Dear Mr. Speaker, Majority Whip Cantor,
I am writing to you today as many things: as someone’s child, as someone’s sibling, as a student, as a voter, and as an American.
I am writing to you today as a concerned citizen. I am writing to you today to discuss an issue that is very important to me: the Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA) has just passed the Senate and this provides the House with a unique and great opportunity.
It is an exploited fact that the houses of Congress are divided right now. That one is controlled by one party and that the other is controlled by another. The media reminds us on a daily basis, while we’re told by our respective representatives that the reason nothing can get done is due to the fact that the other party will not cooperate.
It is because of this that I write to you today, Mr. Speaker, Majority Whip Cantor, as you are leaders of the Republican party, the Grand Old Party. I write in hopes that you will lead, in hopes that you will lead not only your own party, but the Democrats and the country.
At my community college in northwest Georgia, they try their best to teach us about leadership, and coming from a small town and a humble house I can say with certainty only one thing about leadership, and that is that it is about being a servant. Being a leader is not about pushing past everyone else and inflating yourself to be the most noticeable person around, being a leader is about trying to do best for the people you’re supposed to be leading.
I know that there is a great concern for religious liberties and the rights of small businesses. I know also that there is a great concern for the unemployed out there, and I wouldn’t imagine it would matter to you the sexual orientation or gender identity of the person, I would imagine you would support the employment of a person regardless of such things.
According to a recent study released by the Joint Economic Committee, it is estimated that American businesses lose $64 billion annually because of turnover that comes from discriminating against LGBT workers.
Working brings people vitality. Without ENDA, “older gay and lesbian adults have and will continue to experience higher poverty rates than their heterosexual counterparts after a lifetime of workplace discrimination and its effects” (Center for American Progress), and Transgender individuals are twice as likely to be unemployed and four times as likely to live in poverty.
It is knowing all of this, it is being Transgender myself, that I ask you – Mr. Speaker, Majority Whip Cantor – to please bring this bill to the House floor for consideration.
Bring this bill forward into the House and show that you are willing to be a leader, regardless of what others may be doing.
A Concerned Citizen
Author’s note: I created a petition to accompany this letter, you can sign it here.