From All Over: GenderNews Posted
April 29
1998

Two items about lobbying at the US Congress on April 20th.


Capital Hill Lobbying

This item is from InYourFace on-line news. For prior press releases, check the GenderPAC website at: http://www.gpac.org

National Gender Lobby Day On Capitol Hill

[Washington, DC: 20 Apr 98] Approximately one hundred gender activists from dozens of states came to Capitol Hill today for GenderPAC's 3rd National Lobby Day. The advocates' primary concern was educating Congressmembers about hate crimes and employment discrimination faced by gender- variant people.

Gender-based violence was an especially sensitive issue this year as two transgender people were murdered in the new year: Vianna Faye Williams of Jersey City, NJ was stabbed multiple times in the back and neck; and, Tasha Dunn of Tampa, FL was found beaten to death in a parking lot.

"Every year we have another 2 or 3 more murders to talk about," said GenderPAC's Ex. Dir. Riki Wilchins. "This kind of gendered violence must be included in the federal hate crimes legislation so it can be tracked and enhanced penalties made available to prosecutors."

ENDA and HRC

Many activists also discussed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) drafted the ENDA legislation as protection for sexual orientation but not gender expression. Activists focused on the fact that ENDA not only doesn't protect transgender people on the job, but it also leaves at risk gender non- conforming gay, lesbian, and bisexual people.

GenderPAC, NGLTF, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights have recently launched the first National Survey of Sexual Orientation & Gender Discrimination in the Workplace. Preliminary results show that 38% of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals report that they are discriminated against at least in part because of their expression of gender.

Said GenderPAC's Chief Congressional Advocate, Dana Priesing, "There is a growing conviction on the part of queer groups that sexual orientation will not offer effective protection even for gays, lesbians, and bisexuals. Gender discrimination goes beyond a 'trans' issue. Like HIV, it crosses boundaries and groups."


This press release is from the National Coalition For Sexual Freedom.

Sexual Minorities Lobby On Capital Hill

WASHINGTON D.C. - April 21, 1998 - Yesterday for the second year in a row, representatives of the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom met with a number of Congress members' Legislative Assistants in order to raise awareness and visibility about workplace discrimination and hate crimes that regularly occur against sexual minorities.

NCSF representatives were greeted with respect and surprise when the Legislative Assistants were informed about our long-standing, well-organized community, and many encouraged our efforts to ensure our First Amendment rights. Some of the congress members who were lobbied include: Carolyn Maloney (NY-D), Barney Frank (MA-D), Henry Waxman (CA-D), Jerrold Nadler (NY-D), Brian Bilbray (CA-R), Charles Rangle (NY-D), Nydia Velasquez (NY-D), Charles Schumer (NY-D), Sam Gejdenson (Con-D), and Eliot Engel (NY-D).

"We gave each of the Representatives a comprehensive briefing book that covered the issues facing the 5-10% of Americans who engage in sexual minority practices," says Susan Wright, Executive Director of NCSF. "We not only provided information on discrimination and violence, we discussed the need to ensure academic freedom in order to educate about safe, sane and consensual sexual practices. We also pointed out the crippling suppression of sexual diversity in the arts that resulted from the defunding of the NEA."

"I was very surprised at how easy it was to lobby," said Lolita Wolf, Deputy Executive Director. "Even when we dropped in on Legislative Assistants, they were responsive. It made me feel like our government is accessible and willing to listen to our point of view."

You can contribute to NCSF's efforts to establish valuable contacts on the Federal level by participating in the next Sexual Minority Lobby Day scheduled for April, 1999.


Contacts for NCSF:
Susan Wright, Executive Director
National Coalition for Sexual Freedom
381 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
NCSFreedom@aol.com
(718) 383-3318, FAX (718) 383-2397

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