A transgender advocacy group unhappy with what it claims is the routine exclusion of transgendered people from pro-gay legislation proposed to Congress will picket outside the national headquarters of the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C., on April 30. "For over a decade HRC has continued to view the transgendered as too costly for them to deal with," said an unnamed spokesperson for the Transexual Menace. "It's long past time for this to change." Despite adding the phrase gender expression and identity into its mission statement back in March 2001 as characteristics that deserve equality, HRC has consistently supported only a transgender-excluded version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a Menace statement read. HRC also still supports the exclusion of transgendered people from federal hate-crimes legislation, it said.
Steven Fisher, communications director for HRC, told Advocate.com that his group has consistently supported transgender-inclusive legislation. "We have ongoing dialogues with transgender leaders," he said. "We want an open and honest dialogue. We want to meet with everyone. We're in an environment where Congress is generally hostile to a lot of our concerns. So we have to work together to fight for equality."