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Reform Jewish Leader Calls on House to Pass Transgender Inclusive Non-Discrimination Act

Saperstein: The right to earn a living without fear of discrimination ought to be extended to all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Contact: Sean Thibault or Kate Bigam
202.387.2800 | news@rac.org

Washington, D.C. October 29, 2007 — In anticipation of this week’s House vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, Rabbi David Saperstein, Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, issued the following statement:

We are pleased by the House’s planned vote later this week on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, legislation that will provide long-overdue protection to gay and lesbian Americans at risk of workplace discrimination based on their sexual orientation. The right to earn a living without fear of discrimination ought to be extended to all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Yet in 31 states, it is legal to fire, demote, or fail to promote an employee based on sexual orientation; in 39 states, it is legal to do so based on gender identity.

That is why it is essential that the House also pass an amendment to be offered by Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), which will add gender identity protections to the bill. Extending workplace protections to the entire gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community bolsters the moral power of this legislation.

Throughout our nation’s history, our leaders have had to make many tough decisions about issues of justice and morality. Rarely have these decisions been easy. As Reform Jews, we are guided by Jewish tradition and text that teaches us that all human beings are created b'tselem Elohim, in the Divine image. Our nation’s sacred texts also guide us, as well as Americans of all faiths and no faith, reminding us that we are all created equal. We look forward to working with members of Congress in support of legislation that achieves that goal.

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The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the
Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more
 than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership
 includes more than 1800 Reform rabbis



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