Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Why Is Our Community Silent on ENDA?

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | December 01, 2009 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: employment discrimination, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA

The rumors of problems with the Employment Non-Discrimination Act have been circulating for weeks now, and yet there has been little response by the LGBT community and the wider progressive community. The markup of the bill has been postponed with no reschedule date by Representative George Miller, chair of the House Committee where the bill is currently languishing.

It is pretty obvious even to casual observers that ENDA's passage will occur "no time soon," in the words of Jewelle Johnson, head of the diversity committee at national labor law firm Fisher & Johnson in today's edition of Human Resource Executive Online

Every DC-knowledgeable person I have spoken to is telling me that postponing the House vote until February means ENDA will be pushed to the bottom of the Senate list, and its likelihood of passage is greatly lessened. But there are more than enough votes in the House, and the Senate is missing only a few. The missing Senate votes could be obtained by notching up the momentum and working on the 9 holdouts. So what happens? The motor is switched off.

Where is Congressman Barney Frank, the most powerful U.S. Representative? Where are Representatives Tammy Baldwin and Jared Polis? Senator Jeff Merkley, the lead sponsor of the Senate bill? President Obama? And, more importantly, where are Y-O-U, LGBT community and media? I've not seen many stories about ENDA in the LGBT media, let alone the progressive media. Michelangelo Signorile, I've not heard from you. I've not seen community organizations stepping up to the plate and asking their Congressmembers to demand a markup of the bill now. HRC, NGLTF, NCLR - where are you? Bloggers - Andy Towle, Joe My God - almost complete silence.

We have a community conference call scheduled for today to discuss emergency action on ENDA, and how many people are registered? 70.

70 out of 30 million LGBT people in this country. For shame.

Perhaps if we understood why the community is silent, if we understood the problem, we could redress it.

Perhaps if we understood why everything else is more important than ENDA, which was called the "keystone" to LGBT rights by John Berry, the highest ranking Administration official, we could get our community and the progressive community and our media and the Congress and the Administration moving.

Perhaps if we understood why discussing Adam Lambert is more interesting than discussing our civil rights, we could shift our emphasis.

Perhaps...but "understanding" is the booby prize in this fight. "Understanding" our silent complicity in shunting our rights aside, that is driving with the rear-view mirror. We need ACTION. We need those who hold the levers and dials of action in our community to stand up and speak. We need our LGBT media, and our LGBT organizations and our LGBT officials to start going against the great tide of lethargy washing over our so-called "movement."

We are going gentle into that good night, in the words of the poet Dylan Thomas.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I have some questions I would like us to consider as a community:

1. Why is our community silent on ENDA?

2. Why isn't our high rate of job discrimination, and the bill designed to fix it that has an excellent chance of passage, page one news in our own community's media and among our politicians?

3. Why aren't you demanding that your community organizations and your media and your politicians speak up on ENDA?

4. Are we ready as a community to grab the brass ring of civil rights, or are we content to drift?

5. Why aren't you calling and discussing and spotlighting the three politicians needed to move ENDA forward right now?


Recent Entries Filed under Politics:

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.


Thanks for your efforts on this issue.

Hi Jillian,

I share your concern and have many of the same questions.

Dr. Weiss -

Perhaps rather than shaming the people you have failed to inspire (most of your article), you should focus on the valuable questions of what might inspire the community (which you sort of start to approach).

The reason is right there in your question number 5 - the only things we see happening in regards to ENDA are phone calls and petitions, and pretending that some senators are supportive when they aren't. There is no hope in the age old "strategy," and the community has been forcefed so much false hope that they have become justifiably jaded by more-of-the-same.

If people in the community believed they could win, you bet your ass they would be on the frontlines. No one has presented that strategy.

I'm not the first person to suggest this in these forums, and I'm sure I won't be the last whose concerns you disregard.

Dear Travis:

You are right, I am going to disregard your concerns. I think that someone needs to say "shame on you" for those leaders who aren't helping. I do think I have inspired at least some people, even if you disagree. But those are the ordinary people, not the leaders at the top who have access to national audiences. They are beyond "inspiration" of the sort I have to offer, as they already know the information I am putting into the hands of the grassroots.

Your analogy of the Broadway show is interested but not apropos. This isn't like Broadway, where you must entertain in order to sell tickets. This is more like an army going into battle to defend the country, and it's not the kind of thing you really want to do, but you do it because you believe in it. Sometimes the soldiers need to be reminded of why they're fighting. Shame is a valid emotion, just like inspiration, and there is a time for each. Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their party, and there ain't much more to say than that.

At the same time, I am all in favor of your putting your ideas into action and getting something moving. I am open to your new answers. Where are they?

Of course you will, Dr. Weiss. There's no surprise there. Although I think you would be hard-pressed to say that your crusade for the implausible has inspired much of the "ordinary" LGBT community - that would be in rather stark contrast to your charming "shame on you" stance in the article. 70 people, as you pointed out, is not a movement. The only people you've inspired are the ones who are already of the same mindset as you. And that's not many. "Many" are tired of false hope, and are really looking forward to a solution.

And you're right - people with information are "beyond inspiration." Because they're informed, and they realize that you're asking them to help share your Sisyphean mantle. And they ain't interested. They don't see it as a useful expenditure of their own time, energy, and efforts, nor do they want to stake their own reputations on something so futile and misguided.

The Broadway metaphor wasn't mine, but being a show queen, I liked it. And here's why - it is a parallel - because if a musical doesn't inspire its potential audience with the promise of a certain result - entertainment - then the audience doesn't show up. And if a government doesn't inspire its potential soldiers with the promise of a certain result - a better, safer world on the other side of the battle... well, they'll have a dwindling army that might start to look a bit like ours. Unless we're drafting troops into the LGBT army against their will now. Conscription - there's a strategy for you. Otherwise, be sure and let me know how "shame" works out.

AndrewW and I work at the same office. We chat. But thanks for the implication/accusation.

battybattybats battybattybats | December 1, 2009 11:52 PM

Wow your pretty certain passing ENDA is impossible Travis.

Strange that similar provisions have passed in some states, in some entire countries!

Looks like you may have a self-fulfilling prophecy there, where it's only impossible because people like you say it must be impossible and therfore dont do what it takes to make it occur.

Travis, your argument is simply inertia. Legislation does pass. The hate crimes amendment PASSED. So assuming ENDA is impossible is irrational and has no basis in reality. It may or may not pass but it's logically not impossible or even implausible.

Stop constructing excuses for yourself and others to stay lazy and apathetic. Cause you make a choice with predictable outcomes making you responsible morally and ethically for those outcomes. Cause it makes you personally responsible for adding not to progress but to inertia, making you responsible for people losing their jobs, starving on the street, going to sex work and disease or to jail trying to survive and dying on the steps of a church freezing to death. Yes, your inertia argument makes you personally responsible for jobless people dying when if you acted to change things there would be a chance no matter how remote ofthem keeping their job. There is today blood on your hands. Wash it off and repudiate your irrational immoral and unethical argument and act to overcome the inertia you added to.

Travis today there is blood on your hands. Wash it off or add to it. Murderer or Saviour. Your choice.

Hey batty - I'm not looking at states or other countries. I'm looking at this country, because hey, that's the topic of conversation and I'm old school like that. And in this country, with these senators, with their political positions and theological beliefs, and with these senators' constituents and their theological beliefs... You're damn right I'm certain that ENDA has no chance of passing.

We can't get 60 senators to say whether or not they would even support ENDA, hypothetically, much less equality. We can't even get our friends and neighbors to raise their voices in support, so why should they?

That's our country, and that's our legislature.

And what are we doing to get the population on our side, so that we can have a majority supporting us, so that we can actually pressure legislators or remove them from office?

Well if we're listening to the advice so prevalent on this thread, I guess we shame our community, our friends, and our neighbors. Hey why not, seems to have worked pretty well so far, huh?

(Hate crimes, btw, didn't "pass," certainly not in the rosy way you suggest. It was strong-armed in and used to hold the defense bill hostage. By all means, keep playing whatever parliamentary games you can to force some change through, but it won't do anything to change our society.)

