With ENDA’s Senatorial revival, Human Rights Campaigns’ Joe Solmonese again finds himself on the firing line. Solmonese got ripped apart last year after his organization abandoned the fight for trans inclusion in the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. HRC had previously pledged not to support a non-inclusive ENDA, but went back on that deal, thus sparking an ugly civil war between activists hellbent on keeping a united front and those who felt it best to take baby steps: gays first, then trans folk.
Well, that debate rages on and this year Solmonese knows not to make promises he can’t keep. Nor does he want people to think HRC’s omnipotent, telling Ohio’s Gay People’s Chronicle that much of ENDA’s future depends largely on our elected officials, including the president. Solmonese also insists that he and his HRC homies want nothing less than a fully inclusive ENDA, but maintain that incrementalism is the best way to go:
We have always been committed to the transgender-inclusive ENDA. The differences are in how best to get there.
One of the ways to unify the community is around working on going forward. There were transgender people walking the halls of Congress with us two weeks ago.
What will unite [the community] most is the success of doing the work to move Congress.
Yes, but will this year play out on HRC’s conciliatory terms or those of the stridently trans-inclusion United ENDA opposition? We all know the answer to that one.