San Francisco outlets are reporting
that nearly a dozen gay activists were arrested Thursday night
protesting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Members of the group GetEQUAL first
rallied at Harvey Milk Plaza then marched to the corner of Market and
Castro Street, where they unfurled a banner that read, “When Jobs
are Lost, the Market Stops.”
The group also targeted Senate Majority
Leader Harry Reid in July, tying up traffic on the Las Vegas strip
with a large banner that read: “REID NO ONE CAN DO MORE?
Both lawmakers are being accused of
blocking the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a federal bill
that would ban workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual
orientation and gender identity (transgender protections). The bill
stalled out in committee earlier this year.
“Speaker Pelosi has repeatedly
promised to schedule a vote on ENDA, but has yet to fulfill those
promises,” said Gabriel Haaland, spokesman for Pride at Work, in a
GetEQUAL statement on the protest. “The overwhelming majority of
Americans support it; the politicians promised it. No more broken
promises. We demand that Speaker Pelosi stop blocking ENDA and
schedule a vote, now.”
The bill, which was first introduced in
1994, is a priority for gay activists. Pelosi and Reid say they back
its passage, but with midterm elections in sight, Democrats are
increasingly shying away from social issues.
As recently as July, Pelosi said ENDA
would need to keep on the back burner until “Don't Ask, Don't
Tell,” the 1993 law that bans gay troops from serving openly, is