At a time when our elected leaders’ approval ratings are plummeting and the focus of our nation seems to be split between the economy and the “horse race” of the 2012 election season, your representatives in Congress need to hear from you – their constituents – now more than ever. They need to hear what is important to you and that there are other issues that are also on your mind.
Right now there are several important pieces of legislation in Congress that your Representative and Senators can support:
- The Safe Schools Improvement Act addresses the bullying epidemic we’re seeing in our nation’s schools. The legislation would require schools and districts that receive federal funding to adopt policies that explicitly prohibit and define bullying and harassment and actually enumerate some of the categories for protection, including religion, race, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Currently, because the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defines marriage as being between one man and one woman, even same-gender marriages legally recognized in certain states are not considered valid at the federal level. Though states would continue to be allowed to define marriage as they see fit and be able to determine which out-of-state marriages to recognize, the Respect for Marriage Act would repeal DOMA, thus enabling same-gender marriages to be recognized as legal at the federal level.
- The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would protect all Americans from discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation or gender identity (discrimination upon these grounds is currently legal in more than 30 states). Modeled after existing laws such as the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, ENDA contains an exemption for religious organizations, ensuring that the civil rights and religious freedom of all Americans are protected.
Taking action is easy: simply visit Interfaith Alliance’s Action Center and you can send your Senators and Representative an email on each of these bills and tell them why they are issues of importance to you. Even if you’ve already written to your member of Congress about one of these issues, you can always email them again – the more they hear from you, the more they know you care.