It's amazing to me that so many in this thread is filled with such poisonous anger. Even more amazing is that you don't see how much it prevents you from moving anywhere closer to our shared goal: equality. You, batty and the rest, are the real voice of inertia. None of you are willing to honestly and sincerely analyze your tactics to see if they're effective, or even remotely helpful. That is inertia. None of you is willing to consider how this movement could be better. That is inertia. It doesn't seem like any of you are even able to imagine a world in which we are all truly equal. You aren't able to summon even that much hope. It's inertia, it's lazy, and it's infuriating.

Progress is being able to look at yourself honestly, understand if what you're doing isn't working, and change your tactics if necessary. You are not engaged in progress.

You turn this movement into an object of ridicule when you are not willing to adapt or evolve. You make it ridiculous when you ask, insist, and shame others into following you in a Sisyphean act of futility, and you are responsible when those followers become jaded and detached. And you make the movement - and yourself - ridiculous when you equate progressive thought with murder.

If you want to move forward, you can. But you have to look at the past - and your own role in it - honestly. Otherwise, the inertia is all yours.

battybattybats battybattybats | December 4, 2009 12:06 AM

Thats a big heap of steaming rhetoric you have there Travis.

But lets try one very clear piece of reason.

What evidence do you have to DISprove (as thats how science functions) that lobbying works? show me how there is no effect on legislation of lobbying groups in oil and related industries, in commerce, in regulatory systems, in education policy, in every and any facet of legislation.

Remember single examples of lobbying failing to work won't cut it, as exceptions are common in any complex system with many variables. You need to show that there is a total of zero benefit ever from any lobbying to disprove the possibility that lobbying can have any value.

And what alternate ways of making progress so you have that DEMONSTRATIVELY function more effectively? Not just function but function more effectively than lobbying.

If your gonna claim the particular guano your shoveling makes better fertiliser then show us where its been put to the test.

But don't just try selling us horsefeathers and snake-oil making big claims on mere assertions.

I'm no more likely to give you a single example than I am a hundred because it's so much simpler and much more effective to use logic.

Politicians don't make policy or voting decisions - especially decisions based on controversial religious beliefs - based on how many phone calls they [their secretaries] get from strangers, how many letters and petitions end up in their wastebaskets, or how many slick lobbyists take them to lunch.

A politician will make that decision based on one of a few things:
1) what the politician personally believes. Can your 60 second voicemail trump god?
2) what the constituents believe. 50000, 100000, or even a million phone calls will not change the polling truth that the voters don't support equality.
3) bribes might work. They seem to be getting the job done with Lieberman and healthcare. We could take up a collection.

So there's the problem with lobbying. They will either vote their own beliefs, which a bunch of strangers cannot change, or they will vote their constituents beliefs, which are not in our favor. You are expending all of your energy on something that will not work, instead of leading a movement towards something that will.

The answer is in our peers, not our leaders. There is power in numbers. We need to ask our friends and neighbors for their help and support. If we appeal to the people we know and get them to truly support us, not only will our lives and societies improve around us, our politicians will have to either support us or risk their jobs.

Even so, if that were the only problem with lobbying - that it doesn't work - I would still say knock yourself out. You're wasting energy, but it's your own. And there's the remote, off chance you might achieve something, maybe, sometime.

The problem is that you are guilting/shaming/badgering other people into doing it your ineffective, futile way. You are doing real harm by pressuring people who might be passionate, and might be willing to get involved, to go off on a fool's errand. When it doesn't work, and those people become disillusioned, you are responsible because you gave them shame instead of hope.

If you prefer science to logic and reason, three studies came out in October showing that people inherently, naturally want to help others. But NOT when they have been insulted, guilted, shamed... When they have been asked.

But the real flaw in logic is your insistence that you are not responsible for justifying your own actions. I've asked you to look at yourself and your piece of the "movement" honestly and objectively, but you aren't willing. You're asking me to do it for you.

battybattybats battybattybats | December 4, 2009 10:14 PM

Logic FAIL Travis.

Your precepts on the decison making influences of politicians are merely asserted presumptions, one's that do not match for example the Australian Governments pandering to the MINORITY opposition to Same Sex Marriage in Australia.

In Australia we HAVE the numbers. But the successful lobbying of the bigots is holding us back. Just like the lobbying of the coal inductry to protect 30,000 jobs is getting listened to getting convesions in the proposed ETS at the cost of risking the Great Barrier Reefs 60,000+ jobs alone as well as all the other threatened eco-tourism jobs. The numbers don't add up. Some groups get preferetnial treatment.. the groups doing more lobbying and better lobbying! Duh!

Lobbying does work, the trouble is the enemy are doing it better with paid career lobbyists in greater numbers than our own and with spam-style form letters like the recent senate comittee consultation on same-sex marriage.

I agree we need to increase visibility and work on social methods of increasing our supoorters, but in Australia we HAVE the numbers. 60% and rising for marriage and 85% for full federal anti-discrimination legislation including in employment thats gender inclusive. We have a labor government whats the support amongst labor voters? http://www.coalitionforequality.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=861&Itemid=1 91%

And relative strength of support or not? 42% strongly support, 43% support. In comparison, just 10% oppose such laws 4% strongly oppose, 6% oppose.

85% Travis and still the lobbyists of the enemy stall, stop or get effectively nullifying concessions from our representatives. 42% strongly in favour Travis and 4% strongly against, 91% of labor viters... and who'se getting listened to Travis? Oh wait.. did the Prime Minister, leader of the coutry, actually address the national conferance OF THE MAIN ANTI TBLG LOBBY GROUP? Why yes he did Travis http://www.acl.org.au/national/browse.stw?article_id=28324 Yes he did. So much for having the numbers Travis! Even 91% isn't enough.

Cause Effective Lobbying Works.

I share an IP address with Travis because we work in the same organization. On many matters I suppose we are in agreement, but neither of us is "negative."

I would prefer the word "honest." Instead of tag-teaming people who call you out on your misinformation (this includes you Jillian), perhaps you can provide some evidence that harassing politicians works. I have suggested, with evidence, that it does not. But much worse than the waste of time, is the total disregard you seem to exhibit when the result is clearly promoting "false hope." To shift the "responsibility of winning" to "our apathetic community," instead of acknowledging a failed tactic is unacceptable.

When ENDA does not pass (or even get voted on) you will have already established "blame." That is very unfortunate. We are in trouble as a "movement," having only 10% of our community participating, and all they can look forward to is getting "blamed."

Please STOP selling false hope. Please tell the truth about the 111th Congress - especially the Senate. That kind of honesty has been obscured for too long by people pretending to have a "political solution."

Oh, and I would like to note that you, Travis, are at the same IP address as my friend Andrew W, who sounds remarkably similar to you, and who comments again below. So what's up with that?

I have always wondered why everyone can get behind the right to marry louder and more visibly than they can the right to make a living without fear.

People deserve to be ashamed. They rally behind some of these so called "gay leaders" and push for causes that have less public support and stand to benefit the top few who already have two incomes. I'm transgendered and and everyone that I know is young and trying to make it in this world. Getting married is the last thing on their mind. Hell, I'd take security in knowing that I can keep my job while transitioning over the fuzzy feeling that would come from the knowledge that there is marriage equality. People really need to ask questions before we end up like the average church goer; voting and marching against our own interests or at least when there are more important things to worry about.

The hate crime bill made me really happy. It just saddened me that some saw it as somehow less important then getting rid of DOMA

Jillian,

This reminds me of Cleve Jones when he chastised our community for wasting money on $12 martinis, instead of joining his March. That approach - scolding - didn't inspire. Plus, when I have a $12 martini, I know what the results will be. The March didn't have that going for it.

When we fail to attract enough interest and support for our ideas or tactics, the easiest thing to do is blame the audience. When a new show opens on Broadway and nobody goes - they don't blame the audience BECAUSE THERE ISN'T ONE. They take responsibility.

Lately on Bilerico we have had several articles blaming the LGBT Rights "establishment," wealthy donors and even same sex marriage supporters for our current difficulties. So, you have joined the crowd of blaming-someone-else. I am surprised and disappointed. .

You know that I appreciate (as do many in our community) your efforts and your enthusiasm. But, we keep missing a very important point - we cannot win in the 111th Congress. We just can't. So, instead of asking for help in a losing proposition, we need to redirect resources.

I'm glad that 70 people have agreed to join your conference call today. Build on that. But, please let's stop the charade that we can change anti-gay votes with persuasion or harassment. We can't. We never have.

