Protesters block Market, Castro streets in defense of gay rights in workplace

About 30 protesters have gathered in San Francisco's Castro District to protest House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's position on equality for gay people in the workplace.

The group leading the protest, GetEQUAL, said on its website that Pelosi is “blocking legislation that protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender workers from workplace discrimination.”

The website said Pelosi made a July speech that supported the passing of a bill that would prevent discrimination of gay professionals, but the group is not happy with its progress.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, also called ENDA, is a pending Congressional bill first introduced in 1994 to prohibit workplace discrimination against homosexuality.

The bill is meant to prevent an employer's discrimination against sexual orientation or gender identity, according to www.govtrack.us, a website that tracks the actions of the U.S. Congress.

A bartender at Twin Peaks Tavern said he saw about 30 people gathered with signs at the intersections of Market and Castro streets at about 5 p.m.

Protesters have since unfurled a banner across Market Street, which has blocked the intersection.

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