Will Discriminatory Anti-Discrimination Bill Prevail?

ENDA Headed To Floor

We never thought we’d see the day! Gay City News reports that the non-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act will go to House vote this week:

Gay City News has confirmed that the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, delayed for the past month due to debate over whether or not the gay rights measure should include protections against bias motivated by an individual’s gender identity or expression, will go before the House Rules Committee at 5 p.m. on Monday, November 5.

According to Steve Adamske, a spokesman for out gay Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank, ENDA’s lead sponsor, the Committee will take up the measure in the form it was scaled back to in late September, at Frank’s recommendation, to include only sexual orientation – and not gender identity and expression – as a protected class.

Consideration of the bill by Rules signals leadership’s conclusion that it has the votes to win passage on the floor, in spite of the potential for defection by an unknown number of Democrats insisting that only an ENDA that includes protections for gender identity and expression be moved.

Floor action on ENDA could come as early as Tuesday, but is clearly expected some day this week.

It’s unclear whether the House will consider Tammy Baldwin’s trans-inclusive amendment, which Frank once supported. Of course, no one – gays and anti-gays alike – supports the non-inclusive bill, so who knows what will happen if the House actually sends it on through…

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  • Leland Frances

    Too bad about all that air pollution in the Big Apple! Apparently it’s killed a lot of brain cells or simply caused many to twist the truth.

    1. “delayed for the past month due to debate over whether or not the gay rights measure should include protections against bias motivated by an individual’s gender identity or expression”

    Sorry, no. The real debate was NOT about whether such protections should be in the PROPOSED measure but whether it could PASS. Sorry, Me Generationals, but just because you asked fot it…

    2. “no one – gays and anti-gays alike – supports the non-inclusive bill”

    Not quite as simple as the simplistic and simpletons would have us believe. Many gays support the best bill that has any chance of passing. HRC, DC’s Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, DC’s Gay & Lesbian Activist Alliance, etc, because they think it’s nuts to rip the chance of even minimal job protection out of the hands of gays and lesbians in THIRTY states.

  • cjc

    Uhm, Queerty, I kinda understand the point you’re trying to make using the “doomsday clock” from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, but I really don’t think the passage of ENDA is the difference between life and painful, firey death for everyone.

  • marc salomon

    No, ENDA is not the doomsday clock, just the difference between being fired, losing one’s home and becoming homeless.

  • Leland Frances

    Further: This editor of “Gay City News,” of course, already has job protection as a gay man working in NYC unlike the gays and lesbians in THIRTY other states who don’t; whom he’s asking to try feeding themselves and their families on a diet of selfish anger and self-righteousness should they get fired in one of those states. It’s easy for someone already immune to demand others endure pain.

    From the full article:

    “Baldwin has apparently made limited headway in wooing colleagues to support the inclusion of transgender protections, and ironically her measure, if put to a vote, would create precisely the framework that Frank warned against when he advised a narrower formulation of the bill. His fear was that Republicans would put up a mirror-image amendment to Baldwin’s, stripping out transgender protections.” Wow. The most truthful thing in the whole editorial. Karma’s a bitch ain’t it?

    “Both Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, and Roberta Sklar, a spokeswoman for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force” BOTH also already have job protection as they work in D.C.—once again, unlike the gays and lesbians in THIRTY other states who don’t; whom they’re asking to try feeding themselves and their families on a diet of selfish anger and self-righteousness should they get fired in one of those states.

    “two groups leading a coalition of roughly 300 organizations” VERY “roughly” since the overlapping of organizational memberships, microscopic size of many of the groups, and the absence of any evidence that even 10% have polled their members for approval of their Machiavellian machinations have been pointed out. Anyone find it strange that the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force still doesn’t even have “transgender” in their title, but yet are telling the millions of Gs & Ls to gladly go over the cliff with them?

    “pressing Congress to vote no on any version of ENDA that is not fully inclusive” There she blows, folks. The shameful naked truth: pressing Congress to vote against even minimal job protections for millions of gays and lesbians in 30 states. In short, so-called ENDA United is pissing on our legs while trying to convince us it’s only rain.

    “NCTE, NGLTF, and several hundred other LGBT groups nationwide formed United ENDA” Gee, guy, make up your mind? We aren’t talking about rabbits. How did, In a couple of paragraphs, “roughly 300 organizations” multiply to “several hundred”?

    “Human Rights Campaign, which virtually alone among LGBT groups indicated it would not oppose any version of ENDA.” Willfully dishonest again. Gertrude Stein Democratic Club and GLAA DC have been around longer than your paper and accomplished far more. While hoping for a trans inclusive ENDA they have refused to demand the destruction of an ENDA without it.

