Students gathered and speakers inspired at the End National Discrimination Act (ENDA) Rally November 27th. Kicking off around noon, the rally called for and end to discrimination based on sexual orientation. This kind of discrimination is illegal in California, but not everywhere. Thirty-three states do not have any legal protection against discrimination based on sexuality, leaving a significant portion of the population at risk for unjust termination. Nationally, it is illegal to discriminate based on race, gender or age. ENDA is trying to add sexuality.
The group marched slowly and proudly from the Student Resource Building to Storke Tower in a sea of black, pink and red. A few even had signs. Bicyclists and pedestrians looked on with curiosity and admiration.
Once at the Storke Tower pavilion, they listened to guest speakers including Professor Aaron Belkin and Daniela Sea. Dr. Belkin is a professor at UCSB who specializes in the military’s relationship with gender discrimination. He spoke about Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell’s “step backwards” in military civil rights. He has pointed out that this policy has had a negative effect on members of the gay community who pretend or hide who they are to keep their jobs. Daniela Sea, who plays “Max” from the TV show The L Word, spoke about discrimination and adversity, and even sang to help show support for the LGBTQIA community.
The event was hosted by UCSB Democrats and was attended by the Queer Student Union, Friendly Undergraduate Queers In It Together (FUQIT) and other LGBTQIA groups. If you feel that you have been discriminated against, for whatever reason, contact the UCSB Office of Judicial Affairs, in the Student Resource Building (SRB). They can give you preliminary counseling or help fill out a Report of Misconduct. For more information about sexuality and queer issues, check out the Resource Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, also located in the SRB.