Gay Inc. Gives Up: No ENDA In 2010, Despite ‘Promises’ From Nancy Pelosi

With all this talk about repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, one other little gay equality law has disappeared from the radar. Don’t make me spell it out for you. (OK: It’s the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.) Turns out all those GetEQUAL traffic jams won’t be enough to get Congress to bring ENDA to a vote this year.

On the bright side: It’s great news for employers looking to shed some dead weight without offering severance packages to the queers. No ENDA = Protecting heterosexual jobs!

The Hill quotes Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality: “I am not too optimistic. It was never a top priority [for Democratic leaders], and we ran out of time.” Keisling, not to be confused with “quisling,” apparently only knows one word to describe her feelings. Back in March, she said she was — wait for it — “extremely optimistic” about the chances of ENDA passing this year.

But c’mon, we all knew this was going to happen. In June, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid met with President Obama to go over his Top 9 projects, ENDA wasn’t on the list; DADT, however, was. And over in the House, California’s Rep. Jackie Speier admitted we’ve got at least a five-year timeline on passing ENDA, and that’s looking at things optimistically.

Which is HI-LAR-I-OUS, because wasn’t it just May that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was telling the homos at Equality California we’d be celebrating by Christmas? EQCA’s chief Geoff Kors told reporters Pelosi “was very clear that ENDA would pass the House with enough time to pass the Senate this year.” Surely he’ll hold her accountable, right?

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  • jason

    Nancy Pelosi has been lying to the GLBT community. She’s an unmitigated disgrace. What’s even sadder than this plasticized android is the millions of gays who worshipped at her feet, swallowing up all her lies and deceptions.

    There is no more sad a sight than a member of the GLBT community falling hook, line and sinker for the litany of lies coming out of Ms Pelosi’s rear end.

  • Mike in Asheville

    ENDA is a vital piece of legislation; I’ve been fighting for this since protesting against former California governor Pete Wilson’s veto of AB101 (California’s version of ENDA) twenty years ago. (Indeed, at the time, the NYT reported that ours was the only case they could find where a politician returned a campaign donation because the donors (my hubby and I) claimed the politician broke a campaign promise.)

    Nonetheless, irrespective of just how important ENDA is, repeal of DADT is more important. Certainly ENDA will have a wider direct impact than repealing DADT; but repealing DADT will have a greater impact in changing and advancing civil rights.

    The distiction between ENDA and repealing DADT is significant. ENDA adds sexual orientation (and SHOULD include sexual identity) to the roll of employment protections. But DADT is government sanctioned discrimination against LGBTs. It is our government telling the non-LGBT citizens that it is acceptable to discriminate against LGBTs on very capricious basis. And if it is acceptable for our own government to discriminate against us then it is acceptable for others as well.

    Repealing DADT is a HUGE domino to tumble and set off the next series of civil rights equality. Once government has no more ability to discriminate and marginalize its LGBT citizens, the basis for societal discrimination and marginalization becomes less and less powerful.

    Once DADT is repealed, I believe we will see faster action to enact ENDA and repeal DOMA.

  • CaseyS

    I’m done with Democrat Party.
    I’m voting Green. The ‘lesser’ of 2 evils is no longer adequate reason to vote for the bigots of the Democrat Party.

  • Daez

    Honestly, its utter crap that ENDA won’t be passed, but the first thing I look at when I accept a position for a company is rather there non-discrimination policy already includes sexual orientation/preference/identity. If it doesn’t, that is not a company I am likely to work for in the first place. I understand many don’t have the same luxury and that a federal/state/local law takes a case of breaking that policy from being a contract dispute to being an actual law case.

  • David Ehrenstein

    It’s utter crap that DADT is more important than ENDA.

    What are you saying @Mike in Asheville: Mike?

    That we ALL work for the military?

    Uh, no we don’t.

  • Douglas Gibson Jr

    @Mike in Asheville: Do you honestly think that once DADT is repealed that it ends federal government discrimination against LGBT citizens. As a Federal Employee, I can’t even put my partner of 25 years on my health insurance.

  • Douglas Gibson Jr

    @CaseyS: I agree – I’m done voting for a party that when it is completely in power still does not make our civil rights a priority.

  • reality bites

    Don’t blame just Gay Inc…while activists in New York State were wasting their time pushing for a vote on gay marriage even though it was obvious there were not enough votes, ENDA was being talked about on Capitol Hill…but got totally lost in gay marriage distractions.

    By the way, can someone please name me a single member of Congress who changed their position on gay rights after that silly March in Washington last fall with Lady Gaga as keynote speaker…I’m sure all those red-state blue dog Democrats were moved to tears (sarcasm).

  • reason

    @reality bites: Well it is obvious that emotion ploys is what drives to many people in this community and the “activist” use it to keep themselves popular and their coffers filled. Real legislation and progress infuriates people that are blind to the reality that governing and moving legislation requires compromise, so the activist stay away and promote meaningless feel good marches, rallies, pop figures, and other distractions.

  • Douglas Gibson Jr

    @reality bites: Trying to get same sex marriage approved is never a waste of time. We need to all be fighting for all of our rights at the same time. We are being fed bits and pieces to try and keep us happy and it is time for the Dems to act or get out of the way. Nor was the rally in DC. It doesn’t matter if it changes minds or not. The idea is to keep our rights at the front of the stage and media.