    “Frank’s retreat on transgender rights” Shame on you. Frank, despite the ruthless demonization of him by those with Mad Tranny Disease, never retreated on transgender rights. He retreated on a bill that would not pass to one that might. The sane would call that common sense. The common call it betrayal.

    “’It’s unfortunate that leadership would continue to try to pass a bill that the LGBT community has said it doesn’t want’, Keisling said” Fuck you, bitch, and not in the good way! Neither you, nor anyone at NGLTF, speak for the LGBT community! I’m a member of the LGBT community, as are all of the other individuals who have called bullshit on you, as are the members of Gertrude Stein and GLAA DC. How dare you?

    Distortions, blatant lies, self-destruction, character assassination, and self-canonization have characterized the spokespeople and many supporters of ENDA United. It’s time for it to end.

  • marc salomon

    Yep, I live in SF but I grew up in Texas, and it is very easy for LGB in coastal liberal enclaves to take a principled stand because it is no skin off our asses. But for folks living in the red states, if the LGBT leadership gives up a chance at advancement for 25m in order to stand for protections for 500K, then there will be hell to pay on the part of folks whose cause has been tediously advanced for 30 years against a leadership that made such a boneheaded strategic blunder.

  • marc salomon

    Also, if you don’t have the votes, you don’t have the votes and have, by definition, not done what you need to do to get the votes. You don’t get the votes by showing up and being right, you get the votes by getting the votes. Blaming those who do have the votes or blaming those who you’ve not yet convinced to vote for you for not having the votes is a good way to not get the votes.

  • Dyssonance

    Transgender protections exist in even fewer states.

    I’ve been looking for a job for 6 months — over a thousand applications.

    I have children to support.

    I don’t live in a coastal state with protections. I have none.

    I don’t get the job because I am transgender. Point blank, told so to my face.

    So your plea for consideration will fall on ears here as deaf as mine have fallen on yours.

    This is why the majority of LGBT folks and organizations don’t support this bill. And those that do have issues with Trans anything that make them literally the same as those who want to deny them their freedoms:

    All are bigots.

    My causes have been just as tediously advanced, for just as long. My causes have been betrayed twice now by the HRC — who intentionally set up a blockade the last time.

    And fuck you, too, Leland Frances. You want it to end, fine — but after the outright lies and distortions spit out by Crain and Avarosis, I think I’ll stick to the truth — which is that it was a betrayal.

    What’s more? Instead of being equitable and actually working on an inclusive version, they are going to dump us aside.

    And if someone had done their goddamned job, then the votes would have been there — and it wasn’t the T’s fault — it was Frank’s.

    The bill had *zero* problems until Franks split it up. *then* it was a worry — and not until then.


    just pissing me off more.

  • Rt. Rev. Dr. RES

    This discussion, on any plane, or with merit, must eventually come to the two most important words in ENDA discussion, namely Barney Frank.

    The main proponent of gentrified, compromisory, and rights by poll rather than principle is that sorry excuse for one of the two federal legislators who openly are gay and supposedly work for LGB rights if not T.

    Again, unlike Tammy Baldwin, who lives in MI, a very homophobic state, legally speaking, Barney Frank represents a district in MA in the House. He is against marriage and for civil unions. Why? Simple. Congressman Frank would like to be Senator Frank, a DLC/DINO pollster pragmatist. He has refused to be civilly married in his state with a life partner. This man is simply a despicable substitute for a national leader for full inclusionary rights in your nation. Tammy Baldwin, on the other hand, has principles rather than polls guiding her conscience.

    When the gentrified offer the major minority rights that approximate separate and unequal, and try to divide and conquer the LGBT community, no one is safe. Divide and conquer is the neocon strategy, and the DLC and DINO are always willing to provide the cover for the neocon.

  • Matt

    And yet, it seems that not “all” of anybody is on any side of this, Queerty m’loves. So let’s stop pretending that there’s unanimity when there’s not. We can decry bigotry and condemn Barney and point fingers at the DLC and glare at pragmatism and generally weep and wail and gnash our teeth til the twinks come home, but all of it’s not going to change a simple fact: Sometimes we can’t have it all. And we just have to decide, as individuals, in individual circumstances living in red states or blue states or coasts or the middle of Buttfuck, Nowhere, how our interests are best served. It’s true and accurate and heartbreaking, the bigotry faced by the trans community in this country; but that bigotry may be (sadly) personally irrelevant to a non-trans, non-coastal, non-bluestate GLB who is offered real, personal hope by the current ENDA. There are a lot of appalling, inexcusable, inhuman situations in this country that need to be addressed by law, and then by human hearts (please, Rev, no need to catalog them), but no single piece of legislation will ever address them all.

