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Today is Wednesday, November 28, 2007


150 Members of Congress Sign on to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Nondiscrimination Statements

WASHINGTON, DC - 150 Members of Congress have signed a Diversity Statement banning discrimination in their Congressional offices based on individuals' sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

The recent additions of Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA) lifted the signatory count to 150. Signatories currently include 127 Representatives, 23 Senators, 132 Democrats, 16 Republicans and 2 Independents.

The Statement is jointly promoted on Capitol Hill by the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition (GenderPAC) and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC). HRC and GenderPAC joined forces at the beginning of the 108th Congress; prior to that, they had each promoted separate Diversity Statements for sexual orientation or gender identity and expression, respectively.

"Congressional support for gender identity and expression protections continues to increase. We hope this reflects expanding support for including such protections in federal legislation like the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and the federal Hate Crimes Bill," said GenderPAC Executive Director Riki Wilchins.

Currently seven states (CA, CT, MN, NJ, NM, RI, VT) and more than 60 cities and local jurisdictions have laws banning discrimination based on employees' gender identity and/or expression, as well as 35 major corporations.

The newest signatories come in the wake of the efforts of 140 constituents who came together for GenderPAC's 9th National Gender Lobby Day on Capitol Hill this past April 30th. The event helps activists educate their representatives about the importance of gender stereotypes in issues like workplace discrimination, hate crimes, and school bullying.

For more information on the Diversity Pledge please visit http://www.gpac.org or http://www.hrc.org.

For information about GenderPAC's Workplace Fairness project, visit http://www.gpac.org/workplace

The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition (GenderPAC) is the national advocacy organization working to end discrimination and violence caused by gender stereotypes.

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