible,” Cronk said.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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