hail nancys

Is a Lame Duck ENDA Vote Nancy Pelosi’s Last Chance To Secure a Gay Rights Legacy?

A day after a report circulates that outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will call for a lame duck ENDA vote (a report that’s already been shot down), the Bay Area Reporter runs the headline, “LGBTs express disappointment with Pelosi’s speakership.” Though please don’t include the Human Rights Campaign in that list of “LGBTs.”

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  • Andrew

    Although I would be glad to see DADT come to an end, I have always seen ENDA as the more important piece of legislation. DADT will protect a few ten/hundred thousand jobs. ENDA will protect millions. Passing ENDA would almost make me forget all their failures for the past two years, — though I doubt it will happen.

  • Andrew

    By the way, there is decent Republican support for ENDA as well. So I can’t for the life of me figure out why it hasn’t been introduced or should be stalled until DADT repeal, as Pelosi has suggested.

  • randy

    I agree Andrew, but on the other hand, repealing DADT means that gays can serve openly in the military. Considering the fact that so many volunteers come from rural areas and deeply religious places, it would be a terrific advance for them to see that gays are not the characatures that we are painted as. In the long run, repealing DADT will change hearts and minds more effectively than ENDA.

  • jason

    The Democrats are the most cynical bunch of bigots in America today. If they were to get all this pro-gay legislation through Congress, such as DADT and ENDA, what strings would be left for them to pull? They’d have none.

    This is all about string-pulling, guys. The Democrats need the strings so that they can keep getting us to vote for them. With unresolved gay rights legislation, the strings are still there and they can then keep saying “oh, but we Democrats want to give you rights that the Republicans won’t, so please vote Dem”.

    Can’t you see what’s going on? It’s obvious to me. You’ve been had. The Democrats’ strategy is to keep the strings there so that they can keep pulling them.

  • Casey

    Neither the enactment of ENDA or the repeal of DADT will happen while the homophobic bigot Obama is in power.

    It’s time for a proper civil rights movement involving civil disobedience; civil unrest, with-holding of taxes, massive boycotts and court cases; to achieve our rights.

    The undemocratic nature of the primitive 2-party system in the US means we cannot rely on the political parties to give us our rightts.

    Fuck Pelosi; fuck Obama; fuck the Republicans; fuck the Democrats. They all hate us. They simply vary the strength of the language they use, to express their hatred.

    (Oh – and not a single cent should be sent in donations to those despicable Uncle Toms of the HRC).

  • jason


    I don’t think we will ever see gay activism of the real, as opposed to virtual, kind. Gay are too timid. Besides, they are more interested in having a good time on a Saturday night. The gay social scene is built on hedonism. Hedonism is so much more fun than holding up a placard on a cold street corner….

  • Howard Simonsen

    @Andrew: It stalled for one main reason: Congress was prepared to pass an historic law protecting millions of gay and lesbian workers, but it was not prepared at this time to impose liability on businesses for claims based on cross-dressing, bathroom usage, and a variety of other exotic issues related to transsexuality and transvestitism.

    If we had a gay rights movement rather than the so-called LGBT movement that was invented a few years ago, our organizations would have been able to work with Congress to pass ENDA in 2009, and gay and lesbian people in 29 states would be protected in their jobs today.

    Barney Frank told us flat out that cramming trans issues into a bill on sexual orientation would never fly with Congress. In a time of high unemployment, Congress is quite properly reluctant to expose businesses to all sorts of federal liability and regulation on the basis of an ill-defined concept of “gender identity”. Congress needs to hold hearings and do a proper investigation of this issue, not have it rushed into law as part of ENDA.

    But apparently it was more important to HRC and the high priests of LGBT to cram into the bill all of these other issues than to actually better the lives of gay and lesbian workers. We have been fighting for federal protection for nearly 40 years, and now the opportunity has been lost for years to come. Congress isn’t fooled that LGB and T belong together in one bill. We shouldn’t be deluding ourselves with the same idea.

  • Kieran

    We had a Liberal Democrat president AND we had both Houses of Congress controlled by Liberal Democrats for the past TWO YEARS…..and just what have we got to show for it besides a lot of disingenuous lip service? Keep following that swinging banana of equality the Democrats keep dangling in your trusting, gullible, loyal gay faces.

  • Brutus

    @Kieran: This is wrong.

    1. We have a moderately liberal, but also highly pragmatic, President.

    2. Both Houses of Congress were controlled by the Democrats for only one year; when Ted Kennedy died and Massachusetts replaced him with Scott Brown a year ago, the Democrats lost the ability to close debate in the Senate.

