The House is scheduled to vote TOMORROW on a Hate Crimes Bill that includes sexual orientation and gender identity, which if it passes will be the first ever piece of Federal Legislation to include our community!
It is crucial that you call your Representatives TODAY, whether you think they’ll support us or not, and urge them to vote YES!
If you’ve never called Congress, let me assure you, it’s easy. And even if you have already sent an e-mail or called, please make another call – this is our LAST CHANCE before the House votes!
- Before 5 p.m. ET on April 27-29, call 202-224-3121
- Most likely, one of the Members interns will answer and ask where you’re calling from and why. You’re calling to urge the Representative to vote for the Matthew Shepard Act (H.R. 1913). Most calls end right there. But if you like, you can add:
· Hate crimes against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people are on the rise. One out of every six hate crimes is because of the victim’s sexual orientation.
· Hate crimes have more than one victim. They are intended to create an atmosphere of fear and terrorize entire communities.
· The Matthew Shepard Act targets only violent acts – not speech. It does not tell any clergy member what he or she can or can’t preach.
· Mention that Rep. <lastname>’s vote on this bill will affect your future support.
I’ll be joining real people on the hill today telling our stories about why the Hate Crimes Bill is important to us in the largest ever Transgender Lobby Day in Washington, DC. I’ve never met with anyone in Congress before. Am I intimidated? Yes. However, yesterday I spent the day at a training put on by the National Transgender Center for Equality. I worked on my story and I know the importance that my reps hear from the people that voted for them, and not just lobbyists- there is nothing more powerful than our stories.
You can support from home by calling today!
The next piece of legislation being introduced is a Federal Employee Non-Discrimination Act- which WILL include transgender protections as well as sexual orientation. It will protect our jobs EVERYWHERE in the country. Getting ENDA passed would be an IMMENSE win, but your help is needed. We need local action teams nationwide to get this passed- REAL PEOPLE developing relationships with their Congressional Reps. Trainings, talking points, and other resources ARE available FOR FREE through the United ENDA Coalition. Getting started is easy. All you have to do is call Jaan Williams with NCLR who is working hard to develop teams in your area and waiting for you to contact him. Email Jaan at JWilliams@nclrights.org and tell him you want to help get ENDA passed!
This bill needs PEOPLE POWER to pass. WE are the people. We have the power.