Politically, we have only two options: 1) change politicians and/or 2) change their constituents minds. Both require significant effort and resources. We shouldn't defer action by continuing to sell false hope.

While we're changing minds, we should consider our own, as well. In doing so, I believe we will find new answers to an old problem. New answers and new ideas will create "hope." Right now, we're all out of hope.

Well then, who exactly do you think we should blame, if not the wealthy establishment types? Someone led our community into its current state, you know, and it sure wasn't Dr. Weiss or anyone else working on ENDA behind the wheel on this. Seems to be we ought to be looking at the big shot power brokers in our movement, the ones who are actually calling the shots, if we really want to find out why we're having the "current difficulties" you mention.

Ahhhhh, what "big shot power brokers?"

This reminds me of Cleve Jones when he chastised our community for wasting money on $12 martinis, instead of joining his March. That approach - scolding - didn't inspire.

Really?

It looked to me as though it did - and I was one of the people who was against the march because I thought it would be a complete waste of time, energy and money. As it turns out, that was done the night before in a swanky room filled largely with out-of-touch people funneling money to a completely out-of-touch organization.

There's a key split here though. The difference between individual activists on one hand and LGBTQ media and organizations on the other.

You're point about inspiring folks is very realistic. As much as I care for the bill, I sometimes become fatigued at the repetitiveness of it all. We're close, oh, it got postponed. We've got the votes, but oh no, the democrats don't want to put it up for a vote. I've been working on ENDA for a decade and every ENDA news story sounds like something I've heard half a dozen times before.

But that applies to all of our legal battles. We almost get marriage, then we don't. It passes, then it gets taken away. Hell, my parents have been married or unionized 4 or 5 times now and each of those marriages have been invalidated. But everyone in our community cares about the marriage fight. Even the anti-marriage radicals can't stop talking about it. What is the difference here? Especially when on a practical level ENDA seems to be more immediately vital than marriage.

However all this discussion about inspiration and fatigue is irrelevant to the question of our LGBTQ media and orgs. It shouldn't be up to random unpaid activists to inspire executive directors to take action when legislation they take credit and responsibility for is being bottled up in committee. ENDA being on track then facing a major setback might be something I've heard before, but it still is major news.

I think it's entirely appropriate to shame organizations if they fail to meet their previous commitments and are not living up to their mission. That's a completely different issue from individuals.

Interesting. Same IP addresses. It sure says a lot. Thanks for pointing this out, Jillian. Tag teaming by one negative individual. How sad. Talk about identity issues.

Please see the above Comments Monica.

Kindly ask Jillian to respond with something more useful than more "shame." I would suggest her trifecta of anger, shame and blame are not very helpful.

Sorry, Andrew, but this is one area you can't BS me. Even if your company has just one T1 handling their traffic, each computer would have a different IP address, so the IT techs can isolate problems on each individual computer. The first three or two numbers designates the carrier. After the first "dot" it can be anything. Same IP address means same computer.

Nice theory Monica, but still untrue. How about you comment on the subject matter. If necessary the 3 of us can have a conference call.

Andrew/travis, apparently, you have no idea how networking works. It's my job. The issue was brought up and you are trying to BS your way out of this.

It IS part of the subject because it directly affects your credibility.

Now, now, girls, play nice. Monica, don't talk to sock puppets. Andrew/Travis is diverting us from putting our attention on what matters, which is calling our legislators to account.

Incredible Jillian. You haven't made a case for harassing members of Congress or even answered a single question. Now, you add insults.

Look, I have tried to engage you in a reasonable conversation about the effectiveness of what you promote. You have not responded.

You make a living from transgender workplace issues by "consulting." and that would be in big demand with the passage of ENDA. Correct? Is this the problem? Is this the real reason you don't actually debate an issue? The prize money?

Dr. Weiss is also Principal Consultant for Jillian T. Weiss & Associates, a consulting firm that works with organizations on transgender workplace diversity issues. She has trained hundreds of employees at corporations, law firms, universities and governmental organizations, including Harvard University, Boeing, HSBC, KPMG, Viacom, and the New York City Department of Homeless Services.
battybattybats battybattybats | December 3, 2009 12:17 AM

AndrewW, the 'harassment' you refer to is called 'lobbying' it's so successful that a tiny minority of fundamentalist christians have the Australian Labor Party conceding all sorts of things to the ACL Ausstralian Christian Lobby and related groups on civil union legislation even though polls have 60% of the country in favour of full same sex marriage!

In other words it works and it works so well that elected representatives will go against election-winning sized majorities in order to appease loud harrassing minorities that do not represent the people who elected them.

So there you go. We do/should do it because it works and works well.

I would do a little more research into the LGBT dynamics in Australia. 72% of Australians make religion "important." This is similar to the percentage in West Virginia. ALL members of Congress in West Virginia are Anti-LGBT.

Whether or not an individual is anti or pro LGBT depends on the intensity of religious beliefs. Australia is very similar to the US in that regard - our elected officials are much more religious than their constituents. But, as is the case here in America, you cannot "lobby away" their religious belief. You must change the minds of their constituents.

Sooner or later we need to do the real work of creating our equality. Politics is a winless game. Our 50 years of politics proves that - Obama is the latest evidence.

battybattybats battybattybats | December 3, 2009 6:43 PM

Oh yes i really need to do more research on LGBT dynamics in my own country when http://www.theage.com.au/national/rise-in-support-for-gay-marriage-20090616-ce8k.html

"Three in five Australians support same-sex marriage, according to a new survey" "support for gay marriage rose to 60 per cent, up from 57 per cent two years ago"

"The nationwide survey of 1100 respondents carried out by Galaxy Research found females (68 per cent) were more likely to support gay marriage than males (53 per cent), while Australians aged 16 to 24 (74 per cent) were more likely to agree than those aged 25 to 34 (71 per cent), 35-49 (68 per cent) or 50 and over (45 per cent).

Greens voters (82 per cent) were more likely to agree than those who vote for the ALP (64 per cent) and the Coalition (50 per cent).

Attitudes also split according to income levels. While 66 per cent of white-collar workers backed the change, that figure fell to 55 per cent for blue-collar workers."

Now see why your stat is meaningless? The religious stat has NO BEARING WHATSOEVER to GLBT support in Australia.. but it gets worse for you.

http://www.coalitionforequality.org.au/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=861&Itemid=1 85% support antidiscrimination laws covering GENDER IDENTITY as well as sexuality.

" Results show support for reform flowed across the political spectrum with 91% of ALP voters and 83% of Coalition voters supporting legislation. Support levels were only slightly higher amongst females, white collar households and people who live in capital cities. "

And we have a federal Labor senator who is a Lesbian whose partner is a Transman, the Labor climate change minsiter is a Lesbian too and of course the leader of the Greens is an out Gay man. Yet the Labor party is bowing and scraping to the MINORITY A.C.L. and Saltshaker lobby groups despite GLBT politicians in their own party and despite election-winning sized majorities in favourof GLBT equality. 85% For crying out loud EIGHTY FIVE PERCENT OF AUSTRALIANS IN FAVOUR OF THE EQUIVALENT OF ENDA!!!!!

So mate, your the one in need of the research on GLBT and politics in Australia.

What you ignore Batty is that your Legislature is similar to ours - representatives are elected by "districts" and are to represent the views of their constituents, not the "polls" you refer to.

It is the same problem we have here in the US. While we have a lot of support in the religious-weak Northeast, we have little to no support in the religious-strong South. So, you have your Victoria, we have our Alabama.

Religion is much less "important" in Australia than the US and that is what shows up in your "favorable LGBT polling."

Claiming that LGBT issues "have nothing to do with religion" is award winning ignorance.

battybattybats battybattybats | December 5, 2009 8:55 PM

Hello AndreW reality to AndreW.

91% of Labor voters. In a national poll by a reputable polling company considered reliable in election politics.

That IS THEIR CONSTITUANTS!

There's even a vast majority of the voters for the opposition party in favour! 83%!!!!

You're the one ignoring data that doesn't match your preconceptions.

Where did i say religion was NEVER a factor? If you actually bothered to look at the links you'd see the ACL stands for Australian Christian Lobby. Try reading nect time! No wonder your so badly wrong when you cannot even manage to follow my posts let alone consider and evaluate the arguments and data.

