ENDA protesters arrested in Durbin’s office

Video here.

From the group’s press release (LGBT Change):

As part of a broad strategy to gain a vote on ENDA this year, a group of thirteen Chicago activists have been arrested after a sit-in in Senator Richard J. Durbin’s office. The sit-in was initiated due to the Senator’s lack of response regarding a pledge that a coalition of activist groups sent to the Senator for signature. The pledge (in its entirety below) affirms his commitment to a transgender-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and forceful advocacy of the bill before the Media and Senate. The ‘form letter’ response received from the Senator via email did state his support for ENDA, but does not mention transgender protections as part of the bill he supports:

In each of the last several Congresses, I have joined Senator Ted Kennedy as an original cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. This measure would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Specifically, it would make it unlawful for employers to discharge or refuse to hire any individual, or limit any individual’s employment opportunities, based on that person’s sexual orientation.

The activists arrived in Senator Durbin’s office at noon during a protest in support of ENDA that was taking place in front of the Federal Building. With the pledge in hand they arrived and stated they would not leave until the Senator signed the pledge. The Senator was not in the Chicago office and when the group asked to speak to the Senator via phone, they were told “that is not possible.” They refused to leave until the pledge was signed. The staffer then called the Federal authorities to have them removed from the office.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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