ENDA Lives to Die in Another Congress

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the zombie of gay rights legislation, has been reintroduced in Congress. It has nominal bipartisan backing, a long list of co-sponsors and virtually no chance of ever passing.

The bill itself is far from perfect. It has a religious exemption large enough to drive a truck through. However, unlike some previous iterations, it does include protections for transgendered workers.

The real threat to the bill is that, as more difficult issues, like marriage equality, get resolved, ENDA can appear helplessly behind-the-times. It’s an argument that libertarians are making: we’ve evolved beyond ENDA. Because, you know, people aren’t being fired for being gay any more.

Oh, wait.

Just to show we’re not ungrateful, let’s acknowledge the work of the sponsors: Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL). As politicians, they deserve to be applauded for putting on their game faces while being fully aware of the political reality.

Better luck next time.

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  • AxelDC

    The majority of Americans support gay marriage, and Congress thinks we should be fired from our jobs for being gay.

    Democracy fail!

  • Elloreigh

    We not evolved beyond ENDA. You can still be fired in my state if someone suspects that you are gay. Attempts to amend our state’s civil rights act in order to extend its protections to sexual orientation have repeatedly ended in failure.

    But my thanks to the people who decided it would be a good idea to push marriage equality at a time when the effort earned us 30 state amendments banning the very thing sought – and more. In my state, the ban extends not only to marriage, but any agreement other than one man/one woman in marriage, for any purpose.

    So again, thanks for moving on to the next big think once you had got yours, leaving the rest of us to choke on your dust. You aren’t helping.

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