What i said was your religious stat you claimed explained things has no bearing against the support of TBLG, because obviously the numbers mean the majority of the supporters must also be religious even assuming the entire non-religious proportion was wholly on the supportive side the majority of the religious must be supportive and the majority of the supportive must be religious! Duh!

So religious belief is not an impediment to TBLG support! Even though the 4% strongly against may be mostly religious and the anti TBLG lobby groups are, your own stat if 72% PROVES IT! Heck it even proves that the majority of those in favour of same sex marriage must be religious!

You claim i'm showing award winning ignorance? Go back to primary school cause your flunking year 5 maths class!

Cause YOU DISPROVED YOURSELF! Your stat proves that substantuial support amongst RELIGIOUS Australians makes up the MAJORITY of TBLG support! And thats even with the most opposed to us and the church leaders and the lobby groups that are succeeding in holding us back being religious.

Your reaching for excuses and its obvious. First you claim that religion is important in Australia to explain away the data then you claim its not to explain away the data. But the numbers still don't match your arguements.

Your district argument is rubbish because while it has an effect as everyone knows as seen in right-faction labor hamstrung NSW being well behind VIC the ACT which is quite progressive and left-faction labor led is still bowing to and amending it's civil-union legislation to placate the ACL even with civil unions having been an election issue in the ACT giving them a mandate from the people.

Cause obviously lobbying works. Our enemies are just doing it better than we are. And your just clutching at straws to try and make it look like it doesn't.

I have NO idea what you are trying to say/suggest. Too "Batty" for me. Sorry.

battybattybats battybattybats | December 5, 2009 10:25 PM

Wow, a personal attack using my name. How original.

If you cannot follow that might i suggest some basic reading comprehension along with the maths refresher you obviously need.

I suggested nothing, i PROVED using three percentage numbers one of which you provided that you are totally wrong. That most supporters of TBLG rights in Australia are religious so its not the key you thought. Q.E.D.

If you need to know HOW its proved ask someone with year 5 primary school maths or higher (adjust as needed for American education standards).

Right,

Jillian is doing all this hard work because she wants to expand her consulting EMPIRE on top of her full time day job as a university professor. Perish the thought that she might actually get paid for the years of experience and expertise she has accrued.

And you do what, exactly? What skills do you bring to the table? Who are the two of you? How is your incessant hounding of ENDA supporters on this blog related to your double life as Travis/Andrew?

Why are you both still here? Seriously? If you're so against ENDA, and you clearly, absolutely are, go work on that in the same way pro-ENDA folks are working. Or whatever plans you have in mind. Stop gatecrashing, bullying, and harassing people trying to have a conversation.

This is a new low, even for you, Andrew/Travis.

Do you have trouble reading Yasmin? Nothing I have said is against ENDA. You don't need to lie. I have suggested harassing elected officials is a waste of time regarding LGBT issues - all LGBT issues.

Nobody has provided any evidence that positions regarding LGBT are changeable because of calls, emails and visits. Remember, we've been at this for 50 years and there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.

This is because of the reality of religious beliefs - either the politician or their constituents. Denial doesn't help. Conversation does.


You consistently show up on Jillian's ENDA blogs and try to undermine the conversation. You've gone so far as to with insinuate that she must be profiting from her work. Given your arsenal of petty spite and meandering rants and your refusal to productively engage with anyone, you still expect us to believe that you're for ENDA?

At any rate, I take Jillian's sock puppet comment to heart, and am hereby done with you. I just wanted to make sure you realise you can't go around making insane allegations without being called on them. You can disagree with Jillian all you like (but in a rational manner, and so far you have not been able to do that) but do not stoop so low as to impugn her character. And, please, do let us know of your experience with such matters that gives you the right to decide, at this stage, that your way is what matters most.

[chirp of crickets]

Right. I thought so.

I fully agree with Yasmin here, and furthermore Andrew, your argument makes no sense.

Even if we accept for a moment, as ridiculous a proposition as it is, that Jillian were somehow trying to profit off this professionally, how does reducing the incidence of issues requiring her expertise help her business interests?

This charge is totally without merit or credibility, Andrew, and I'd suggest that if you wish to retain what might be left of your own credibility here at TBP, that you retract it right now.

I believe it is a question Jillian can and should answer. To be perfectly clear I am completely okay with it being her motivation. In fact, I think anyone who contributes to our obtaining our full equality should be rewarded. Part of the reason we don't see much success from the non-profit sector is they have no incentive. HRC (and others) are clearly more concerned about their salaries than our equality. They have strategies to raise enough money for their salaries, but they don't have a strategy to obtain our equality.

My inquiry was exactly "why" she refuses to acknowledge the immovable wall known as our current US Senate. Calling Reps, or even Senators won't change that reality. We're calling the wrong people. Call your neighbors and co-workers and associates. Make up numbers if you must - but call people who can actually make a difference ... and ask for help.

Karen Collett | December 5, 2009 3:28 PM

"Same IP address means same computer."

Not necessarily from the the greater internet. From the Wikipedia article on Network Address Translation:

Most often today, NAT is used in conjunction with network masquerading (or IP masquerading) which is a technique that hides an entire address space, usually consisting of private network addresses (RFC 1918), behind a single IP address in another, often public address space.

It's funny. I never had a problem with the whole shame angle when it came to movements. Maybe it comes from growing up in black culture where a leader had no problem scolding black people over the fact that more of them attended biggie smalls funeral parade then voted that year in the city. No one blinks if it's true. I think that it is more important to tell people what is at stake than it is to tell people that a cause is winnable.

Not to mention that it is a moot point since most polls show more public support for enda than the reversal of doma. If people really needed to know that a cause plausible in order to act, marriage would be the last thing on their minds given our recent losses.

People are not wrong to fight for their rights. All of their rights. It just feels like more stand to benefit from enda than the repeal of doma. I feel the same way when I hear people say that tort reform is the best way to improve the healthcare situation.


I wonder if behind the scenes the religious right is making headway against ENDA? I saw this on HRC's site, and it raises concerns. However, it does not excuse the LGBT community for not pushing very hard at this time.

http://www.hrc.org/13819.htm

I've called. I've written. My congressman as well as both senators are sponsors of ENDA. I don't know what else to do.

I've gone to Albany to lobby for state level nondiscrimination and marriage laws. I see trans people oppressed by their own community in NY state. I'm trying hard not to let my cynicism rot into bitterness.

I'm at the point of just giving up and trying to get used to the idea that I and my trans brothers and sisters will always be the stepchildren of the GLB as well as straight population. With ENDA apparently going down the tubes I'm having a hard time to get motivated for any kind of activism anymore.

The only bright thought I've had is that perhaps Ms Pelosi's proposed "jobs bill" would have ENDA built into it. We'll see, I guess, but I won;t be holding my breath.

Dr. Weiss:

Thank you for your ongoing reporting and analysis on ENDA. It is very insightful.

However, I have a question about your analysis of the Senate. You are trying to count 60 votes, which is what is needed for cloture and to avoid a filibuster. You are equating a no vote on ENDA with a no vote on cloture. But isn't it entirely possible - even likely - that there are some Senators who may oppose the legislation for one reason or another, but who also feel that the legislation should be voted on and not bottled up by a filibuster? Perhaps we should be pressuring some of the "no" votes on ENDA to at least commit to allowing a vote. If we can get that, then all we need is 50 to win.

Good point. My method of counting is to count everyone as unconfirmed, unless they either (1) specifically state a position, or (2) have taken a position on previous legislation that indicates their likely position on ENDA. Very few Senators have specifically stated a "no" vote on ENDA, as you can see from my spreadsheet at http://bit.ly/14TDll I'm not saying you shouldn't call them - be my guest. I'm trying to concentrate efforts where they might do the most good. But everyone is free to call whom they like.

The truth is we DO NOT have 60 votes in the Senate. Jillian counts 52 YES votes and 45 "unconfirmed." I have only three possible YES votes in that group. At best, we reach 55. 42 of these unconfirmed are firm NO votes.

The problem with LGBT support is that it is not negotiable. Despite lobbying, calling, emailing and/or professing otherwise - we can't get anything past the Senate.

Maybe we should consider committing resources and hopes to something else. If you insist on making calls - call your neighbors and their neighbors and their neighbors neighbors. Oh, and ask for help.