    I’m just tired of all the villification going on over this: Supporters of SOME rights are called bigots; supporters of a Perfect Solution are called narrow-minded obstructionists; our friends are tarred and feathered for being realistic and pragmatic and our enemies given comfort by our coming apart at the seams. We should all be focussing on what’s realistically the best approach (it may be getting behind a losing bill, or it may be getting behind a less than perfect one, or whatever) and stop splintering over every issue.

    There is a vitally important election coming up, both for President and for consolidating Dem control of the Congress beyond the slim and in-name-only majority they eked out last year. There again: they’re hardly perfect, they fail us often, they disappoint frequently, but for godsake they’re a better bet than the neocons we’ve got. Hard choices on that, and on ENDA, and on lots of other stuff. It’s rarely pretty, but if we want to be a voice that’s taken seriously, we need to work on playing more nicely, or at least respectfully, together in our own sandbox.

    The repubs are big ol’ Authority Queens, and fall in lockstep (goose-step?) behind whatever boogey-men they’ve erected to frighten the populus into voting for them. The more liberal community (spanning from the trotskyites to the DLC, on some days) bicker and debate and air opinions and carve out enclaves and generally deal more healthily with dissent, but end up diffused and scattered, and the repubs win. The ENDA debate is all that in microcosm, and it’s not pretty, and it doesn’t bode well for the future.

  • Bill Perdue

    There’s no point in denying it at this point, we’ve been stabbed in the back by Democrats Frank and Pelosi. And now, while the Congressional Democrats are twisting the knife, their shills and apologists are scuttling out of the way, afraid they’ll be caught in the backlash of this outrageous betrayal. They’ve all but stopped shouting that it’s a ‘transjacking’ and using gaybashing terms like ‘mad tranny disease’. As soon as they stopped gloating they began a mad dash to cover their asses. It won’t work; nobody makes steel plated diapers.

    The replacement of the real ENDA by the counterfeit, toothless Democratic version was a shocking and revealing wake up call for tens of thousands who assumed the Democrats were their friends.

    Without notice, debate or dialogue Frank and Pelosi unilaterally stripped some of the most important provisions of the real ENDA. Their deceit was matched by the antidemocratic arrogance of their refusal to consult, listen or discuss it with the movement. They understood from the first that their bogus ENDA would ignite a firestorm of opposition and decided to ignore GLBT opinion on the question. http://www.glad.org/ and http://www.lambdalegal.org/enda-we-can-do-better.html and http://www.civilrights.org/issues/glbt/enda.html

    To our credit the overwhelming majority of GLBT activists, leaders and thinkers repudiated the Democrats and their quisling shills. The Democrats watched slack jawed as the opposition to their betrayal provoked a massive and determined rejection.

    The days when Democrats could take us for granted are over. We’re in the same boat as tens of millions of working people, antiwar activists, environmentalists, and minorities. We have to build an independent voice to express the political will of the GLBT communities.
    That summarizes the politics of the debate, but it has another side, a human dimension that should inform and guide our debate, even if the Democrats and their hacks try to conceal and ignore it.

    Gwyn Abrujo was murdered, as are many others every year, because she was transgendered. TransActive Education & Advocacy, a group supporting youth of all genders in Portland, Oregon reported two days ago that “Ian, a 16-year old transgender boy committed suicide yesterday. As sad as the death of any child can be at any time, in any way, the loss of this child, in this way at this time is particularly painful for many of us.”

    People know when they’re being thrown under under the bus.

    The crime of the Democrats is their attempt to write off the lives of transsexuals, to trade them for party loyalty or for thirty pieces of silver. Democrats are making it easier for the bosses who make a mint underpaying us. That’s despicable.

    The crime of their apologists is their sudden fondness for the acronym GLB and their use of hate language like “freak” “tranny” “transjacking” and “mad tranny disease”. Those people are writing themselves out of the movement. Good Riddance!

  • marc

    Gwen Araujo was killed because she neglected to tell 3 teenage boys with whom she had sex that she also had a penis. Nobody deserves to be killed for that, but they don’t call it rough trade for nothing. What would you have expected 3 str8 teenage boys to do once they found out they all unwittingly had gay sex with the same guy posing as a girl, head to the gay disco and dance the night away on poppers? Wouldn’t a gay man be outraged if he had sex with a woman who was posing as a man? Wouldn’t a lesbian be grossed out if it turned out she had sex with a man posing as a woman? None of this is an excuse for murder, but it explains rage. Add rage to the testosterone flowing through teenage boys and add a group humiliation and you see how this went down. Is misleading someone into nonconsensual sex okay?

