Should You Be Worried That Barney Frank Just Put ENDA on the Longer-Term List?


Oh, not to scare you into thinking you need to rush to the phone to dial your federal lawmaker today (s/he won’t answer; it’s Veteran’s Day), but did you know that all your hoping for a quick passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has been for naught? Because ENDA isn’t arriving anytime soon, kids!

That’s the message Dr. Jillian T. Weiss, a workplace consultant and law professor at Ramapo College of New Jersey, is sending after talking to her “DC insider friends,” who reveal “some of the more conservative House Democrats are beginning to raise concerns about ENDA. The right-ward shift indicated by the New Jersey and Virginia gubernatorial races and the Maine vote makes them nervous, and they don’t want to be forced to vote on controversial legislation.”

Oh noze! Does that mean the Matthew Shepard Act’s passage won’t be quickly followed up by more gay law?

Looking at statements to the Washington Blade from Rep. Barney Frank — who’s one of the lead House advocates on ENDA — Weiss reads between the lines, and sees Frank’s comment about how the Domestic Partnership Benefits & Obligations Act (which would grant benefits to LGBT federal employees) has a strong chance of passing before anything else as evidence ENDA is on the backburner. And also, because Frank “noted that a House floor vote is expected to occur no later than February.”

Exclaims Weiss: “February? Did he say House vote in February? Not…before Thanksgiving? Not…before the end of the year? So wait, let me count….if the House vote takes place in February, and then proceeds to the Senate, which will need some time to do various procedural things before bring it to the Senate floor, that means that the Senate will be considering ENDA right around the time that midterm election campaigns begin. … So now, domestic partner benefits have jumped in front of ENDA? And they’re going to try to do ENDA around the same time as DADT? How many sponsors does ENDA have in the House? 189. How many for DPBO? 127. ENDA is way ahead of DPBO.”

It’s as if a Democratic lawmaker made certain commitments to the LGBT community, and is now getting all murky about them.

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  • Andrew

    Of course he did. There isn’t support in the Congress for anything LGBT. In fact, there never was enough support. You were just played by HRC and the political community. Next, they will use fear about the “Republican takeover.”

    Politicians and HRC make a living off of us. We’re not very bright.

  • InExile

    This is Obama’s fault for not leading the party. This would not have happened with Hillary because she is a leader. Unfortunately for us, Obama is too far right and also too weak. Some of us saw this coming 3 years ago, sorry to say. We need another democrat to challenge Obama in 2012 or the republicans may win.

  • Cam

    I LOVE the fact that they try to say Jersey was about a rightward shift….give me a break. Corzines poll numbers were in the toilet for ages. he was considered a shitty governor and they could have run a wax figure against him and it would have won. But then again, any excuse to put gay rights on the back burner but Congress will do for them.

  • TimNCGuy

    yes, let me see. In VA, they ran the most conservative dem for governor they could find. He ran his campaign away from Obama until the very end. He stated he would OPT Virginia OUT of the public option. He ran a shitty campaign. He lost.

    And, from this they want to extrapolate that the dems need to move further to the right?

    How about analyzing the two congressional elections that took place at the same time instead of the local state races. One in NY and one in CA. Te dems won both of those. And, the one in CA was in a moderate district where the very progressive dem won the seat that used to be held by a moderate blue dog dem.

    Are all dem politicians idiots?

  • Steve

    Does Barney Frank want gay people to contribute to Democratic party candidates during 2010?

    If the answer is “yes”, then ENDA MUST PASS, THIS YEAR.

    Until ENDA is passed and signed, the answer is clearly “no”.

  • InExile

    Corzine lost because of NJ’s high taxes especially property taxes. Many people leave NJ and move to Delaware or other states to get away from NJ’s taxes. With the current economic climate people voting for the candidate who says he will reduce taxes is no surprise.

    Of coarse the democrats have not helped themselves this year acting like a bunch of incompetent children that cannot get their act together after years in the minority. The democrats are not doing what they promised for anyone but LGBT’s seem to be at the bottom of the list.

  • Andrew

    @ InExile:

    I’m confused. Do you really believe that Obama has a “magic-wand” or that he can tell Democrats what to do? That’s silly.

    Democrat does not mean pro-LGBT. Those who do not support us have religious reasons. That has nothing to do with party affiliation.

  • Brian

    From Gallup:

    Republicans have moved ahead of Democrats by 48% to 44% among registered voters in the latest update on Gallup’s generic congressional ballot for the 2010 House elections, after trailing by six points in July and two points last month.

  • Bill Perdue

    No. 2 • InExile – that’s delusional.

    The Clintons are right centrists just like The Bushes and Obama. There are no, zero, nada, zilch important differences between them or their ability to mislead. So far the biggest differences are whether to continue killing Iraqis or escalate the murder of Afghan civilians. Oh, and stem cell research and lest we forget, invites to the WH easter egg roll.

    The number of people who those who fall for Hillary Clinton’s misleadership dwindles daily. But not as fast as the number of LGBT folks who see through the Democrats protection racket and Barney Franks pretense of being for LGBT equality instead of his career.

    A new Pew Research survey says that

    just 52% of registered voters would like to see their own representative re-elected next year — approaching levels not seen since early October 2006 (50%) and 1994 (49%) when congressional control switched parties.

    Support for incumbents is particularly low among independent voters. Only 42% of independent voters want to see their own representative re-elected — also nearing an all time low.

    Despite the voter unrest, overall opinion of President Obama has not soured — his job approval rating of 51% is essentially unchanged since July.”

    That’s almost a 20% drop in the last ten months, most of it from independents and Republicans.

    No. 7 • Andrew “Democrat does not mean pro-LGBT. Those who do not support us have religious reasons. You’re only half right Andrew. Most Democrat and Republicans politicians don’t give a rat’s ass about cults and their pretense at having ethics and morals. If you said they have religious ‘excuses’ to be bigots you’d be right.

    Their only morality is the vote count and the chance to participate in the massive fraud of governing. They change their minds on a dime, not to suit the needs of pulpit pimps, but to get votes. Obama is one of the clearest examples. He was for same sex marriage and then flipped to cater to the bigot vote. That’s how he became Senator and that’s how he became President -bellowing “gawd’s in the mix.”

    The only way to fight them is by a persistent campaign of mass actions with cutting edge, militant demands for equality and liberation.

  • InExile

    #9 Bill,

    You forgot to mention one approval poll, Hillary’s approval is 75%, even higher than MEchelle Obama.

    Also you say Obama “won” the vote by catering to bigots, well that is partially true. The fact is he had the competition taken out on a technicality to win his Senate seat, he did the same thing in the Democratic primary with a little help from Donna Brazil and Nancy Pelosi. He was awarded delegates he did not earn.

  • Brian

    It’s all political bs. ENDA, DADT and DOMA efforts are DOA. Religion won.

  • Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

    Thanks Q for picking up this story. Fortunately, there was news late Thursday afternoon that the House Committee on Education and Labor, which is responsible for sending the bill to the House floor for a vote, will mark up the bill next Wednesday. That means it will be available for the House leaders to put the floor for a vote on or after Wednesday. Whether they will do so or not, and when, and what factors they might be weighing in making that decision, are important issues. Look for my Weekly ENDA Update this coming Monday on The Bilerico Project.

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