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Letter To Congress Supporting The Employment Non-Discrinmation Act Of 2001 From Rabbi David Saperstein, Director Of The Religious Action Center Of Reform Judaism

July 17, 2001

United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Senators/ Representatives:

On behalf of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, their 900 congregations and 1700 rabbis, and the 1.5 million Reform Jews throughout the United States and Canada, we write to ask you to become an original cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2001 (ENDA).

Currently, there is no federal law protecting individuals from job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Qualified, hardworking Americans can be denied job opportunities, fired or otherwise be discriminated against in 38 states just because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation. Decisions should be based on a person's ability to do the job, not someone's sexual orientation. ENDA would provide basic protections against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. We hope you will be a cosponsor when your colleagues Representatives Chris Shays (R-CT), Barney Frank (D-MA), Mark Foley (R-FL) and Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) reintroduce this legislation in the next few weeks.

Jewish tradition teaches us that all human beings are created b'tselem Elohim -- in the Divine image. As it says in Genesis 1:27, "And God created humans in God's own image, in the image of God, God created them; male and female God created them." Regardless of context, discrimination against any person arising from apathy, insensitivity, ignorance, fear, or hatred is inconsistent with this fundamental belief. We oppose discrimination against all individuals, including gays, lesbians, and bisexuals, for the stamp of the Divine is present in each and every one of us.

We are proud to join our voice with those of other Americans calling for the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and for equality for all of God's children. We hope you will join us in supporting this historic piece of legislation by becoming an original cosponsor.

Respectfully,
/s/
Rabbi David Saperstein



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