Well instead of rallying in Washington how about in a couple weeks we all head to the closest city and have a head count. I'm in Desmoines and if it's on a Saturday morning or afternoon I'd be happy to go to my State House and be counted in favor of ENDA. Matter of fact I'd be happy to post a blog in the local paper calling for not only lgbt people to come show their support but the greater community as well. Just say go!!
Amy

"I wonder if behind the scenes the religious right is making headway against ENDA?"

That's exactly what is happening. The Monday following the signing of the Hate Crimes law, our opponents launched an all out phone campaign to our lawmakers. And it didn't stop there. As we were celebrating our first ever LGBT Federal protections law our opponents were in the offices, calling, mailing 'pink slips' and grinding this legislation to a halt.

Even tho 89% of Americans support an inclusive ENDA, and we have 192 co-sponsors in the House, our opponents have out played us again. This is an ideal time to pass this bill. The closer we move to 2010 elections the less likely this will move forward. That's why it is so important we push now and we push hard. And we are UNITED. If you haven't done your part you ought to be ashamed.

While I think ENDA is important I don't think it's important enough. People get fired if they wear the wrong tie, or if you wear a religious medal around your neck, which happened to my neice in Atlanta, and someone doesn't like it. You can get fired for any reason and being Gay is one of them. When laws are in place to protect every one from getting fired for frivolous reasons, then maybe ENDA will be come an important fight for me. I think DADT and DOMA are the two biggest and most important issues to go after right now!

@ Megan:

You asked: "Well then, who exactly do you think we should blame, if not the wealthy establishment types?"

Don't blame. The effort to obtain our equality is very challenging. We ALL have a lot to endure and overcome, but blaming anyone misses the point. We will have our equality when WE create it. That includes all of us.

Perhaps we should all be a little more interested in winning, than blaming. Or fighting over resources.

Blame, while not the most pleasant thing in the world, has its place. If you refuse to assign blame, you basically give up your right to hold people and/or organizations accountable for their actions. You're seriously suggesting that not holding our leaders accountable for anything is a good way to proceed? I mean, just look at how well not holding the people in the driver's seat accountable has worked out for economy. What makes you think it will work any better for achieving anything to benefit the LGBT and queer communities?

I think it is because most people find it hard to believe people are still fired and still denied housing for being GLBT.. Well i can tell you i sure miss my job i lost due to transition..

To me ENDA is the keystone to build upon for all other rights we fight for. For marriage, For DADT with ENDA we have our jobs and apartments and can afford to lend a shoulder to the fight for the other rights.. But when your forced into poverty and worse cause your not allowed to work. I have to say marriage, military and everything else is MOOT..

Hey, wouldn't it have been nice if that march in Washington a while back had asked for ENDA instead of resolutely asking for nothing for tax purposes?

What do people make of this? Anonymous source being stupid or accusation with merit?

Asked for comment on the delays and rewriting, HRC spokesman Trevor Thomas e-mailed the Advocate story and some links on HRC's Web site that are older than the Advocate story. When asked for more information, Thomas accused this reporter of being out of touch with HRC's ENDA-related efforts.

He later wrote: "After speaking with our legislative team I can tell you that the entire coalition is working closely with the (congressional) committee. It is our understanding that the legal issues the committee wants to address before markup will continue to keep ENDA on a parallel track with Title VII."

A high-placed, longtime source alleged that the House "committee staff aren't talking to HRC at all and HRC is in the dark about what's going on." Thomas said that is false "and I've reconfirmed we are talking with committee staff."

Re: "A high-placed, longtime source alleged that the House "committee staff aren't talking to HRC at all and HRC is in the dark about what's going on." Thomas said that is false "and I've reconfirmed we are talking with committee staff."

Well, there is talking, and then there is "talking." I'm sure the Committee still answers their phone calls, but if they're talking to HRC, then why doesn't HRC know what the real story is at the Committee? Have they lost their touch? No one can possibly be so foolish as to think that this is really about the three minor "tweaks" that the Committee is pretending to fix. Or else HRC isn't telling us the real story. There is something rotten in Denmark.

Don't blame.
Don't most - if not all - who are charged with criminal offenses want society to adopt such a laissez faire attitude?

Just keep blaming the apathy you've created. That'll work.

Alright!! - the Advocate is looking in to it. Great.

In the ENDA call - media popped up clearly as a big interest - and there were lots of bloggers on the call... but we had technical difficulties in our media breakout session - SO - we're trying a media-only call

TOMORROW - THURSDAY, DEC. 3rd at Noon ET.

Please register at:

http://myaccount.maestroconference.com/conference/register/393ZNU9IFPNQF2T

Simple-focus: brainstorming ideas for enda media messaging and strategy (target, joint-impact, etc).

The conversation's just getting started... and everyone's welcome.

No experience needed.

All impatient people welcome.

Creative thinking a major plus.

Let's make some noise.


Dr. Jillian T. Weiss
It looks to a bit like the licking of wounds after loosing battles to bigger stronger foes?

Maybe,there is not much fight left? HRC... they say they represent us, but????? Last time we were sold out!

As you know here in NJ we are more than likely be decimated by Chris Christie and his henchmen?

The Economy has hit My family & Our family's business so hard that I'm worried about the possibly of declaring bankruptcy! It's great that we bailed out humongous Corporations and left the family businesses to die!

When a population is on the bottom rung of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Maslow%27s_Hierarchy_of_Needs.svg
maybe this is what ya Get?


ENDA is the most critical piece of LGBT legislation on the table, right now. It has been introduced in both the House and Senate with bipartisan support; committee hearings are complete, with 192 co-sponsors in the House and 43 co-sponsors in the Senate, and support of 89% of Americans. This one stalls out, don't expect us to move any of the other pieces of LGBT legislation. Our opponents know this.

All we need is LGBT pressure that is greater than the pressure our opponents are placing on our lawmakers. If we let this slip away, we have only ourselves to blame.

AndrewW,

It's been several days and you still haven't answered my question, despite having repeated your same comment to several other people. Have you forgotten, or are you trying to avoid it? To help you, I'll repeat it here, with a couple others I feel are important.

1. You want folks to NOT call their reps on ENDA... and do what? What's your angle? What do you want to see happen? If you think something else is a better use of energy what is it? Because right now all your doing is encouraging people not to act and that is what makes it seem like you are anti-ENDA.

2. I don't believe it's possible for you to know with certainty that ENDA will fail a senate vote, however, even if we lose that vote, getting a vote will still be a victory. Why don't you want that?

3. It may be difficult to persuade anti-LGBT folks to vote for pro-LGBT legislation. But this call, right here, is about calling pro-LGBT reps to take one extra step. Yet you respond as if it doesn't make a difference, why?

4. You paint repeated phone calls to reps as harassment and tell us not to do it. Meanwhile, every representative I've talked to has said that that is how they operate and encourage me to get others to call them so they know they are supported when they vote for us. When you are so opposed to it, do you also visit anti-LGBT blogs and tell them to stop lobbying (*ahem* harassing) their reps? Insurance companies? Environmental groups? Is it only pro-LGBTQ folks you tell not to lobby? If so, why?

5. Alex posted recently about a meta study comparing several different LGBT issues with state by state polling data and found significant differences. Same sex marriage typically polls at around 50%, and while I haven't seen the 89% number folks are talking about, I have seen a year and a half old poll on enda that was 69%, which is still a super-majority. In either case, it's clear that a lot of people oppose same sex marriage and support non-discrimination. Can you distinguish between anti-LGBT folks who oppose marriage and those who are pro-discrimination?

But again, let me underscore that question number one is the most important. I gather if you don't want us to work on ENDA, you also wouldn't want us to work on DADT or DOMA because they would require even more harassing phone calls. Are you against all legislation or just legislation that can't be won without lobbying? What kind of social change do you do instead? As it is, it sounds like you just don't want LGBTQ activists to do anything and I hope that's not the case.

Tobi,

Thank-you for your questions. I will repeat them (bold) with answers. I have just seen your post this evening.

1. You want folks to NOT call their reps on ENDA... and do what? What's your angle? What do you want to see happen? If you think something else is a better use of energy what is it? Because right now all your doing is encouraging people not to act and that is what makes it seem like you are anti-ENDA.

