Eight activist from states without protections for LGBT workers were reportedly arrested during a peaceful sit-in protest at the offices of House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) on Thursday.
In videos posted by BuzzFeed’s Chris Geidner, activists with GetEqual explain to Boehner staffers that they are calling for a floor vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would ban discrimination against LGBT workers.
The activists then sit on the floor and read a series of emotional statements. After being asked to leave, Capitol Police arrest the protesters.
“It’s clear that Speaker Boehner has absolutely zero intention of supporting or moving forward the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives,” gay Iraq War veteran Sean Watkins said in a statement obtained by Raw Story. “In the face of Republican obstructionism, the only hope the LGBT community has of garnering any degree of workplace protections this year is for President Obama to make good on his promise to sign the federal contractor Executive Order sitting on his desk. Such an order would protect a quarter of America’s workforce from discrimination.”
GetEqual co-director Heather Cronk said that the arrests “shows yet again the absurdity of President Obama’s continued assertion that we wait around for the passage of ENDA to come during this Republican-controlled House.”
“If the President truly cares about protecting America’s LGBT workers from discrimination, as he has stated many times during his tenure in office, then he’ll announce at tonight’s White House LGBT Pride Reception his intent to immediately sign the federal contractor Executive Order,” Cronk observed.
Watch these video, uploaded to YouTube on June 13, 2013.