(Updated) GetEQUAL TX: Gay Group's Protest Shutting Down Austin's 11th & Congress Intersection
A gay-rights group is trying to draw attention by shutting down a key Austin intersection this rush hour.
GetEQUAL TX is sitting in the intersection, protesting the lack of legislative movement on an antidiscrimination bill.
"We've already called these senators, petitioned them and had conversations with them to explain why this bill is important," said Tiffani Bishop of GetEQUAL TX. "We are down to 19 days left in the session and they still haven't moved on this bill."
In a release the groups said of itself: "This is the same group that was arrested after staging a sit-in at the State Capitol last Wednesday. Those blocking traffic at this moment are also risking arrest."
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The protest concerns Senate Bill 237, which is called by supporters the Fair Employment Act. It would change Texas law, which allows employers to fire workers simply because they are gay.
"It's a simple matter of survival. You have to eat to live and you have to work to eat," said Michael Diviesti of GetEQUAL TX. "Over 400,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Texans go to work knowing that their jobs are not protected and that they can be fired simply for who they are or who they love with no legal recourse. This does not make for a safe and healthy working environment."
The group said it will continue its protests if the bill remains stalled.
Updated: GetEQUAL TX says five members were arrested for the Class B misdemeanor of obstructing traffic.