Call their neighbors, associates, friends and even strangers and talk about equality. Ask them for help. You will notice in previous comments I have asked people to notice the very real difference between "equality" and "equal rights." Equal rights are not what we actually want, although the case can be made that they may be needed. Equality is what we want. Equality is the real goal and it would render "equal rights" unnecessary. So, by any measure, equal rights are the default goal for our community. I also believe we do ourselves harm by seeking and promoting faux "protections." They do not protect anyone, they only punish bad behavior. But, the real harm is making ourselves a "special class" or "protected class" and a minority. ALL are in conflict with the idea of equality. By example, Blacks received those designations 45 years ago and they are STILL trying to achieve "equality." Racism still exists. Laws did not change any minds about racism and they won't on our behalf. The truth is time has changed racism - racists die. In the same manner, for our benefit, the bigots have been dying.

ALL 32 popular votes that we lost on SSM would have been won - IF they vote was limited to only those under the age of 50. We are in the midst of a huge cultural change and we are not participating, we are watching - many times yelling and demanding and blaming.

It's time to change our own minds and catch up with our current reality - a majority of Americans will support our full equality. That won't happen until we begin telling the truth and begin figuring out what to do next. It's hard to let go of ideas and tactics, but I suggest our 50 years of experience is very telling.

In the context of the push for ENDA I have made the above points and asked people to consider communicating with people who can actually make a difference - neighbors, associates, friends and even strangers. Those conversations will advance our movement much more than lobbying our Congress on an issue that is non-negotiable.

2. I don't believe it's possible for you to know with certainty that ENDA will fail a senate vote, however, even if we lose that vote, getting a vote will still be a victory. Why don't you want that?

It is not a question of what I want - the Senate doesn't listen to me, either. It is a question of resources and what I see as giving "false hope" to people who want to contribute. Sending them on suicide missions doesn't make sense. I have found that young people give a few years to our movement and then get frustrated and quit. We need to give them something they can believe in and something that can actually produce results. Those phone calls do not.

I believe, with the research I've commissioned, that we cannot pass anything LGBT-related in the 111th Congress. HRC and others making money in that supposed "battle" also know that reality, but admitting it would effect their ability to raise money, or to justify their salaries.

3. It may be difficult to persuade anti-LGBT folks to vote for pro-LGBT legislation. But this call, right here, is about calling pro-LGBT reps to take one extra step. Yet you respond as if it doesn't make a difference, why?

Why bother? I don't mean to sound flip, but if I knew I wasn't going to win a particular battle, I would redirect resources to something that I could win. I do not believe in taking several steps ... if I know the last step is off a cliff.

It is a shame that others won't tell the truth about the fate of LGBT issues in the US Senate. I wish they would. There are many LGBT issues that require unpopular truth - without it we are doomed to continue to struggle.

4. You paint repeated phone calls to reps as harassment and tell us not to do it. Meanwhile, every representative I've talked to has said that that is how they operate and encourage me to get others to call them so they know they are supported when they vote for us. When you are so opposed to it, do you also visit anti-LGBT blogs and tell them to stop lobbying (*ahem* harassing) their reps? Insurance companies? Environmental groups? Is it only pro-LGBTQ folks you tell not to lobby? If so, why?

While on some issues politicians do gauge constituent input, that is NOT the case for LGBT issues. Almost ALL our anti-LGBT Senators are either very religious themselves or they are from States that are very religious. It only varies when one of those facts changes. In fact, I know of three US Senators who will ONLY change their anti-LGBT stance when their constituents change theirs. They study the polls more than they compile the phone records. You cannot "lobby away" the beliefs that define their position. But, because they are politicians they will change for polling data - only because it's their survival.

5. Alex posted recently about a meta study comparing several different LGBT issues with state by state polling data and found significant differences. Same sex marriage typically polls at around 50%, and while I haven't seen the 89% number folks are talking about, I have seen a year and a half old poll on enda that was 69%, which is still a super-majority. In either case, it's clear that a lot of people oppose same sex marriage and support non-discrimination. Can you distinguish between anti-LGBT folks who oppose marriage and those who are pro-discrimination?

Certainly. All the data changes by State and then within States. I have compiled data for SSM and LGBT Discrimination for all 50 States. I have also commissioned selective research on certain States. Polling for SSM is 50/50 Nationally, but varies greatly when you zoom in. Polling is somewhat higher for LGBT anti-discrimination 60/40 and it varies almost identically to the SSM data. Two things drive the data - religious "intensity" and age. With age, comes religious intensity, so they are in effect the same thing.

The reality of our US Senators is that they are not moved by national polling data - they are moved by their own beliefs (religious intensity) and polling in their own States.

But again, let me underscore that question number one is the most important. I gather if you don't want us to work on ENDA, you also wouldn't want us to work on DADT or DOMA because they would require even more harassing phone calls. Are you against all legislation or just legislation that can't be won without lobbying? What kind of social change do you do instead? As it is, it sounds like you just don't want LGBTQ activists to do anything and I hope that's not the case.

I want ALL of us to do whatever works. We must be honest and objective in our assessments. I am not against any LGBT effort, but, I maintain we cannot pass anything in the 111th Congress. We only got the Hate Crimes Bill by holding the Defense Budget "hostage." Perhaps that will happen for DADT or DOMA repeals, but the truth is we'd all like them passed. That's not going to happen unless we change the politicians or change the minds of their constituents.

We need to change the goal of the LGBT Community to equality and we need to start that movement. It will require that we all reach out to neighbors, friends, associates and strangers. The good news is that it is possible, but we need to communicate and we need to ask for help.

If we are to have a "movement" I am convinced it will be lead by new ideas and new strategies - because we live in a new world. This isn't our Grandfathers America. I also know we have the resources, but we lack the direction and probably more importantly, we lack the inspiration. That's why I hate to see us enroll anyone in a battle we cannot win.

What we've done for fifty years has not created equality - it has only created some laws. We want equality. I want equality. I'm sure you want the same.

Tobi,

Thank-you for your questions. I will repeat them (bold) with answers. I have just seen your post this evening.

1. You want folks to NOT call their reps on ENDA... and do what? What's your angle? What do you want to see happen? If you think something else is a better use of energy what is it? Because right now all your doing is encouraging people not to act and that is what makes it seem like you are anti-ENDA.

Call their neighbors, associates, friends and even strangers and talk about equality. Ask them for help. You will notice in previous comments I have asked people to notice the very real difference between "equality" and "equal rights." Equal rights are not what we actually want, although the case can be made that they may be needed. Equality is what we want. Equality is the real goal and it would render "equal rights" unnecessary. So, by any measure, equal rights are the default goal for our community. I also believe we do ourselves harm by seeking and promoting faux "protections." They do not protect anyone, they only punish bad behavior. But, the real harm is making ourselves a "special class" or "protected class" and a minority. ALL are in conflict with the idea of equality. By example, Blacks received those designations 45 years ago and they are STILL trying to achieve "equality." Racism still exists. Laws did not change any minds about racism and they won't on our behalf. The truth is time has changed racism - racists die. In the same manner, for our benefit, the bigots have been dying.

ALL 32 popular votes that we lost on SSM would have been won - IF they vote was limited to only those under the age of 50. We are in the midst of a huge cultural change and we are not participating, we are watching - many times yelling and demanding and blaming.

It's time to change our own minds and catch up with our current reality - a majority of Americans will support our full equality. That won't happen until we begin telling the truth and begin figuring out what to do next. It's hard to let go of ideas and tactics, but I suggest our 50 years of experience is very telling.

In the context of the push for ENDA I have made the above points and asked people to consider communicating with people who can actually make a difference - neighbors, associates, friends and even strangers. Those conversations will advance our movement much more than lobbying our Congress on an issue that is non-negotiable.

2. I don't believe it's possible for you to know with certainty that ENDA will fail a senate vote, however, even if we lose that vote, getting a vote will still be a victory. Why don't you want that?

It is not a question of what I want - the Senate doesn't listen to me, either. It is a question of resources and what I see as giving "false hope" to people who want to contribute. Sending them on suicide missions doesn't make sense. I have found that young people give a few years to our movement and then get frustrated and quit. We need to give them something they can believe in and something that can actually produce results. Those phone calls do not.

I believe, with the research I've commissioned, that we cannot pass anything LGBT-related in the 111th Congress. HRC and others making money in that supposed "battle" also know that reality, but admitting it would effect their ability to raise money, or to justify their salaries.