  • Justin

    Please provide a reference for Pelosi’s “promises” on ENDA. She has repeatedly said she would do her best. When did she promise to pass ENDA? Surely you know it isn’t up to her, right? You know we have a Congress and a President, right?

  • Devon

    They won’t pass ENDA, I won’t bother voting this year.

  • Chris

    For those who vow to vote another party or not vote at all, you are fooling yourself if you think you’re not playing into our opponent’s hands. It’s been less than 2 years into President Obama’s first term and much has been accomplished. Let a Republican House or Senate become reality and see how our issues are setback! We’ll not see any positive legislation until Democrats eventually take over. Help keep a Democratic Party majority and I’m sure we’ll have much more to celebrate by 2012.

  • K in VA

    If there were enough votes to pass ENDA in the House, it would have been brought up for a vote long since. Ditto the Senate.

    Unfortunately, the votes aren’t there. Many, many Democrats have made it plain to Pelosi, Hoyer, and the Democratic Whips that they won’t vote for ENDA because they don’t know how to explain transgenderism to their constituents.

    So don’t blame Democrats — blame US, all of US, for not doing a better job educating the public and getting more support in the country for the gender identity part of ENDA.

  • Michael

    I think it’s pretty much a forgone conclusion that all legislation of any consequence is off the table until 2011. Congress could now best serve the people by going home and remembering to turn off the lights before leaving.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    Human Rights Campaign and the Democratic Party = EPIC FAIL. Why should I care if the GOP wins?

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    And I don’t want to wait for ENDA. If we can pass ENDA without the T, lets do it. I’d like to solve the problem of Bolivian Poverty, but I don’t demand that it be wrapped up in ENDA. Lets pass what we can to help as many as we can now. The Human Rights Campaign tried on Transgendered inclusion in ENDA. Now its time to pass ENDA in a form that can be passed.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    @Chris: Exactly what has been accomplished? A hate crimes bill so weak that Governor Rick Perry (Far Right Republican Governor of Texas) signed it into law in Texas? Frequently flyer mile benefits for State Department domestic partners? This isn’t the change we need, this is garbage. Obama has not answered ONE question on Gay issues at a press conference since being elected. Not ONE.

    I gave over 10k to the Dems in the last two cycles. I’m giving zero this year.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    @reality bites: The reason why advocates in NY State talked about Gay marriage (and nearly got it passed – at least they got a vote on it) was that they, not being the ineffective Human Rights Campaign, actually work to get things passed effectively and already have passed a statewide ENDA. As a result, the Empire State Pride organization has the luxury of working on state issues.

    Unfortunately, too many people give money to the Human Rights Campaign, who appear to do little more than coddle anti-gay Democrats, insist on 100% or nothing, and never hold anyone in the Democratic Party accountable.

    Perhaps the people at Empire State Pride should be running Gay lobbying in DC rather than the black tie dinner crowd over at the Human Rights Campaign.

  • adam

    @CaseyS: “Democrat Party”? Do you by any chance have any relation to John Boehner or Michelle Bachmann? Because I’m about 99% sure there was nothing about any “Democrat Party” in this.

  • Brian

    Queerty writes: Keisling, not to be confused with “quisling,” . . .

    “Quisling” means traitor. What exactly is Queerty insinuating about the director of the National Center for Transgender Equality? Are you trying to suggest that trans-inclusion sank ENDA?

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    @Brian: I can’t speak for Queerty, but I don’t think it helped. And while I do care about including Transgendered protections, I don’t care about it to the extent of BLOCKING employment non-discrimination for Gay men. Look, the Human Rights Campaign and the Transgendered Rights Organizations had their chance to pass transgender inclusive ENDA. And they blew it. Blame them, not me. If the Dems couldn’t pass ENDA with the T prior to the 2010 elections, they sure as hell wont be able to pass it afterwards. So, on a go forward basis, unless the T groups can come up with public votes of support that get to 60 in the US Senate, I think we have to get what we can passed, which is ENDA.

  • missanthrope

    @Tom in Lazybrook:

    Even if you’re transphobic idea was legit, it wouldn’t make any difference.

    The dems might make a run at DADT because they have overwhelming public support for it (it doesn’t cost political capital either), but ENDA’s not going to get passed in any form this year. In fact, it probably won’t be passed until after 2012 at the soonest.

    Why are people surprised?

    We’ve that it’s been dead as early as June, when they postponed the hearings for ENDA in the house for the fifth time, this is just an official recongition of what everyone knew to be true: ENDA is dead for now.

    You can thank a spineless Democratic party and obstructionist Republicans thugs for that. I’m probably voting Green again in the next election. Screw these good-for-nothing opportunists.

  • FoolMe1

    @Tom in Lazybrook: NY passed SONDA – Sexual Orientation (only) by an extremely shady backroom deal secretly removing Trans folks right before votes were counted. The votes were there for an inclusive ENDA, but there were more for SONDA. Rather than get an inclusive law passed, Empire State Pride decides to REALLY get the law passed by making is exclusive.

    Thus, gays can legally discriminate against trans people in New York. What a special right that must be.

    GENDA was up for a vote in NY this year, and had a good chance of passing, until the G/L pushed for gay marriage. I’m sure that was all part of the “we’ll come back for you” strategy employed during SONDA.

