When it comes to supporting a trans-inclusive employment non-discrimination bill pending in Congress, the list of co-sponsors from Georgia is short: Reps. John Lewis and Hank Johnson — both Atlanta area Demcorats — are the only ones.
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, known as ENDA, was introduced earlier this week by three gay lawmakers — Reps. Barney Frank, Jared Polis and Tammy Baldwin.– with 118 co-sponsors. But when it comes to support from Georgia’s Congressional delegation, only Lewis and Johnson stepped forward, according to Southern Voice.
Baldwin and Polis said they were hopeful that a trans-inclusive version of the measure would pass the House and Senate this year.
Baldwin said she understands that many LGBT activists are disappointed that Congress hasn’t moved more quickly on ENDA, a hate crimes prevention bill covering gay and transgender people, and other gay-related bills, including calls for repealing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” law on gays in the military and the anti-gay Defense of Marriage Act.
“It will be the first piece of major LGBT civil rights legislation ever enacted by this Congress,” Baldwin said of ENDA. “And once that is in the statute, we don’t have any justification for all the other types of discrimination that exists.
“So this piece of legislation is incredibly powerful. It’s saying once and for all we know that this discrimination and this bigotry exists, we see it, there’s clear evidence, it is wrong, and now, with our work, it will become illegal.”