Big news out of DC! Sappho-politico Tammy Baldwin says she may havesecured the votes needed to reattach gender identity to the recently truncated Employment Non-Discrimination Act (HR 3685).
Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) announced today that she has secured an agreement from the Democratic leadership to introduce an amendment to H.R. 3685 that would restore gender identity protections to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The amendment would be considered on the House floor next week, after the bill moves through the House Education and Labor Committee this Thursday.
Upon hearing the news, United ENDA – a broad-based coalition – released the following statement:
Clearly, our preferred strategy is to pass the original ENDA (H.R. 2015) out of committee. However, if we are faced with a non-inclusive bill following the committee vote, we will work with Congresswoman Baldwin to repair ENDA to include protections on the basis of gender identity.
The group also celebrates its massive efforts – as it should.
â€œmassive effortsâ€??? While even an honest count of the groups involved in ENDA United,â€”that is, one deducting all the multiple counts of the same heads/the overlapping memberships of groups such as GLSEN national and Washington state’s GLSEN or Transgender American Veterans Association national and the Massachusetts Chapter of Transgender American Veterans Associationâ€”would leave a significant number of unique organizations, honesty also demands noting that (a) many of these groups are microscopic in size, and (b) the inclusion of larger groups usually represents only the voice of their leaders not the membership at-large. Did Matt â€œRev. Jim Jonesâ€ Foreman take a vote of NGLTF members before jumping on his lavender horse? As such, we mustn’t confuse unprecedented participation with actual huge numbers. In reality, it is but the active voices of probably no more than a couple of thousand people. 1000 more than that attended HRCâ€™s annual dinner a couple of weekâ€™s ago while less than 100 people demonstrated outside against their caution re the chances of different versions of the legislation. Statistical games and propaganda aside, the majority of the gay and lesbian community is clearly sitting this one out.
Others are free to debate my math, but massive or not their effort so far is only sound and fury. Only time will tell if it signifies more than that.