  • FoolMe1

    @Tom in Lazybrook:

    “Perhaps the people at Empire State Pride should be running Gay lobbying in DC rather than the black tie dinner crowd over at the Human Rights Campaign.”

    Wow trading trans-exclusionary self-serving wanks for people who actively work against trans people. I’m sure you think that’s a good idea.

  • Dan

    @David Ehrenstein: David Ehrenstein, I think you miss Mike’s point about government endorsed institutionalized discrimination. DADT is very much our gov. legislating and enforcing discrimination; the lack of protections in the absence of ENDA is nearly endorsed discrimination, but when parsing the two, there is a distinct difference.

  • Dan

    @reality bites: That “silly little march” put a face on the LGBTQ community that more Americans and our legislators were forced to acknowledge. That “silly little march” helped build a greater sense of solidarity within our community, nationwide. That “silly little march” was the beginning of a national dialogue both within the Community and outside of it. That “silly little march” pushed our lobbying orgs to recognize they’re not the only voice on the block and a grassroots effort to build the masses can be done. That “silly little march” had a greater turnout than the Glenn Beck Tea Party Rally last month. That “silly little march” gave the suffering, scared gay or lesbian teenager in the sticks of Arkansas one more reason to live. That “silly little march” was done with a strong purpose to unify, inspire and mobilize our Community. Before that “silly little march” I don’t recall seeing even 25% of the numbers we currently have who are engaged and who hunger to make a difference. What, pray-tell reality bites, have you done lately?

  • Javier

    This is what happens when the gay community lacks cogent, politically savvy organization and adequate zeal. ENDA should have been to a vote by a unified gay community in January 2008, after the inauguration. ANyone with any sense should have known it would not be passed in 2010, an election year in the midst of a tidal wave rightwing backlash. Now,it definitely will not be passed until 2013, although probably not then either because Obama will not win reelection, and Republicans will control Congress until AT LEAST January 2013. If Obama loses, it cannot pass until 2017, IF there is a strong Democratic Congress. See ya in 2017.

  • Javier

    And linking Transgender rights to gay rights in ENDA is a non-starter, ensuring it wont pass. Transgender rights activists claim gay rights activists are selfish for wanting to pass ENDA without gender identity protections, but I think it is more selfish to be willing to have the bill die just because you insist on making some statement that transgender rights should be coupled with gay rights. Transgender rights are different issue than sexual orientation. They need to be argued and discussed on their own merits. I support a separate transgender rights bill, but don’t make gay rights dependent on it.

  • Derek Washington

    I helped plan “that silly little march last fall”.

    The tangible benefits of the National Equality March are in front of you everyday whether you know it, or, want to see it. From being on the Executive cmte in charge of Diversity, I was able to meet and become friends with too many amazing activists to list here. We all, to this day, live our lives to move our community forward. Is it easy? No. So what, it’s what we do because we have something inside of us that makes us do it. So be it.

    Because of the march I now have a nationwide network of people that I call on daily for information and to keep up on what’s going on in the equality movement. I also now have the kind of access to the top level of government that use to only be available to those with barrels of cash. I use that access to make sure we have our issues in front of the people who actually make the decisions.

    I also ,through the march, came to know the Transgender community. I am especially proud of my friendship with Babs Siperstein and one of my proudest moments is when I was honored to march with David Mixner and Marsha Botzner. Last night, I helped dedicate a new LGBT Library built with a Transgender work crew.

    ENDA is dead. For now. It just is. The thought that anyone would think that we should just ditch the Trans community and get ours disgusts me. I bet the vast majority of people who advocate ditching the Transgender community would gladly ditch the lesbian community as well if that would help them get back to their lattes any quicker. One of the reason I truly despise GOProud is there constant drumbeat of blaming the Trans community for keeping them from being accepted as almost as good as straights. They may be willing to leave the T out of the LGBT, I’m not.

    Sorry for the length of this comment ,but, a couple of you really hit my last fucking nerve.

  • missanthrope


    “but I think it is more selfish to be willing to have the bill die just because you insist on making some statement that transgender rights should be coupled with gay rights”

    It isn’t about “selfishness” of trans, it’ about moral bankruptcy of thinking that some people are entitled to rights when others are not, which you apparently do vis-a-vis trans issues. Trans activists have never asserted that cis gay folk don’t deserve rights or ours right come before. But plenty of cisgender gay folk have asserted that, including John Arvosis, Andrew Sullivan and the chairmen of the HRC.

    Harvey Milk must be spinning around at the speed of light in his grave.

    Besides, why in the fuck are we scapegoating trans people and not going after the real enemey: The bigots would have us all killed if they could: gay, les, bi or trans.

    This community has turned into a huge circular firing squad.

  • WillBFair

    @Mike in Asheville: I agree. And there’s another reason. When dadt is repealed, we can use video of gay soldiers fighting for the country. Likewise, we should have been using video of suburban gay couples in the domestic partner States. Both would be great pr to help advance other issues.

  • WillBFair

    @Javier: We might be able to include transgender rights, but without the right to teach in public schools. That’s something the public is totally against. So if we give in on that issue, enda with partial rights for transgender people has a better chance to pass.
    But again, the self righteous and self destructive crowds would see such a strategic move as a betryal of Perfect Universal Equality. They’ll never go for it, and as long as they don’t, enda will never pass.
    We’re again being sabotaged by the self righteous crowd.