3. It may be difficult to persuade anti-LGBT folks to vote for pro-LGBT legislation. But this call, right here, is about calling pro-LGBT reps to take one extra step. Yet you respond as if it doesn't make a difference, why?

Why bother? I don't mean to sound flip, but if I knew I wasn't going to win a particular battle, I would redirect resources to something that I could win. I do not believe in taking several steps ... if I know the last step is off a cliff.

It is a shame that others won't tell the truth about the fate of LGBT issues in the US Senate. I wish they would. There are many LGBT issues that require unpopular truth - without it we are doomed to continue to struggle.

4. You paint repeated phone calls to reps as harassment and tell us not to do it. Meanwhile, every representative I've talked to has said that that is how they operate and encourage me to get others to call them so they know they are supported when they vote for us. When you are so opposed to it, do you also visit anti-LGBT blogs and tell them to stop lobbying (*ahem* harassing) their reps? Insurance companies? Environmental groups? Is it only pro-LGBTQ folks you tell not to lobby? If so, why?

While on some issues politicians do gauge constituent input, that is NOT the case for LGBT issues. Almost ALL our anti-LGBT Senators are either very religious themselves or they are from States that are very religious. It only varies when one of those facts changes. In fact, I know of three US Senators who will ONLY change their anti-LGBT stance when their constituents change theirs. They study the polls more than they compile the phone records. You cannot "lobby away" the beliefs that define their position. But, because they are politicians they will change for polling data - only because it's their survival.

5. Alex posted recently about a meta study comparing several different LGBT issues with state by state polling data and found significant differences. Same sex marriage typically polls at around 50%, and while I haven't seen the 89% number folks are talking about, I have seen a year and a half old poll on enda that was 69%, which is still a super-majority. In either case, it's clear that a lot of people oppose same sex marriage and support non-discrimination. Can you distinguish between anti-LGBT folks who oppose marriage and those who are pro-discrimination?

Certainly. All the data changes by State and then within States. I have compiled data for SSM and LGBT Discrimination for all 50 States. I have also commissioned selective research on certain States. Polling for SSM is 50/50 Nationally, but varies greatly when you zoom in. Polling is somewhat higher for LGBT anti-discrimination 60/40 and it varies almost identically to the SSM data. Two things drive the data - religious "intensity" and age. With age, comes religious intensity, so they are in effect the same thing.

The reality of our US Senators is that they are not moved by national polling data - they are moved by their own beliefs (religious intensity) and polling in their own States.

But again, let me underscore that question number one is the most important. I gather if you don't want us to work on ENDA, you also wouldn't want us to work on DADT or DOMA because they would require even more harassing phone calls. Are you against all legislation or just legislation that can't be won without lobbying? What kind of social change do you do instead? As it is, it sounds like you just don't want LGBTQ activists to do anything and I hope that's not the case.

I want ALL of us to do whatever works. We must be honest and objective in our assessments. I am not against any LGBT effort, but, I maintain we cannot pass anything in the 111th Congress. We only got the Hate Crimes Bill by holding the Defense Budget "hostage." Perhaps that will happen for DADT or DOMA repeals, but the truth is we'd all like them passed. That's not going to happen unless we change the politicians or change the minds of their constituents.

We need to change the goal of the LGBT Community to equality and we need to start that movement. It will require that we all reach out to neighbors, friends, associates and strangers. The good news is that it is possible, but we need to communicate and we need to ask for help.

If we are to have a "movement" I am convinced it will be lead by new ideas and new strategies - because we live in a new world. This isn't our Grandfathers America. I also know we have the resources, but we lack the direction and probably more importantly, we lack the inspiration. That's why I hate to see us enroll anyone in a battle we cannot win.

What we've done for fifty years has not created equality - it has only created some laws. We want equality. I want equality. I'm sure you want the same.

battybattybats battybattybats | December 4, 2009 1:55 AM

Sigh, theres a logical dissconect in your argument.

A) We've been striving for generations.

B) There's generational change in support going our way.

You say A) is wasted but then where did B) come from?

Here's a suggestion. A may have CAUSED B. Have you any other idea what caused B if it weren't A and what is your evidence for this?

Racial inequality, sex inequality... each of these people fought for equal rights and as they founght more and more people especially younger people agreed with them till they won. Before those fights there's literally THOUSANDS OF YEARS of people supporting INEQUALITY.

Till people started fighting for legislative equality that is and it appears generational changes started building from there.

It is in my response Batty. It's very clear.

"B)" is the result of death and time. EVIDENCE: look at polling data regarding "beliefs" and age. It is very clear.

I'm not surprised you wish to take credit for "generational change, but I suggest it has happened in spite of your angry demands and political games. "Equal rights" do not change minds. People and societies grow and learn. Both of those things are NOT created by laws - they are created by awareness and enlightenment.

Racism didn't vanish when we passed laws in the 60s. Bigotry will not either - no matter how many laws you pass. It would be helpful if you stopped suggesting that it would. Naiveté is forgivable, deception is not.

battybattybats battybattybats | December 4, 2009 9:37 PM

AndrewW, that generational change is occuring this generation is not disputed. That time and death is how a change in one generation replaces something in a past generation should be obvious to everyone also. But WHY has the new generation changed in that regard? The also obvious massive hole in your response.

Why this generation and not the hundreds of generations preceding them?

Oh i don't dispute awareness and enlightenment is part of the mechanism of change either... but are you really going to stretch credulity to such an extent as to say that it's pure coincidence that in racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia etc the generations following fights for equality are ones where significant generational change on those issues occurs unlike the preceding 2000 years?

And what evidence have you that disprives any link between legislative battles and increased awareness and enlightenment?

I suggest that the fight for legislative equality itself raises awareness and enlightenment. That people reading about and hearing about the arguments for equality are thus made aware and upon considering them gradually become enlightened. Those less stuck in habitual thinking, the younger generations, then being the generation which, convinced by the fairness of the arguments for equality, proceed to change society by that conviction.

Now AndreW, you called me a liar. I find it beggers credulity to assume you didn't notice my point about the sudden arrival of generational change following political activity and thus failed to posit an alternate reason for the current generational shifts in attitude, the cause of the increased awareness and enlightenment to justify concidering it as some colossal coincidence. So i wonder what explanation you have for leaving a hole of cosmological proportions in your argument covered in a thin veil of amatuerish rhetoric if it was not being deceptive yourself?

I suggest that it is the striving for political and legislative equality resulting in and driving and encouraging increasing visibility and the arguments in favour of such that begin and produce the awareness and enlightenment that is adopted by the new generation, the cause of the generational change. I posit as evidence that each major generational change in this regard happened after a period of political struggle.

And the lack of a 'vanishing' of racism et al is not a rational disproof of my argument, any even small reduction in it is sufficient to make my stance valid and warrent an apology from you for the ad hominem.

I only need a small, even tiny, but extant contribution to increased awareness and enlightenment from political struggle for your argument to be invalid.

So where is your alternate hypothesis and evidence that there is no link at all whatsoever of any sort? Cause thats what you need to show in order for lobbying and legislative political activity to have no value at all.

If you were arguing for complimentary tactics involving better usage of media, memes, viral communication, art, visibility, pink-doller choices, social interaction as education etc as being as or more important i'd agree with you, but your arguing not for increased focus on these but the total cessation of lobbying with special pleading that it works on other thungs but can't on TBLG. If it's wasted efforts let it be wasted, there's little to be gained by disrupting it if you have no alterior motives. Simply call for the rest to be done more.

Otherwise people will logicly suspect you of being a sockpuppet for the bigots trying to derail a quite real threat of victory. The astroturfing tactic of the online world.

It was in the Batty - very clearly;

Both of those things are NOT created by laws - they are created by awareness and enlightenment.

People have not grown because of legislative battles or political struggle. Both of these are part of the conversation of "disagreement." They engage and amuse the participants much more than society. I would suggest you are a good example of that.

You suggest (again) that I Have called for a "complete cessation of lobbying efforts." I have not - that is for those "lobbying" (and making a living at it or the promotion of it) to decide. I have asked that those of you in that business stop giving "false hope" to people wishing to contribute by lying about the reality of the situation. It is time to stop wasting time.

I do not need to prove lobbying does not work - it doesn't with LGBT issues and you know that. If it did many people on this site would be posting examples. You can't lobby away religious beliefs.

