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big day on DADT and ENDA

March 18, 2010

Wow, lots of queers in jail tonight. I’ve got two stories for ya.

First, Lt. Dan Choi and Capt. Jim Pietrangelo led a crowd of protesters from a rally held by Kathy Griffin to the White House. Once there, activist Robin McGeechee helped the two soldiers handcuff themselves to the fence. There’s some pictures around – here’s one link but wandering around or checking out #dadt on twitter can give you a lot of others. McGeechee was arrested almost immediately, and after about an hour the Choi and Piertrangelo were uncuffed from the fence, recuffed and put into a police van.

Second, today was a blogswarm to try to get motion on ENDA. Check out just about any queer news/political blog and there should be a post. Background for those of you who don’t know, in 38 states it’s perfectly legal to fire someone for being trans, and in 29 (I might have these numbers wrong…check wikipedia for the current count) it’s perfectly legal to fire on the basis of orientation. ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) would make both gender identity and sexual orientation protected classes. There’s a pretty firm unofficial that says there’s a majority in both houses that would vote for ENDA, but the bills aren’t moving. Nancy Pelosi was targeted today as someone who can change that: as Speaker of the House she can push for the bill to move out of committee and come to a vote. Her phone lines have been clogged for hours, and activists staged sit-ins in both her DC and San Francisco offices. The SF crowd has already been arrested, and as I type the DC group is being arrested. #getenda has good coverage and links, as well as Pam’s House Blend. It’s sounding like one of those arrested is a transperson who was intentionally misgendered and therefore incorrectly processed by the police. That’ll get interesting.

I urge you to take a moment to do something about either or both of these stories. Contact your senators or representatives about DADT repeal. There’s a pretty firm count on ENDA, so about that I’d recommend writing Pelosi to tell her to move the bill. There’d be lots of links here about how to do all that, but I really am supposed to be working. Shouldn’t be too hard to find it with a google search though.

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