  • reason

    Actually Rick Perry signed the hate crimes bill into law becuase republicans and democrats in the state house were deeply moved and virulently angry about James Byrd being dragged to death in Texas. After meeting with the family and familiarizing himself with what happened he was moved by the whole thing and signed the bill in 2001 which included sexual orientation. So Texas had a hate crimes law long before the federal government moved on the Matthew Sheppard-James Byrd bill and they are actually not the same bill, Matthew Sheppard has nothing to do with Texas. When Bush was Governor he did not sign the bill, but after a few interviews it was realized that Bush barley knew who James Byrd was and clearly didn’t understand what was going on. Governor Perry also signed the Tim Cole act named after a falsely accused African American university student who died in prison from a medical problem, the story brought the Texas legislator to tears and a bill providing 80K per year for wrongly accused, free tuition, medical benefits, payments to heirs, and appointment of expert lawyers to represent people on death row passed overwhelmingly and the Governor signed it and had the Texas legislator pass another law to grant him the power to pardon Tim posthumously. So just becuase Rick Perry does something does not make it weak or without merit.

    The Obama administrations main focus was EDNA and that was on his radar before DADT but the community made a big stink about DADT and seemed to punt on EDNA so the White House switched priorities to DADT. The White Houses original thinking was that EDNA would impact a larger swath of GBLT especially in these tough economic times but the community said otherwise rightfully or wrongfully so.

    Granted that you are only worried about your own personal rights and are more than ready to drop T, why would I be surprised that you don’t care whether the Republicans win? You are one. If you don’t think so, you are in denial becuase your greed and selfishness comes first like the Ken Mehlman’s and Dick Cheney’s of the world.

  • SomethingElse

    Get over it, Reason. The times they are a-changin’. Allies have become enemies and enemies have become allies. And Cheney would be better for gays than Obama.

  • DR


    That’s what they said in the 90s. We’re tired of the same thing being repeated over and over and over. Can’t prove your track record, you don’t get voted for.


    If much hasn’t changed, T inclusion absolutely sank ENDA. Many moons ago I worked on a local think tank, and when polled about GLB rights, the overwhelming majority of folks polled were in support of protections. When T was included, the numbers decreased dramatically. Looks like the more things change the more they stay the same.

  • missanthorpe

    “We might be able to include transgender rights, but without the right to teach in public schools. That’s something the public is totally against. So if we give in on that issue, enda with partial rights for transgender people has a better chance to pass.”

    There are plenty of trans people teaching in public schools already.

    I wonder if you would support this provision for gay men if it were required.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    @Derek Washington: Well Mr. Washington, I’m ditching donating or supporting you until you come up with some way to get ENDA passed.

    Why not add Bolivian Poverty reduction into ENDA? Or finding a cure for the common cold? Lets add all kinds of other stuff that can’t pass into the bill.

    It was your job to get ENDA passed with the T. And you failed. You, personally. Failed. As did your buddies at the HRC, who demanded T inclusion or nothing.

    With failure comes consequences. And the consequence is that many Gay men are not going to let you KILL ENDA again. I’m afraid that the T activists are trying to hold it hostage. Maybe the Gays living in states with state ENDA protections are willing to forgo federal protection for 20 years but those of us in Texas and the South aren’t.

    You do NOT speak for me. And I don’t want to submit my rights to some committee of Transgendered activists who want to stop any gay rights bill from passing unless they are included.

  • FoolMe1

    @Tom in Lazybrook: I can’t wait until lesbians get wise to how gay men have been holding them back and demanding legislation that excludes you.

    I’m sure you support passing UAFA without including GLB(t).. right?

  • reason

    @FoolMe1: Of course he is only worried when the denial of rights or the failure of inclusion impacts him. If the lesbians had drooped the GBT 10 years ago in won all their rights he would be ranting about how evil they are. I don’t smell liberal or conservative but a strong stench of Republican me and mine only everyone else to the back of the bus.

  • Tom in Lazybrook


    I support UAFA only if my group is included. Otherwise, I want it to fail. I look out for my group first.

    I don’t think that coalition building does anything except hurt Gay rights. So all the T activists are welcome to oppose gay inclusive UAFA if they so choose.

    Gay men have funded every group with every hanger on for years. Without much tangible results. We are used by other groups with competing interests (and yes, demands for T inclusion in ENDA is a competing interest if it makes ENDA harder to pass) and get pushed away by those like the Dem party that use us for our bucks then ignore our concerns.

    But, unlike some groups, I think its time to form tightly focused groups that don’t coalition build and fight for limited goals only.

    The Transgender movement is welcome to advocate TENDA. And to scream transphobia if a tiny, tiny, tiny minority doesn’t get to block Employment protections for millions because they can’t get it passed on their own. The boards that you demanded seats and agenda hijacking on (in numbers vastly larger than your actual numbers, votes, or money delivered) have tried. And failed. Miserably. Spectacularly.

    Politics is a game of trade offs. And if you don’t have much to bring to the table, don’t expect groups to carry your water indefinately at GREAT personal cost.

    Politics is also a game of counting. And apparently T inclusive ENDA cannot count to 60.

    The Human Rights Campaign is violating the basic tenets of ‘Politics 101’. And these morons are supposed to be the experts? Good grief.

