Even as we took the sucker punch of losing marriage equality in Maine by popular vote, we saw history made and in the making in Kalamazoo, Michigan and--hopefully--Washington State.
In Kalamazoo voters strongly backed an ordinance which protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodation.
In Washington state, which votes by mail, it now appears very clear that the comprehensive Domestic Partner law passed by the legislature and signed by the Governor will now become law. Our opponents had placed on the ballot a measure to repeal the law. Voters, by a too-close-for-comfort margin, seem to have voted to approve the legislation.
Today, the Senate holds a historic hearing on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would forbid discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Workplace discrimination affects every member of our community and today, federal protections are finally within reach. ENDA has been repeatedly introduced in the House and Senate since 1994. This session, we have more support for an inclusive bill than ever before. At last, passing ENDA is no longer a dream, but a reality. If we all work very hard and make our voices heard we could see passage of this historic and long-needed legislation in the coming months.
And so it goes. The familiar trajectory of every movement for civil and human rights. Days of crushing disappointment, days of cautious optimism at incremental progress, days when a historic victory changes the landscape forever. Our movement has had all such days. Too many of the first and not enough of the latter, that is for damn sure however. So, you want more historic victories? I agree. Let's get to work.