Saturday, January 9, 2010

Just in: Cong. Rick Boucher (Va. 9th Dist.) Expresses support for ENDA

{{w|Rick Boucher}}, member of the United State...
On the heels of the National Equality March last October, I, along with Chis Sides and Josh Baker, two students from Virginia Tech, met with the staff of Congressman Rick Boucher in his Pulaski, Va. office to seek the congressman's support for the Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA) as part of HRC's project No Excuses.

We talked for about half an hour with staffer Becki Gunn and presented our case for equal employment protection for LGBT workers and related a few cases of on the job discrimination and the discomfort that we often feel in the workplace when faced with the question of how open we want to be about our sexual orientation or gender identity. In a telling move, Becki made it a point to clarify that we weren't talking about marriage rights. (Hmmm...) Once she understood what we were asking for, Becki said that she thought that such protections were in already place and that she saw no reason for Boucher not to support ENDA. 

As spokesman for our little group, Ms. Gunn took my contact information and assured me that Congressman Boucher would follow up with a letter acknowledging the meeting and perhaps making a statement of yea or nay on support for the issue.

This morning, three months after the meeting, I received the long-awaited letter and am pleased to announce that Congressman Boucher has pledged to vote in favor of ENDA's Passage.

Following is the text of the letter:

January 6, 2010
Mr. Steve Publicover
Check, Va. 24072

Dear Steve,

     Thanks you for contacting me to express your support for H.R. 3017, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. I appreciate your taking the time to share your views with me.

     If enacted, H.R. 3017 would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. I supported similar legislation when  it was approved by the House of Representatives in the 110th Congress and will support H.R. 3017 when it is considered in the current session.

     Thank you again for contacting me. With Kind regards and best wishes, i remain

     Rick Boucher
     Member of Congress

Openly gay Colorado congressman Jaried Polis told the Advocate in December that a vote on ENDA is expected by February.
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