Rebecca Juro

Congress Postpones ENDA Vote!

Filed By Rebecca Juro | October 01, 2007 7:55 PM | comments

Filed in: Action Alerts, Politics, Politics, The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Barney Frank, Democrats, ENDA, HRC, LCCR, Nancy Pelosi, transgender

This was just released:

From: Speaker Pelosi
Sent: Monday, October 01, 2007 5:43 PM
Subject: Pelosi, Miller, Frank and Baldwin Statement on ENDA

Monday, October 1, 2007

Pelosi, Miller, Frank and Baldwin Statement on ENDA

Washington, D.C. -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, Congressman Barney Frank, and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin issued the following statement today on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA):

"After discussions with congressional leaders and organizations supporting passage of ENDA, we have agreed to schedule mark-up of the bill in the Committee on Education and Labor later this month, followed by a vote in the full House. This schedule will allow proponents of the legislation to continue their discussions with Members in the interest of passing the broadest possible bill."

This, of course, is by no means a victory...it's simply more time to try to snatch one from the jaws of defeat. Now, we must really turn the pressure up. No retreat, baby, no surrender!


In other ENDA related news, HRC and LCCR finally issued a statement on the matter, saying they feel the current strategy is a bad idea, but still shying away from saying they will actively oppose a non-inclusive ENDA. Progress, I suppose, but still far south of where we need them to be, where the vast majority of the rest of us are.

Now the fun really starts...

All together now, one, two, three...PUSH!


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And from Lambda Legal's Analysis of the GLB(without the T) version:

"The new version of ENDA also states without qualification that refusal by employers to extend health insurance benefits to the domestic partners of their employees that are provided only to married couples cannot be considered sexual orientation discrimination.

The old version at least provided that states and local governments could require that employees be provided domestic partner health insurance when such benefits are provided to spouses.

In the previous version of ENDA the religious exemptions had some limitations. The new version has a blanket exemption under which, for example, hospitals or universities run by faith-based groups can fire or refuse to hire people they think might be gay or lesbian."

http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/10/100107endup.htm

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | October 1, 2007 11:11 PM

The message still needs to go out that no bill sans gender identity should move -- period. Bush isn't going to sign it either way, so there's no reason to screw ourselves in a month anymore than there was one to do it this week.

The changes, particularly the religious exemption that is so hugely more than the 1964 Civil Rights Act suffered in its reliance on the First Amendment to protect the sacred rights of churches, are significantly peeling away what besides the gender identity inclusion is good about HR 2015, the real ENDA.

What, may I ask, is the rationale for saddling us with less protection than the protections accorded on the basis of race, national origin, etc.? Are we less human, do we suffer less enough to cut out what, in Indianapolis, are the largest employers from the bill? Why pander so to the religious political extremists instead of standing our ground and fighting them? The carve-out (made primarily for the American Baptists and in fear of Falwell in 1992) was wrong then and it's wrong now.

I remember back in 1992 having to rip and shred our truly real civil rights bill to get what would pass muster with Sen. Kennedy's office as a "Clean" bill ready for the imminent and successful push to passage they foolishly thought it would get.

Despite warnings that it was all so much Inside the Beltway, totally out of touch with the Heartland blind hoohaw, warnings that, when coupled with similar ones regarding lifting the military ban made me feel increasingly like a Cassandra, they sacrificed what was right for what was expedient and premature so that we were still suffering from it even with the significant recoup of lost ground with HR 2015.

Now it looks as if the champions of shortsighted expediency are at it again.

It is a terrible truth that it's not our enemies who leave me demoralizedly exhausted -- it's those who are supposed to be our comrades in arms.

It is a terrible truth that it's not our enemies who leave me demoralizedly exhausted -- it's those who are supposed to be our comrades in arms.

I totally agree, Marla, but I'm also quite heartened by the response from the community on this, not only from the rank and file, but also from the media and our activist organizations.

In 2004, we had to fight just for a few minutes of media coverage on Sirius OutQ, an article or two in Queer media, or any coverage really, other than that we we did ourselves. This time, most of our community media and activist orgs fell in right behind us and it's been a truly great thing to see. Makes me feel like everything we did in 2004 will all be worth it in the end.

At the same time, I'll reserve final judgment on that last bit until I see what happens now.

For tonight, I'm going to sleep an ounce easier.

Just for tonight though.