    I’d like, in an abstract way, for T inclusion. But not at the expense of DADT repeal and ENDA for 20 years. People are going to work for their own interest first.

    I’m not going to promise or feel obligated to ‘come back for you later either’. Sure, if I were a member of Congress I might vote for T inclusion in a stand alone bill, but its not my job to advocate for your agenda. Its yours. And its our job as Gay men to fight for our agenda. Which does NOT always mesh with yours. I wish you luck with T inclusion. We did our part by waiting for 2 years. And now we get to wait probably a lot longer for ENDA as a result. And I blame the incompetence of HRC and T inclusion as the reason.

  • FoolMe1

    @Tom in Lazybrook:

    Well gay marriage is threatening the marriages of trans women – who won the rights to marry in 47 states before gays hijacked OUR movement and our history. Sexual orientation hate crime legislation would be laughed out of existence without the padding of murdered trans women.

    The stats to enact SONDA that excluded trans people from job protections STILL included trans unemployment, underemployment, and homelessness statistics. You know why? Because the rates of unemployment among gay men and lesbians in NY were LOWER than the median.

    How about this, you advocate for gay-male only legislation and folks who actually see the value in coalition and get what “intersection” is can carry on making actual progress.

  • DR

    GB and L actually have something in common. What do we have in common with T? NOTHING.

    The fact of the matter is that by demanding an “inclusive” ENDA, the T community is effectively tanking it. The T community demands inclusion and expects the rest of us to sit in the back of the bus until all legislation has become T approved, but the T community isn’t out there doing much in the way of large-scale education to help people understand.

    T issues have consistently been problematic for GLB issues. Americans support GLB issues. So the T community piggy-backs on and tries to force acceptance, and yet every time you change a question to add the T community, we consistently see support for GLB issues tank.

    I think it’s time for the T community to take it’s radical agenda and start lobbying on your own. I’m tired of being relegated to second-class citizen status because you demand inclusion and tank anything which could help me. Yup, I’m being greedy and selfish, but I’m done with your radical agenda.

  • FoolMe1

    DR – you have that so twisted up. GLB groups hijacked Trans causes and piggybacked on trans legal, social, and cultural gains. “adding T” was a simple act of honesty.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    @FoolMe1: You are perfectly invited to take your ‘grand history’ of Trans gains for the Gay male community and use that to advocate against Gay marriage if you so choose. And to advocate your own cause. But you can do so without hijacking our groups, fundraising, and political clout.

    You do NOT speak for me. And I am not alone. You have damaged the Gay community’s goals for your own agenda.

    So you are welcome to align yourself with Mr. Washington and his collection of hangers on (Did anyone think that inviting -not fake – but REAL socialists to speak at the event, where they pushed their own goals – was a good idea politically?). And the increasingly irrelevant Human Rights Campaign.

  • FoolMe1

    “GB and L actually have something in common.”

    – actually gay men have very little politically in common with lesbians. History shows that sexism ran/runs rampant within gay groups.

    “The T community demands inclusion and expects the rest of us to sit in the back of the bus until all legislation has become T approved, but the T community isn’t out there doing much in the way of large-scale education to help people understand.”

    Trans folks aren’t demanding that DADT repeal wait for trans inclusion now are we? We have been silently supporting gay marriage, keeping other issues that affect us more off the table.
    G/L folks have been driving this bus since the 1970’s – don’t even try to claim otherwise, it’s dishonest and EASY to see through.

    Why do you suppose it appears “the T community isn’t out there doing much”?? Could it be that EVERY OUNCE OF ATTENTION the public has for “social issues” is being eaten up by DADT and gay marriage? That the HRC and Barney Frank have intentionally gutted the two most useful trans groups and replaced them with one of their own design?

    “T issues have consistently been problematic for GLB issues”

    – except when you need numbers that make you seem like a population that needs protection. Then it’s all trans all the time.

    “Americans support GLB issues.” – No, America supports lesbain issues – poll people and separate the sexes and see what you get Mr “think tank”. Gay men have just done a good job of laying claim to lesbians (and trans) people in an attempt to remove the “ick factor” that gay men bring up.

    BTW nice use or “radical agenda” peppered through your post. Like reading something from one of those pseudo science religious groups. Nothing like the word “radical” to stirr up the fear.. right DR??

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    Apparently, some Trans activists don’t like comments that dare question the validity of blocking ENDA until Transgendered protections have been included. If criticizing the Transgendered community’s involvement in making ENDA harder to pass is somehow a violation of Queerty’s TOS, please state so publically.

    Apparently some supporters of Trans or Nothing ENDA realize that they cannot win a debate on its’ merits and/or wish to reduce any consequences for the failure of their prior strategy and have seen fit to simply attempt to silence those who dare question their motives and tactics.

  • DR


    “actually gay men have very little politically in common with lesbians. History shows that sexism ran/runs rampant within gay groups.”

    Socially, psychologically, culturally and legally, gender identity and sexual orientation are two very distinct animals. I admit that we go through phases where the GLBs work well together and phases where we don’t work well together. But at the end of the day, gender identity =/= sexual orientation, no matter how hard you try to make the two fit.

