Compares ENDA to ERA

Barney Frank Reflects On Exclusive History

As an openly gay United States Representative, one would expect Barney Frank to come out in support of a fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Unfortunately, he has not.

In fact, it’s been quite the opposite: Frank said he’ll support an act excluding our trans allies. While people may have been surprised, the politico issued a press release yesterday reminding people that he’s played this game before…

Via Edge Boston:

[This] reminds me that there is a very specific prior example where many of us – including gay and lesbian people – specifically agreed to exclude us from an equality measure. The measure is the Equal Rights Amendment. There were efforts in the seventies – by that time of course gay and lesbian issues had come to the forefront – to explicitly include in equal rights amendments language that protected people against discrimination based on sexual orientation. That is, the amendments – federal and various state versions – prohibited discrimination based on sex, and people sought to add sexual orientation. I and others opposed that because we knew at the time that it would defeat the Equal Rights Amendment.

It was ratified to protect women against discrimination based on their gender with the explicit approval of gays and lesbians that we be left out, because we thought that protecting people against a very significant form of discrimination was worth doing, even though it didn’t protect everybody.

That passage, of course, was over three decades ago. A lot’s changed in those years. Franks politics, however, are not one of them.