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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