    “Trans folks aren’t demanding that DADT repeal wait for trans inclusion now are we? We have been silently supporting gay marriage, keeping other issues that affect us more off the table.
    G/L folks have been driving this bus since the 1970’s – don’t even try to claim otherwise, it’s dishonest and EASY to see through.”

    Depends on the advocate. I’ve seen some complain that the DADT repeal doesn’t include transgendered folks, and I’ve also seen a good many argue that GLB marriage rights are necessary due to the variance in state laws regarding how Ts get to legally identify; gender of birth versus gender of choice. And they have hardly been silent. It may not be making mainstream news, but the discussion is certainly happening in the advocacy circles.

    Maybe if the T community started its own national orgs (with teeth) and got out there and educated folks, you wouldn’t feel so disenfranchised, now would you?

    “- except when you need numbers that make you seem like a population that needs protection. Then it’s all trans all the time.”

    Trust me, I have never advocated for using the T community like that. I’d prefer you have your own numbers, as you probably guessed.

    “No, America supports lesbian issues – poll people and separate the sexes and see what you get Mr “think tank”. Gay men have just done a good job of laying claim to lesbians (and trans) people in an attempt to remove the “ick factor” that gay men bring up.”

    The faces of DADT repeal are Dan Choi, Jim Pietrangelo, Eric Alva, and a whole lot of other men, and had been for decades (as far back as the 70s). The first major marriage challenges were brought by men (as far back as 1972) The faces of GLB marriage equality are pretty evenly split among male and female couples.

    As women became more entrenched in the military, their faces became more well-known (Cammermeyer, for example). Now, we see as many women as men fighting for the repeal of DADT and DOMA and for marriage equality. It was an organic growth.

    And if you really want to be smart, separate sexual orientation from gender identity. Traditionally speaking, the inclusion of gender identity sends the numbers down into the gutters. People “get” sexual orientation, even if there is a certain”ick” factor. Not my fault that the T community hasn’t done enough education to help the community at large to “get” gender identity.

    Either way, from a legal perspective, not one major court case has addressed gender identity in the same context as sexual orientation. Not Bowers, not Nelson, not Lawrence, not Romer, nor any of the major marriage equality cases.

    “BTW nice use or “radical agenda” peppered through your post. Like reading something from one of those pseudo science religious groups. Nothing like the word “radical” to stir up the fear.. right DR??”

    Call it what you want, makes little difference to me. I don’t agree with the goals of the T community, I don’t think the T community ought to be holding “cis” GLBs back, and that’s exactly what you’re doing, by refusing to acknowledge the very real legal, social and psychological realities between sexual orientation and gender identity and demanding we all be lumped into one group because we’re all ‘sexual outlaws” or whatever nonsense is being used to justify forced and coerced inclusion.

    Queer theory is all nice in an academic setting, but at the end of the day, I was born a man, identify as a man, and have nothing in common with a man who thinks he’s a “she” or a woman who thinks she is a “he”. And damned straight I’ll continue to fight that train of thought!

  • FoolMe1

    “Socially, psychologically, culturally and legally, gender identity and sexual orientation are two very distinct animals.”

    – No argument

    ” I admit that we go through phases where the GLBs work well together and phases where we don’t work well together.”

    – ask Bi activists how well the G/L “works together” with them. Ask lesbian activists who did so much for gay men during the 80’s only to have “women’s issues” criticized as “not gay issues”.

    Yup, some individual trans activists have been critical of DADT and have mixed feelings about the gay marriage focus of the movement. However, so are a ton of cis GLBs. I don’t see you point in switching from national movements to individuals and then back to national movements.

    “Trust me, I have never advocated for using the T community like that. I’d prefer you have your own numbers, as you probably guessed.”

    Then lobby to get every single gay-only state-level protections removed, because they all used trans people in their stats… not holding my breath.

    Just because gay men would rather have male spokes models doesn’t mean that’s what America prefers. Look at the pro-marriage equality ads. Two femme women being affectionate, two guys being friendly (for example). The average person is perfectly fine and unthreatened by lesbians.

    Gender identity issues didn’t need to be addressed by the courts. We got ours the old-fashioned way – legislation. That stopped just about the time the GAA started using trans women and drag queens as shock troops in the early post-sonewall era. Then trans became directly linked to gay and legislation stopped. Curious that…

    Last two paragraphs translated:

    I’m a gay dude activist.. fats and fems need not apply.

  • Tom in Lazybrook


    Please name one Bi Activist. You seem to speak of Bi Activists, but I’m never really heard of one. What is the Bi Agenda?

    Sure there are Bisexual people. But what are their concerns and how do they differ from the Gay rights movement?

    Is it legal to be Bi? Yes, after Lawrence v Texas
    Can you be fired for being Bi? Yes, because ENDA didn’t pass
    Marriage Equality for Bi’s? Not really sure that it is applicable within the context of marriage between two consenting, non-related adults.

    It seems to me that whatever issues the Bi community has should be addressed via the Gay rights movement. Unless of course, they are advocating holding up Gay marriage equality until they can marry 1 woman and 1 man.

  • toyotabedzrock

    So let me get this str8, we can goto war and die, but can get fired from our regular job?

    Sounds like a slow form of Genocide to me!

  • DR


    Funny how you can’t address the “ick” factor of transgenderism when speaking to the American public or the fact that no major court case insists on cramming two dramatically different issues into one giant ruling.