    The Superior court made the correct call on this case, deadlocking on first degree murder and convicting on second degree murder with long prison sentences.

    How many lesbian and gay kids commit suicide? Aren’t they 2/3 more likely to commit suicide than het kids? But since trans are more oppressed than LGB, we can wait longer for LGB protections? I don’t think so.

    Folks are fired from their jobs or not hired all the time due to homophobia. Absent ENDA, they will continue to lose income, lose their homes and become homeless. Given that local SF advocates are more concerned about United ENDA than solving our own housing crisis, where will these folks go to seek refuge? NYC and SF are the safest places but also the most expensive.

    How far the trans movement has come since Stonewall and Compton’s when screaming queens took on the cops and mafia! Now they are unable to move their own agenda, blame their allies, advocates and members of congress for that fact, and dig themselves deeper into a hole by so doing.

    If showing up and being right was all it took to pass good legislation, then the world would be a much better place. But you gotta work for what you get and it takes more than just working, it takes being effective at that work. Effectiveness is measured in votes. I doubt there is some grand conspiracy amongst LGB and Democrat members of congress to screw the T.

    Trans folks need to mount a campaign to humanize their need for civil rights in the Congress, where the voting takes place, and in the swing districts that elect those members of Congress. That is how the votes are piled up into a majority. If this does not happen soon, then the legitimacy of such complaints evaporates.

    The left of the LGBT movement has coalesced in a clusterfuck of groupthink on this. I doubt that any of those groups has polled their members and I know that the memberships of all those groups combined amount to a slim fraction of the membership of the HRC. Leftist insistence is no substitute for the difficult work of organizing, difficult work that trans folks apparently expect LGB to do for them before we get workplace protections in the red states.

    The damage done here by the left LGBT leaders will take the better part of a generation to heal. The invective on both sides has done more damage than losing a vote in Congress.

    The fact is that LGB are oppressed because of how they think we have sex, while T are oppressed for violating gender norms. Those are two different sources of oppression that don’t necessarily lend themselves to a unified legislative solution. The T language easily devolves into “looksism,” which is an important issue, but one where the complexity of a solution expands dramatically.

    One aspect of this fracas that is disturbing is the effort of United ENDA to cast all LGBT oppression as gender based when it clearly is not. LGBT are oppressed because we violate the rules established to safeguard patriarchy. LGB break the sex rules, T break the gender rules, always with some but not complete overlap. Sex oppression and gender oppressions are peers, not subordinate.

    But the worst part here is the damage done. T are now dug into a hole with their allies and will have to expend scarce resources digging out before they can make their case to the Congress.

  • marc


    According to a new poll, 70% of LGBT Americans prefer passing an Employment Non-discrimination Act that does not include transgender people over not passing the bill at all. The poll, commissioned by the Human Rights Campaign and conducted on October 26, surveyed 500 members of the LGBT community across the country

  • Bill Perdue

    Marc is typical of those who oppose the real ENDA and support Frank’s phony version. He claims that Gwen Araujo killing was her fault. “Gwen Araujo was killed because she neglected to tell 3 teenage boys with whom she had sex that she also had a penis.’ And “None of this is an excuse for murder, but it explains rage. Add rage to the testosterone flowing through teenage boys and add a group humiliation and you see how this went down.”

    The poor little thugs, humiliated by sex were left with no choice but to torture and kill. Thankfully the putrid defense thesis called the ‘gay rage’ or ‘gay panic’ theory has been repudiated by almost everyone but Barney Frank’s supporters.

    In California the Gwen Araujo Justice for Victims Act (AB 1160) was passed by the legislature and signed into law on September 28, 2006. The same rancid defense ‘marc’ made for Araujo’s killers was used by the murderers of Matthew Sheppard and it was thrown out.

    “The concept of a ‘panic defense’ is absolutely ludicrous,” said Aejaie Sellers, of the San Jose GLBT Center’s executive director. “No one should be able to use their prejudices and biases as a justification for their criminal actions, and I’m glad California is setting the trend for outlawing this horrific practice.”

    Judges all over the US are disallowing this defense because of its bigotry and blatant dishonesty. The Crown Prosecution Service of England and Wales always tries to get it disallowed.

    Only a real hypocrite like ‘marc’ would use this discredited and dishonest defense to explain a murder.

  • marc

    Nobody is responsible for themselves being murdered.