    3. Not all Democrats are created equal. In order to gain control of the Houses, the Democrats had to win in districts and states that don’t normally vote Democrat, which means they had to run more conservative candidates. Those were the ones hit the hardest in the midterm election, when those districts reverted to voting Republican; but the Democrats from districts like that might as well be Republican.

  • SteveC

    The bottom line is that the Democratic Party as a whole is ALWAYS willing to throw us under the bus as soon as it is convenient (and they do so with the approval of the Gay Uncle Toms of the HRC).

  • Brutus

    @SteveC: So would you.

    Pretend you’re a legislator for a minute. You have finite time, staff, and resources. Imagine that, because of various reasons (coalitions, time, institutional capacity, etc.), you can accomplish one, but only one, of two things: (1) get ENDA passed; (2) rework the tax code to ease the burden on the middle class by 5%.

    Which do you do?

    Does it depend on who you are? Who your constituents are? Whether you’re running for reelection?

    The irony is that gays tend to congregate in “liberal” cities, where the Democrat is going to be elected anyway. Out in more rural areas, there aren’t enough gays to form a crucial voting bloc in the politics of the district.

    Politics is tough. But gays have made astonishingly rapid progress when compared to women or blacks. Seven years ago it could be illegal to have sex. Twenty-five years ago homosexuality could be a mental disorder. Now we’ve got hate crimes protection and we’re teetering on the edge of open military service, employment nondiscrimination, and even marriage. Once those are in place, it seems like there’s not even anything left to be done. We’re almost there. Hang on.

  • missanthrope

    “Does it depend on who you are? Who your constituents are? Whether you’re running for reelection?”

    Or it depends if you are a morally corrupt sycophant who will trade gay and trans lives for another couple of years of holding an office. This isn’t about some kind of abstract academic exercise of power in a poly sci class. In real life we don’t have the luxury for that. It’s about real lives and real life consequences for some of the most vulnerable and defenseless people in society. So you can take your pragmatic power politics and stuff it.

    “Once those are in place, it seems like there’s not even anything left to be done. We’re almost there. Hang on.”

    They have been telling us this for forty years since Stonewall, throughout the AIDS Crisis, and since DOMA. We have a whole generation of LGBT kids who weren’t barely even born when Clinton (our “dear” friend) established DADT serving in the military.

    There will always be a “we’re almost there” for our “friends” in the Democratic party and their gay enablers who enjoy the access brought about through being enablers of the politics of constantly being “almost there”. Kids for whom Stonewall is a footnote in a history book two generations hence have been failed by a movement that has sold it’s soul for cash and political power, putting the interests of Democratic party over the lives of their brothers and sisters.

    Accountability, morality and honor? Words that have never entered into the equation in the struggle for LGBT rights in Congress. And as long as our “friends” in the HRC and the other hallowed halls of Gay Rights Inc. are gainfully employed “fighting for our rights” in day that will always be delayed, we will never be equal citizens of this nation.

    This attitude enables the oppression, death, and marginalization of your brothers and sisters whom your politics have consistently failed in Congress. How does that make you feel?

  • shelleybear

    True, we have been sold out, but more to the point, the principles that this country was founded on have been sold out.
    Not only by the Republicans, but by Barry N0bama and the Democrats.
    All he would have had to do was NOT appeal the recent court ruling that D.A.D.T. is unconstitutional.
    No waiting.
    No praying for a miracle in a Republican congress, but also no glory for the N0bama administration.
    Something that this spineless wimp of a president just can’t stomach.

  • jessOMG

    HRC reminds me of Roy Cohn’s rant in Angels from America, “Homosexuals are men who in 15 years of trying can’t get a pissant anti-discrimination bill through the City Council”. I don’t know if this is ironic.

    Blaming trans-inclusivity for the failure of ENDA is a red herring and an excuse for cisgender queers to show off their transphobia. The fact is that many transgender people are disgusted with HRC, don’t feel HRC represents them, and think “LGBT” and “GLBT” is a sham that only serves cis gay and lesbian people (and usually just gay men at that.)

    The real issue is that HRC (and the Dems) is basically useless. IIRC, initially ENDA failed when it wasn’t trans-inclusive in the first place. And HRC promised that they would be back with a separate campaign for trans people (How did that work out? It didnt. Failed anyway.) Then ENDA failed when it had trans-inclusive language in it that then was taken out to make it easier to pass, with more promises and doublespeak from HRC and cis gay liberals. Now ENDA is trans-inclusive more or less (with the attendant hissy fits from Barney Frank) and it will likely fail again. The issue isn’t trans-inclusivity, its the failure of queer people’s supposed self-appointed allies and leadership.

  • Jennifer Q

    Robin McGehee said Pelosi “is a fraud.” We need to know our enemies and punish them whenever we can. Robin knows.

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