    Guess there are some truths it’s easier to ignore, except the one in which forced community ends up killing pro-GLB legislation…

  • Zoe Brain

    @Tom in Lazybrook:
    That statewide ENDA that was passed, so you could go on to the issue of same-sex marriage with that problem solved…

    Includes Trans people does it?

    Oh, I know, you’ll come back later for them. After same sex marriage in NY. And neighbouring states. And dealing with Poverty in Bolivia….

  • Zoe Brain

    One question for those like DR and Tom from Lazybrook….

    If you jettison the T’s… and reject that Equality means Equality, rather than rights for some groups, not others…

    Why on EARTH should any straights care about your rights? What’s in it for them? Nothing, they have their own concerns, the Economy, Taxes, Healthcare… more important things than giving rights to one special interest group who deny them to others.

    By campaigning only for your own particular group, and abandoning others, you encourage others to do the same to you. And there’s more of them than of you.

    That’s one of the reasons why ENDA is failing. Because you’ve abandoned the Moral High Ground that was your greatest, indeed, your only asset. Why shouldn’t the Dems treat you like you treat others?

  • FoolMe1

    @DR: You have yet to address anything I’ve brought up, yet you demand that I address something you haven’t (Ick factor). think tanks my azz.

    Anyway – I have yet to run into any sort of push back from cis heteros once I disclose my status. I’ve also read my history and the prevailing attitude towards trans people before stonewall was quiet acceptance. Then the GAA insisted that all “gender variance” up to and including trans identities were gay. They made that point so often and the new “gay history” movement was so desperate to find any positive G/L representation they used trans and bi people to make their point.

    So – 50’s – Stonewall folks didn’t care so much
    After Stonewall and the forced inclusion of trans into the Gay movement – folks started reacting to trans women like they do to gay men.

    I said before we haven’t needed court cases – we got ours by legislation.

  • FoolMe1

    @Tom in Lazybrook:

    “Please name one Bi Activist.”

    – Google works for you too. The fact you can’t name one says loads about the “LGB movement” and how it “works together”.

    The fact you can only name issues that coincides with gay stuff is even more telling. You realize that lesbians have political issues that aren’t always inline with DADT/ENDA/DOMA right?

    “It seems to me that whatever issues the Bi community has should be addressed via the Gay rights movement.”

    Like being invisible within the Gay gay gay movement? Most Bi folks have huge problems with mainstream gay orgs. I suggest you read up on that, maybe take it back to your own activist circles and do the right thing…


    ” Unless of course, they are advocating holding up Gay marriage equality until they can marry 1 woman and 1 man.”

    I’m sure you have no idea why this is such a loaded statement.

    And people wonder why gay men have a reputation for being vapid selfish pissy and shallow.

  • DR

    @Zoe Brain:

    You know what, Zoe, I have read enough of your stuff on the web to be 100% honest with you, and will say you are 100% right, my position could very well cause things to blow up in my face.

    What you suggest is an absolute possibility and one I am absolutely willing to live with. Because, greedy as it sounds, I know from advocacy work that straight folk can support GLB folks if we work hard enough, but still don’t understand the T part of “GLBT”.

    I’d absolutely rather have fewer straight folk support me than watch ENDA get tanked again because of the “T”. GLB and T do not have the same things in common regarding identity. Not legally, not socially, not psychologically, not culturally. It’s time to accept that and move on.

    Take that for whatever you will. Call it male privilege, call it white privilege, call it transphobia, whatever.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    @FoolMe1: The LGBT movement doesn’t work together. Gays and Lesbians raise virtually all the money, do almost all the organizing, then watch as other groups that have little or nothing to do with our goals steal the agenda for their own purposes, which do not always mesh with ours.

    The 1960’s coalition building model fails today.

    I fail to see how public/corporate funding for sex reassignment surgery is a Gay rights issue. Or driver license issues either. They have some elements in common with the Gay rights movement, but not many.

    I think that the 800 pound gorilla in the room is that the TBAQ fears/realizes that it cannot get much done on its’ own and so it has to take over the agenda other larger groups in order to get its agenda passed. Gays are largely sympathetic to the issues of related yet different groups, but that sympathy has limits when it costs at the cost of decades of discrimination that could be legislated away for us if we didn’t allow these groups to control our agenda.

    I’ve reached my limit. I’m not alone either.

    So scream transphobia, call me selfish, whatever. I’d argue that it is the T movement that has been selfish for years. I want ENDA passed. And I will look out for my interest first. Transgendered people appear to me to have been doing that (at the expense of the Gay rights movement) for decades.

  • Tom in Lazybrook


    You noted that there are some within the Bi movement that feel invisible within the Gay rights movement.

    The fact that the Bi movement is largely invisible within the Gay rights movement is NOT something that is the fault of the Gay rights movement. It is something that the Bi rights movement can address by doing the following:

    1) Organizing themselves, raising their own money, forming their own organizations, and pressing for whatever issues they so choose.

    Not by demanding board seats on Gay funded organizations in vast extraproportion to their numbers and our financial donations. Thats what I accuse the Trans movement of doing.

    I do NOT subscribe to the Dallas principles (which means, let every small group, no matter how marginal, have veto power over everyone so that they can feel ‘included’). And I’ve gotten wise. I no longer give money unrestricted to Gay rights groups. An organization told me ‘we don’t advocate for imperfect legislation’. I told them that the 5k a year I gave to them would be ending if they aren’t willing to be practical.

