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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 23, 2010 - Volume 38 Issue 30
GetEQUAL stops traffic on Vegas Strip, 8 arrested
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GetEQUAL stops traffic on Vegas Strip, 8 arrested

by Rex Wockner - SGN Contributing Writer

Members of direct-action group GetEQUAL halted traffic on the Las Vegas Strip at the New York-New York hotel's Statue of Liberty July 20 to protest U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's perceived inaction on the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Police were slow to arrive on the scene, leaving eight southbound lanes of the thoroughfare blocked for some 20 minutes.

Activists accomplished the feat by stretching a large banner across the street. It said: "Reid: No one can do more? GetEQUAL.org."

Eight people were arrested, including GetEQUAL co-chair Robin McGehee and "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" activist Lt. Dan Choi, along with Dan Fotou, Natasha Dillon, Meg Sneed, Lee Walters, Paul Roark, and Jimmy Gruender.

"ENDA is a piece of legislation that the Democratic leadership in Congress has promised the LGBT community that it would schedule a vote on this legislative session in Congress," GetEQUAL said. "However, the bill has yet to be voted on - and, to date, no vote has been scheduled."

A second group of GetEQUAL members unfurled a banner on the huge elevated walkway that crosses the Strip from the MGM Grand to New York-New York. It said: "Reid: Pass ENDA Now! GetEQUAL.org."

"Our community has literally watched decades go by with campaign promise after campaign promise from congressional leaders about the passage of ENDA," McGehee said. "House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's own press aide told the community at the end of May: 'The Senate has no plans for taking up ENDA. It would be very helpful for people to encourage the Senate to outline a plan for considering the bill.' GetEQUAL's members and supporters agreed."

The group's managing director, Heather Cronk, added: "The time to pass ENDA is now. No more delays, no more excuses and no more broken promises. People need these federal protections, especially the hundreds of thousands of LGBT workers living in dozens of states where it is still legal to fire someone solely for being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgender."

Only 21 states prohibit firing people for being Gay and only 12 states prohibit firing people for being Transgender.

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