Rep. Young should not be tolerated, however...

Alaska's Representative Don Young responded to a letter asking him to support ENDA, the gay jobs protection bill, in classic Young-speak. Since this is ENDA Action Week, it's the perfect time to see what our Rep. thinks about firing gays. So grab a cold one and take apart his letter with Bent Alaska. (his letter is indented, my comments are in italics)
Thank you for contacting me regarding H.R. 3017, the Employment non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
He might not appreciate it by the time we're done. Here is his description of the bill:
If enacted, H.R. 3017 would prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity by public and private employers in hiring and discharging of employees and in employment conditions and terms. The bill also prohibits retaliatory conduct and would be enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Additionally, preferential treatment or quotas on the basis of sexual orientation would be prohibited under this legislation. The legislation also provides exemptions for religious organizations, religious schools, and does not apply to the armed services.
An official description. Here is his opinion on ENDA:
Discrimination, on any basis, should not be tolerated. However, I have concerns regarding the underlying premise of this legislation and recognize the difficulties inherent in its application...
Prejudice is bad, HOWEVER?? Uh oh, red flag alert - or rather, "red shirt alert" because he sounds like the reactionaries at last summer's ordinance hearings. Gays are not being discriminated against, HOWEVER I want the right to continue discriminating against them. Urgh.

So he has concerns about the premise and application of ENDA. Let's see his concerns:
...Suits claiming violation of the Civil Rights Act based on sexual orientation would be difficult to establish. Plaintiffs would have to not only prove that there was prior knowledge of sexual preference by the defendant but also that the change in employment was motivated by sexual orientation discrimination.
That's it - the only concern in his letter: it will be difficult for fired gays to prove that they were fired because they are gay. That's his reason for voting against job protections.

Really? He's worried that the law will be too hard on the fired gay employees? His concern is touching, but misplaced. We're not even worried about that.

If he's concerned that the discrimination will be too hard to prove, does that mean he would prefer that discrimination be easier to prove, that gays should be able to sue former employers without a difficult test of proof? How socialist of him.

Yes, the claims will be difficult to prove, and thus the lawsuits only filed when there is clear evidence. Sounds like a reasonable way to protect businesses from excess lawsuits, while giving workers protection from blatant discrimination.
H.R. 3017 has been referred to four different committees in the House of Representatives - Education and Labor; House Administration; Oversight and Government Reform; and Judiciary. I voted against this bill when it was voted on during the 110th Congress, and I will be sure to keep your comments in mind should this legislation come before the House of Representatives again for a vote.
He voted against this bill last time, and if it comes up again, he will think of the many reasons why we want him to vote Yes while he votes No. Classic.
Once again, thank you for expressing your views on this issue... If I can be of any assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Well yes, Rep Young, you can be of assistance - by voting YES on ENDA and protecting thousands of Alaskans from blatant job discrimination, thank you very much.

Call Rep. Young at 202-225-5765. Give your name and your city and then let him know:
"I am calling in support of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (H. R. 3017), which will protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from job discrimination. No one deserves to be fired from their job because of who they are. Vote Yes for ENDA."
If you get voicemail instead of a person, you can leave a message. The messages are listened to and count as calls. You can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you've called in the past, no problem - call again.

Then call Senator Murkowski and Senator Begich and ask them to support ENDA in the Senate, senate bill (S. 1584). Murkowski's number is 202-224-6665, Begich's number is 202-224-3004.

As part of a national ENDA action week May 17-21, GetEqual will rally outside Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco office on Tuesday, May 18, to call on her to move ENDA forward.
"Equal protection under the law is NOT happening when being fired because you are Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual or Transgender is legal in over half the states in the US. We MUST demand the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) be moved in Congress, immediately!"
Please call Speaker Pelosi in SF - 415.556.4862 and DC - (202) 225-0100, or email Rep. Pelosi HERE.

Discrimination is a real problem that affects real people. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people need basic job discrimination protections. Congress must prioritize ENDA for passage. ENDA can't wait. PASS ENDA NOW!

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