    I’d argue that the TBAQ groups are close to invisible when we open the checks at our organizing groups.

    You don’t own veto power over me.

    But this could have been avoided if your precious ‘coalition model’ actually could produce any results politically in the most favorable environment we will face in a generation. But as I said before, failure has consequences. And my attitude is one of them.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    @Zoe Brain: As I said before, its not my job to advocate for T rights. And I am not promising to come back for you later. I’m not opposed to T rights, and actually would vote for it. But I look out for me first. The T activists certainly have done so.

    I’m glad you brought up the issue of how we position Gay rights. We shouldn’t expect others to ‘do the right thing’. They will ‘do the political thing’. It is my job as a Gay man to convince others that my cause is just, raise money to do so, organize, and use numbers and votes to show our political viability. I think the last two years has shown that just as the T movement has attempted to coalition build to get their way within the Gay rights movement, the Gay rights movement has attempted to do the same within the Democratic party (and I am NOT a Republican). And guess what, it doesn’t work. What works is what Empire State Pride did in NY (by taking out two anti-Gay Democrats).

  • FoolMe1

    What works is what Empire State Pride did in NY

    – like lying to get SONDA passed.

    Tom, you have a blind spot for T and B people’s accomplishments within the movement. I’m not going to waist your time or mine on who did what – it’s been discussed before and you keep ignoring salient facts and historical data. Instead, you sob because for the first time ever gay boys aren’t calling all the shots. That people who you stepped on are wanting a little attention paid to issues that affect them.

    I’m a straight woman. I donate my time and money to Gay groups that largely don’t do anything for me. I do it because it’s the right thing to do. Guess I got rid of the need to be pissy, selfish, vapid, and shallow when I had SRS.

  • Zoe Brain


    I call it honest – and mistaken. Because it’s not just a few straights who would be lost, it’s most. Why should they care about you if you don’t care about anyone but yourselves? You play into the hands of those who’d trot out the tired old stereotypes about Gay men being selfish, narcissistic and spiteful.

    A lot of very insecure guys feel it necessary to attack trans women in particular, just to show the world they’re men, not wannabe-women as the ignorant perceive them. Many of them don’t just attack Trans women, lesbian and straight women are just as bad to them.

    Yes, I agree that most people just don’t get it about T’s. But I think a lot of GLB people are working to make sure they don’t. You know, to differentiate themselves from those freaks and perverts.

    Just as Ts did before about 1970, making sure that they weren’t associated with those immoral Homo Sexuals. We don’t mention that of course. Kama’s a bitch. But we paid the debt in full in the Trans erasure that happened in that decade.

    DR, it’s not just that I think you’re not in the right here. Because being right is nice, but you have to be realistic, pragmatic, to get things done.

    I’m saying that you’re pissing away your only argument – the one that your cause is manifestly just. You don’t have the economic or political clout to force your demands through, as some unions do. You have to rely on persuasion. Apart from justice, what other arguments do you have?

  • DR

    @Zoe Brain:

    I know for a fact your hypo is wrong. And it’s been wrong for over a decade in my experience. Yes, even in central PA, people were willing to vote in favor of GLB rights back in the mid and late ’90s. I’m really not worried that people will look askance at us for recognizing that this fake rainbow umbrella simply doesn’t recognize the radical and very real differences between T’s and GLB’s. They know the differences are there as well.

    In America, support for GLB issues is there; marriage, repeal of DADT, etc. I’m not concerned with your proposed hypothetical because I know we have the support. The numbers are there.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    @Zoe Brain: Attacking Transgenders? Nope. Advocating severing of T demands from Gay Rights Bills? Sure. Again, I was not opposed to T inclusion if it had worked. And the Human Rights Campaign and Gay, Inc. tried it your way. And Failed.

    With failure comes consequences. We havent tried it my way. We certainly have tried it yours.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    @FoolMe1: Yet another reason why there needs to be a group for Gay men and Lesbians that advocates for us rather than be told by Transgendered activists and their straight friends that we should wait 50 years for ENDA because they want to include T in it first.

  • Tom in Lazybrook

    @FoolMe1: They Gay boys aren’t calling the shots, but I suspect that we are paying most of the bills. Along with the Lesbians.

    The 1960’s are over. They’ve been over for a long time. Coalition building doesn’t work. Focused action on a limited number of goals does.

    Thats why Empire State Pride gets stuff done and the Human Rights Campaign can’t.

  • FoolMe1

    Empire State Pride gets stuff done

    Besause they lie and misrepresent data. Nothing more.

  • Tom in Lazybrook


    Yep. They get stuff done. Thank you for noting that, unlike the Human Rights Campaign, that Empire State Pride is effective.

  • FoolMe1

    If Empire State “Pride” had to use the statistics for the group they represent, they would be laughed out of everyone’s office.

    “Dear State Rep,

    I am hear to advocate on behalf of the statistically best-employed group in the state, with access to more money than the average citizen. We are targeted far less for harassment in this fine state than any other traditionally marginalized group.

    As you can see, we need all the help we can get to make sure we can live our lives in peace and comfort. If it helps, we can just make up some statistics that include a group with whom we want no actual political connection.”

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