Now that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has passed through the House’s halls, it’s up to Ted Kennedy and his Senatorial pals to deal with the non-inclusive legislation.
In light of yesterday’s bittersweet victory, Kennedy released the following statement:
Last night the House passed the Employment Non-Discrimination Act with a strong bipartisan vote… Although the bill is narrower than many of us had hoped, the House action is still a main step in the long journey toward full civil rights for every American.
In the Senate, I will work to move the Employment Non-Discrimination Act this Congress. The bill that the House passed is being held at the desk and I’m working with leadership to move this bill forward as quickly as possible.
Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama has already co-sponsored the bill and an Obama spokesperson said again yesterday that the Senator will push the ENDA vote:
Obama has supported fully inclusive protections since his days in the Illinois legislature, when he sponsored a bill to outlaw workplace discrimination that expressly included both sexual orientation and gender identity. Senator Obama thanks leaders in the House who worked to pass their version today, and will cosponsor Senator Kennedy’s bill in the Senate to achieve this goal.
Another potentially presidential Senator, Mrs. Hillary Clinton, has also said she would support ENDA, but has not specifically addressed the trans exclusion. In fact, she used her support as a dig at the current administration:
As President, I will end the divisive politics of this administration and work to renew the promise of fairness for all Americans. This means supporting equal rights for gay and lesbian couples, ending Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and allowing patriotic Americans to serve their country, and finally signing into law the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and hate crimes legislation.
Kennedy ended his speech by reminding listeners and readers what America’s all about:
America stands for justice for all.Congress must make clear that when we say “all” we mean all. America will never be America until we do.
Our government’s meant to protect all citizens? Could have fooled us. Now, Teddy Boy, go on out there and bust some skulls.
Rt. Rev. Dr. RES
Let me predict : By a small margin, victory or defeat of the “minus T Frank bill” and sure veto by the president.
There have been some discussion about the porous and watered-down legislation sponsored by DLC Frank in order to pass “something inferior but something” in this legislative session.
So, I read the original and the DLC Frank bill and asked some legal minds…..well, one legal mind whom I know very well (LOL)…and it seems clear that there are huge gaping holes in the cheesecloth for justice to escape muster.
Why defeat or victory in question? The Senate is philosophically centre to right of centre wing of the one Corporate-owned party. Ted Kennedy is an icon of liberalism who today sits rather much alone in that purist view. I am loathe to think of but one or two more notable liberals in the mix. Libertarian classic conservatives are so rare that I am loathe to name one of them. The RINO contingent is a maybe….determined if they are up for re-election and want both a primary and general opponent and defeat in November 2008.
Then they fold like a cheap suit.
I am well-educated on transgender issues. Additionally, I am not gender conforming. Thus, even though I’ve never had surgery nor do I take hormones, I am transgendered. And I wish people would pull their idealistic heads out of their asses. I get that the bill with transgender protections would protect people like me. And even with that knowledge, I say push ENDA forward without the gender identity section.
This “all or nothing” is just moronic. It’s completely unrealistic. Civil rights almost always are in baby steps. So let’s screw over the overwhelming majority of lesbians and gays so that a small but vocal minority can hold up civil rights progress? Nonsense. It’s about as smart as insisting on the word “marriage.” Good job queer organizations. Now instead of getting the benefits that truly matter (federal tax benefits, estate and trust benefits, social security benefits, health benefits for partners and their children, etc.), we will wait forever hoping that the courts or public will allow us to be married. Who wants to be like straight people? Who wants to strive to be married? An archaic, silly concept where women are treated like property. Call it the “homo hook-up” I don’t care, what I need are those very important benefits. But nope, we had to insist on that bullshit word “marriage” and now we have no benefits. Wow, great job!!
So get REAL and start understanding how to win the war. Leave tranny’s behind for now. Most of whom claim to be hetero anyway (at least that’s what it says on their websites).
“Senator Edward M. Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat and a longtime supporter of gay rights legislation, said he would move swiftly to introduce a similar measure in the Senate. Some Senate Republicans said that, if worded carefully, it would have a good chance of passing, perhaps early next year.“
Rt. Rev. Dr. RES
Realist – Your opinion is valued and shared by many American LGB activists. I would suspect that less T’s would agree with you. It is for them to call you out on your views.
As for me, a foreigner with US spouse and child (dual national) , I totally and absolutely disagree with both your premise and your conclusions on both Marriage Equality and ENDA.
Beyond those facts, know that my family – my legal family – with a legally married spouse and legally parented child – with a full ENDA that would protect YOU too….wish you well in your transformation into the real person you are.
Historically, the bread and butter issues that Realist outlines, including job and housing protections, have trumped marriage and military service soundly when LGBT are polled on our priorities.
The only reason why those issues move forward are because they appeal to a conservative constituency with the resources to move them, not because they enjoy widespread support amongst the constituencies.
The issue here is a matter of prioritization and making difficult choices.
The only ones who are crying doom and gloom over this are the same ones who would selfishly scuttle any advancement if they could not advance. For people to demonstrate such organizing skill in such a short time, only to have the fruits of that labor be suicidal is most astounding.
That negative energy is not going to get the goods, that will only happen when trans folks organize a campaign to persuade swing members of congress to sign onto their quest for civil rights. Few of us need to be convinced of that, but clearly members of congress do.
Rt. Rev. Dr. RES
marc – What Canadians, Spaniards, Dutch, Belgians, and yes, even South Africans discovered is that Marriage Equality is THE MOST IMPORTANT agenda that any national LGBT organisation needs in order to begin the process of integration following equal justice under law brings friend and foe alike screaming into the new future.
Cheryl Jacques, former MA state senator, and ousted HRC president, understood that well, and the circuit gentrified board and Frank et al disagreed, so in came Salmonese eventually who told former Senator Mike Gravel – and Congressman Dennis Kucinich that political expediency with Civil Union Hillary trumped moral core principles- and that an exclusive GL maybe B next and outed T that was watered down to insignificance in a mere honourary vote was also better than moral stands. Phew !!
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