john berry

‘ If we can get ENDA enacted and signed into law, it is only a matter of time before all the rest happens’

SOUNDBITES — “The most important thing we can do right now is we got to … secure the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — and it’s got to include full transgender protections. I believe that if we all concentrate our efforts where it needs to be concentrated, which is on the House of Representatives and the United States Senate, we can get the job done. … If we can get ENDA enacted and signed into law, it is only a matter of time before all the rest happens. It is the keystone that holds up the whole bunch, and so we need to focus our energies and attention there. … We’re very close to the 218 [votes in the House]. We’re within spitting distance, and I think we will get it. We are not as close on the 60 in the Senate, but we will be, and this will happen, so I think it’s going to take that focal energy point.” —John Berry, director Office of Personnel Management and Obama’s top gay, addressing the Out For Work’s convention in D.C. about the importance of passing ENDA (ahead of other gay rights legislation)

As for repealing DOMA via the Respect for Marriage Act? “I will tell you personally I believe that I think the courts will strike this down before Congress will have to repeal it legislatively. And thank goodness because, in this case, the backbone is not there in Congress.”