Lambda Legal Client to Testify at ENDA Hearing Wednesday
"The only thing that changed was my gender -- and because of that, the legislature I'd worked so hard for no longer had any use for my skills. I was devastated."
(Washington, D.C., September 21, 2009) — At a hearing for the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) before a U.S. House of Representatives committee, Lambda Legal client Vandy Beth Glenn will provide testimony about why the federal government must act to end workplace discrimination among the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Lambda Legal represents Glenn in a case against Georgia legislative officials after they fired her because she is transgender.
"Vandy Beth’s powerful story demonstrates the acute need for laws that prohibit antigay and antitransgender discrimination in the workplace," said Kevin Cathcart, Executive Director of Lambda Legal. "Typically, workplace discrimination is the number one complaint among people seeking assistance from our Legal Help Desk. Workplace equality has been a top priority for all of Lambda Legal’s 36-year history."
The hearing in the House Education and Labor Committee is the next step for ENDA (H.R. 3017) which was introduced by Rep. Barney Frank in June. The hearing will be convened by Rep. George Miller.
"My editorial skills had not changed. My work ethic had not changed -- I was still ready and willing to burn the midnight oil with my colleagues, making sure that every bill was letter-perfect. My commitment to the General Assembly, to its leaders, and to Mr. Brumby had not faltered," said Glenn. "The only thing that changed was my gender -- and because of that, the legislature I'd worked so hard for no longer had any use for my skills. I was devastated."
Cathcart added, "Despite the fact that the majority of Americans favor equal rights for lesbians and gay men with regard to job opportunities, less than half of all states specifically ban workplace discrimination in the private sector based on sexual orientation and even fewer states expressly ban discrimination based on gender identity. ENDA would ensure that in most workplaces a person’s qualifications and job performance, rather than sexual orientation or gender identity, will be the factors that determine success on the job. Fairness and equal opportunity in employment are fundamental American principles and they should apply to all workers."
Status of Glenn v. Brumby: The court denied the government's motion to dismiss in June 2009. Lambda Legal filed summary judgment papers just today asking the court to decide the case without trial.