It's very simple - if lobbying did work, we would have lobby'd a victory a long time ago. It is amazing that any thinking person could actually believe we could visit a politician and beg, persuade, demand or even bribe a change of vote regarding gay people. Their objection to us was formed during their childhood (they believe by God) and we don't have anything to trump that. That's why they never change their minds.

If you want to change our odds in the Congress you have two choices: 1) change the members or 2) change the minds of their constituents. We do some of #1 with the Victory Fund and other election-centered efforts. But, we do NOTHING about #2. We should. But, you and your make-believers keep sending people on legislative suicide missions. Please stop.

You want to claim we have changed the culture in an indirect way, but you are unwilling to do it in a direct way. I find that odd.

battybattybats battybattybats | December 5, 2009 1:03 AM

Andrew WHERE DID THE CHANGE IN AWARENESS AND ENLIGHTENEMNT COME FROM?

Where for that matter have the County and Council and State and Nation victories around the world come from? From Kalamazoo to Victoria to France and Nepal.

The victories in parts of India, the European Union and even Pakistan.. plenty of religion there AndrewW!

Where has all that come from?

You say 'not politics' with no evidence nor alternative yet shown just baseless assertion.

And who says i'm unwilling to do anything to change the culture in a direct way? I'm very much in favour of directly changing the culture.

I said "If you were arguing for complimentary tactics involving better usage of media, memes, viral communication, art, visibility, pink-doller choices, social interaction as education etc as being as or more important i'd agree with you,"

So did you missread that and need to retract your statement and apologise to me or did you just lie and need to retract your statement and apologise to me? Either way i am prepared to accept and await your apology.

Batty,

The generational change comes from individuals giving up religion and "old" ideas. They ARE NOT motivated by what they hear in the news, they are motivated by personal conversations and experiences with LGBT people. Parents and their children is a very good example - many parents of a gay child become our advocates BECAUSE THEY FINALLY GET IT.

Our progress can only be defined by the changing minds of our fellow citizens. If you think people in the US (or Australia) are learning "how to think" from politicians or are somehow keeping score, I would like to request some evidence. Please.

The only verifiable evidence we have is that old ideas die with old people and new, young people are no longer being given those "old ideas" by their parents or fellow citizens. Young people are not dragged to church the way they were 30-40 years ago - they have increasingly been admonished by their parents to "make up their own mind," and they do - the majority without religion. THAT is the big change - less religion.

Anti-LGBT beliefs are based on religious beliefs. With each year that passes religion becomes less important and all the polling data demonstrates this. When people are asked to simply be "human beings," and they are not given a set of instructions, including "homosexuals are wrong," they see US as human beings - equal in every way.

battybattybats battybattybats | December 5, 2009 9:55 PM

You demand evidence but you are yet to explain why generational change follows the generations of increased political activism. Double standard much?

I never said personal interaction was not a significant part of this.

But your ignoring that it was in the course of political activism that most of the visibility occurs, most of the coming out, most of the discussing the discrimination, most of the challenging false negatuve stereotypes etc.

I never said young people are learning to think from politicians, they are listening to the debates and making up their own minds based on the arguments for or against equality they hear with less entrenched preconceptions.

As i said in another comment with over 70% of Australia religious and with 60% of Australia in favour of same sex marriage and 85% in favour of federal antidiscrimination legislation for sexuality and gender identity then despite the religious extremists and some religious leaders religious Australians are IN THE MAJORITY PRO TBLG!!!!!

so no 'all the polling data' does not suggest what you claim but in Australia is clearly the opposite. Yes religion is a factor but it clearly doesn't have to be.

And your also ignoring that even gaining extreme majorities like we have in australia regarding discrimination the 4% strongly against while small are enough to harass us, harm our jobs, physically harm and even kill us. We will still need protections against the 4% even with the 85% on our side. Making legislation to force the 4% to do what they ought to regarding our equal rights still required for likely many generations.

I agree social and cultural tactics are not just useful byt vital, but the legislative requirement is too even with 85% on our side in Australia.

Thats reality. Deal with it.

Andrew, there seems to be a logical flaw in your argument. If one cannot beg or cajole a legislator to change their vote, how can one beg or cajole a friend or neighbor to change their mind about gay rights?

I would also note that the value of contacting a legislator generally is not the use of reasoned argument to change a vote, but as a means of showing how many voters will think favorably of the legislator and his/her party at the next election. This is why I do not generally think it useful to arm people with the arguments in favor of ENDA to engage in an extended conversation with a receptionist. I do not do that, and I grimace when I see the advocacy organizations giving people these complex scripts to use in making calls. I think that deters people from calling. Rather, the importance is the number and frequency of the calls over time.

There are instances in which I have heard of legislators changing their minds based on a constituent contact, but those few situations are generally where legislators have met transgender persons in a one to one setting and have heard the personal and human aspects of their experience in detail. That also is not based on marshalling a set of complex factual arguments about the value of non-discrimination laws, but on the human connection.

To some extent, your argument reminds me of the argument made by Harvey Milk of the value of coming out and how that has important reverberations in society, including on the legislative process. I'm all in favor of that. I always talk to my small circle about my life and how they should support LGBT-supportive candidates.

Jillian asked:

"If one cannot beg or cajole a legislator to change their vote, how can one beg or cajole a friend or neighbor to change their mind about gay rights?"

For starters, the makeup of the US Senate IS NOT the same as the US population. They are much more religious, much older and they are political. For instance, Senator Robert Byrd is a 92 year old Baptist from a State (West Virginia) that is 71% religious. If you want Byrd to be Pro-LGBT the only solution is to change the minds of his constituents. Here's the good news: They're not all "92 year old Baptists." Many of them may claim to be "religious," but not with the same "intensity" of their Senator.

Data indicates that two out of three people in the US who claim to be "religious" are actually open-mined enough to understand and respect our equality. It's not as encouraging in the South, but that doesn't suggest we should ignore the possibilities. While we may not be able to change the mind of a 92 year old Baptist - the odds improve greatly for his Grandchildren, Great Grandchildren and their neighbors and friends.

You also suggest:

"the value of contacting a legislator generally is not the use of reasoned argument to change a vote, but as a means of showing how many voters will think favorably of the legislator and his/her party at the next election."

The truth is there is nothing scientific or even reliable about the "number of calls or emails" a politician receives. There is significant evidence that zealots (both sides) have abused the process enough to render it almost completely "meaningless." Politicians respond to real polling data and not phone logs.

And I wish to thank-you for this comment

"To some extent, your argument reminds me of the argument made by Harvey Milk of the value of coming out and how that has important reverberations in society, including on the legislative process. I'm all in favor of that. I always talk to my small circle about my life and how they should support LGBT-supportive candidates."

Yes, indeed. Now think of a bigger circle and millions of us having the same "personal" (meaningful) contact with friends, associates, family, co-workers and even strangers. THOSE conversations (calls, emails and visits) will do much more for our equality than the false hope of political solutions.

Instead of just suggesting to your friends that they "should support LGBT-supportive candidates," how about having them understand and agree with the idea that you are their "equal." Eventually, it will show up in polling data - effectively neutering those Anti-LGBT US Senators.

Just imagine how wonderful your spreadsheet would look then. In fact, I suggest we would no longer need to fight for laws or protections - we'd be considered equal by the majority of our fellow citizens. THAT would be our protection. Together, we could watch our remaining anti-equality neighbors (the new minority) die - along with their old ideas and beliefs.

We will be equal when people believe we are. That's our responsibility.

battybattybats battybattybats | December 5, 2009 10:03 PM

"Politicians respond to real polling data and not phone logs."

What dream world are you living in?

The G.S.T., work-choices, various wars, same sex marriage, climate change policy.... no there are hundreds of examples of politicians going AGAINST the real polling data and WITH lobbying.

Everyone interested in ENDA (and other LGBT issues) and the promise of a "political solution" would benefit from listening to Democratic NY Senator Joseph Addabbo try to weasel his way out of not voting for SSM in New York.

He suggested it had to do with "the number of calls his office received," until the Host got the truth out of him - he voted to preserve his job.

It's a good interview.

With Queerty comments this is the link:

http://www.queerty.com/ny-sen-joseph-addabbo-didnt-promise-you-anything-on-marriage-20091204/

Tim Gil should ask for a refund.