Congress' Wide Stance on ENDA

by Marti Abernathey of TransAdvocate, Trans Group Blog, and The Bilerico Project

Tonight I had a surge of optimism at the latest news from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC):

BREAKING NEWS: In a meeting with the Human Rights Campaign and other gay groups this afternoon on Capitol Hill, Speaker Nancy Pelosi committed to moving an inclusive employment anti-discrimination bill forward in the House as soon as the votes to pass the legislation were delivered.

This is an unprecedented commitment from a Speaker of the House to fast track important gay civil rights legislation protecting the entire GLBT community.
Sounds pretty encouraging, right?

They continue:

The Human Rights Campaign has collaborated with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to craft a solution to the controversy surrounding the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Today, in a meeting with HRC and other gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender advocacy groups, Speaker Pelosi took an unprecedented step and committed to giving H.R. 2015, the fully-inclusive version of the bill, a floor vote in the House once enough support for it to pass has been secured.
In this finely crafted piece of propaganda, the HRC hopes to hide the fact that this could have been written after the whip vote. It includes no new information. Once the support has been secured they'll pass the bill? Well duh HRC, this isn't anything new.

To get the straight dope I had to go to Pride At Work's press release:

Today in the U.S. Capitol, a coalition of LGBT and allied organizations, including Pride At Work, met with leadership from Speaker Pelosi, Congressman Frank, and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin's office about the status of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

Pride At Work is part of the United ENDA campaign which is calling for passage of H.R. 2015, ENDA, which includes gender identity. Our community has spoken and demanded an inclusive bill. Rest assured that this demand was vocally expressed to leadership in the House. Unfortunately, House leadership has decided to go ahead with the strategy of pushing an inadequate bill that does not include gender identity.
According to their press release the effects of this move are already having a domino effect on legislation being introduced in Florida.

This strategy is already having disastrous effects in the states as well, with Florida elected officials removing an inclusive non-discrimination bill from the legislative docket for one bill that contains sexual orientation and a separate bill for gender identity.
Never mind that the LGBT community has said they don't want this bill, never mind that 60 percent of the electorate support transgender inclusion, Congressional Democrats are bound and determined to do as they please. With their reluctance to do the will of the people concerning the Iraqi occupation and S-CHIP veto, it seems like they are desperate for any victory...even one the majority of the GLBT community doesn't want.

What's really frustrating is that the Human Rights Campaign seems to be a willing propagandist. I have to wonder if Bill Clinton's Lewinsky legal team or the folks that came up with the name GW Bush's "Clear Skies Initiative" are writing press releases for them. How they can continue to try and spin crap into golden fleece and have anyone buy it is beyond me.

The following is the list of the Democratic members on the Education and Labor Committee. The future of an inclusive ENDA is in their hands. Please call them on Monday and urge them to only send the fully inclusive ENDA (HR2015) bill to the floor.

Education and Labor Committee: Democrats:

1. George Miller, Chairman - CA-7 - 202-225-2095 -
2. Dale E. Kildee, MI-5 - 202-225-3611
3. Donald M. Payne, NJ-10 - 202-225-3436
4. Robert E. Andrews, NJ-1 - 202-225-6501
5. Robert C. ``Bobby'' Scott, VA-3 - 202-225-8351
6. Lynn C. Woolsey, CA-6 - 202-225-5161
7. Rubén Hinojosa, TX-15 - 202-225-2531
8. Carolyn McCarthy, NY-4 - 202-225-5516
9. John F. Tierney, MA-6 - 202-225-8020
10. Dennis J. Kucinich, OH-10 - 202-225-5871
11. David Wu, OR-1 - 202-225-0855
12. Rush D. Holt, NJ-12 - 202-225-5801
13. Susan A. Davis, CA-53 - 202-225-2040
14. Danny K. Davis, IL-7 – 202-225-5006
15. Raúl M. Grijalva, AZ-7 - 202-225-2435
16. Timothy H. Bishop, NY-1 - 202-225-3826
17. Linda T. Sánchez, CA-59 - 202-225-6676
18. John P. Sarbanes, MD-3 - 202-225-4016
19. Joe Sestak, PA-7 - 202-225-2011
20. David Loebsack, IA-2 - 202-225-6576
21. Mazie K. Hirono, HI-2 - 202-225-4906
22. Jason Altmire, PA-4 - 202-225-2565
23. John A. Yarmuth, KY-3 - 202-225-5401
24. Phil Hare, IL-17 - 202-225-5905
25. Yvette D. Clarke, NY-11 - 202-225-6231
26. Joe Courtney, CT-2 - 202-225-2076
27. Carol Shea-Porter, NH-1 - 202-225-5456

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