    Matthew Shepherd was coaxed into a car and killed for being gay. That is murder 1.

    Gwen Araujo misrepresented her sex to 3 teenage boys and had sex with them and they found out that they unwittingly had gay sex. They freaked and murdered her which is murder 2.

    I am explaining why the crime committed was murder 2, not murder 1. The murderers should spend decades in prison, but not for premeditated murder. If you can’t see the difference between murder 1 and murder 2 under the California penal code, then that’s your problem. The court got that one right.

    Gay panic is when someone consensually has gay sex and then at the last minute and freaks and attacks their partner because s/he is gay. That is not what happened in Fremont. Gwen misrepresented herself to the wrong people who did the wrong thing. That is not murder 1, and the jury agreed.

    Are you suggesting that it is okay for people to misrepresent themselves sexually to people? I’m not saying that misrepresentation should be punished with murder, but it is a mitigating circumstance in the degree of the crime.

    It is clear that people like Bill Perdue are so insecure in their position that they will stoop to any level of misrepresentation to further their sense of entitlement, rather than doing the difficult political work to prevail.

    Continue to wallow in victimhood until you take control of your own politics and move your agenda in the Congress.


  • Leland Frances

    I can’t get over the fact that someone who wants us to be so impressed with his long alleged clerical career, credentials, and passion for civil liberties keeps suggesting that it’s any of HIS goddamn business whether Barney Frank chooses to get married or not. xristos heal thyself.

    And before you pull your head out of your ancient ass, Rev., could you please grab your proof to show us that Frank is “against marriage”? It’s one thing to have different opinions, about which you are entitled to bloviate all you want. But wasn’t there some commandment about making stuff up?

    Face it, both you and Comrade Bill, and the others infected with Mad Tranny Disease are angry at how “massive and determined” your side’s support and clout turned out NOT to be. An entire mountain range of opposition to killing the chance for job protection of millions of gays and lesbians finally that dwarfs the mole hills for it just rose up in a letter to all US House members.

    American Federation of State, County, Municipal Employees
    The NAACP
    National Education Association
    National Employment Lawyers Association
    Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism
    Leadership Conference on Civil Rights whose executive committee draws members “from a broad range of groups including the ACLU, the American Federation of Teachers, People for the American Way, NOW, and the League of Women Voters.”

    It particularly gives me pleasure to add these additional voices from LABOR whom Comrade Perdue so often pontificates about:

    AFL-CIO and the International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America-UAW.

    Unlike you, and Foreman and Kiesling and their fellow ENDA Insane—who already enjoy legal job protections where THEY work, these veteran civil rights and labor groups that represent MILLIONS more than the phantom legions EI claimed, are not willing to “burn down the village in order to ‘save’ it.”

    Go play with matches someplace else.

  • marc

    And why would anyone expect that organized labor, which has been hemorrhaging membership for the past 50 years, and which is only nominally democratic at best, would play much of a role in determining the outcome of anything important?

    But you know what, those activists who work for labor unions get paid no matter what, win or lose, pass or fail, and all the while, American workers are falling further behind faster than ever.

    No, the left in the US is moribund, only good at telling people how bad they rather than mobilizing energies for creative purposes. Creative populism, along the lines of bringing employment protections to tens of millions, is where progressives can connect with middle america–more than 90% of folks at last poll support ENDA for LGB.

  • PhyllisMs

    I feel sacrificed and worse, there’s no longer an LGBT,now there’s just “your” LGB. Now I and countless children will suffer the same fate I suffered all through childhood, before there was an LGBT, I was pushed aside with attempts to replace me at every corner, as a “freak” because my mannerism showed through. The HRC just uneducated the educated. I can’t stand to be around people who don’t “say what they mean and mean what they say” and thats to you HRC.
    Don’t be surprised when you “gay” folks and “lesbian” folks are terminated from your jobs because of your gender mannerisms showing through. What you do in the bedroom will have nothing to do with rights at work but your gender mannerisms or expression will, now, since there is no gender protections (There’s a hole in the roof where the rain comes in) Many “gay”, “lesbian” and bi-sexual folks can and do “pass” as straight anyway. Protections should cover all, and that is gender expression as perceived by your supervisor. There’s no meat in your new bill, just water.

  • PhyllisMs

    Now they’ll fire your for being limp wristed or dykie looking, an unprofessional look for their “company image”. A line is drawn between the sexes again.

  • Charlotte

    Here we go again. The ongoing saga of the Washington
    Politicals deciding who in America has protections @ work.This is so insulting the way Frank & his gang are trying to divide our community. Is this 2007 or

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