Alex Blaze

A preview of ENDA opposition

Filed By Alex Blaze | April 08, 2010 1:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Annise Parker, anti-discrimination, Christian beliefs, Houston, LGBT, policy, Texas

There's an interesting piece of rightwing propaganda about Annise Parker's recent executive order to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression in the city of Houston people have been linking to. Nothing really controversial, just banning discrimination in a way many Americans think is already protected, except for one little thing:

Furthermore, Welch takes issue with how the mayor so easily brushed off the will of the people.

In 1995, Houston voters had passed ballot measures prohibiting the extension of special rights based on sexual behavior. They did the same in 2001.

"She (Parker) is now acting by decree to impose her agenda in direct contrast to those votes," commented Welch.

Unbelievable - she's acting like she has some sort of authority in Houston! Who does she think died and left her in charge? To think she struts around like she has some sort of power in that city. Obviously the will of the people isn't expressed in the most recent election, but in ballot initiatives from a decade ago on issues germane but not the same as the one being discussed. And everyone knows mayors are not allowed to sign executive orders until they've been approved by rightwingers.

What a bitch.

The rest of the piece is about the bathroom issue (men in dresses raping America's pre-pubescent daughters) and touches briefly on lawsuits, although it doesn't discuss it all that much. It's largely incoherent on a policy level, but that's never stopped these folks before.

The larger framing is how the article sets up a "Christian vs. gay" identity battle. Instead of this being about antidiscrimination policy, this is a zero-sum game in which one side is going to have to lose. They see themselves as a little army battling us, another little army, in which any gain for us is going to be illegitimate since they think every American agrees with them no matter what polling shows.

Anything we win is going to be portrayed as an attack on them, something that'll have disproportionately huge consequences. The story of how antidiscrimination legislation will cause nuclear winter is secondary - they feel that us winning means that they're being attacked.

On a national level, the right has already been working overtime to come up with reasons why Obama doesn't legitimately have any power (he's Kenyan, America's a center-right nation, a couple armed and angry protesters who somehow represent everyone showed up at a few town hall meetings). They're ready for this battle even if they haven't really been talking about it.

If the Senate seriously takes up ENDA this year, these protestors won't be enough to stop it. But anyone can predict what they're going to do, and how much the media is going to enjoy a "Obama vs. real American Christians" story. If we wondering about the reticence, this is the main reason why it's there even though ENDA polls extraordinarily well nationally.


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I think we ought to up the stakes by modifying the exemptions for religious groups to exclude "Christians". It is high time they were forced to truly follow the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, God's holy servant (Peter's way of referring to him in Acts) and not some homophobic theologians.

Beautiful idea Deena!

Anyway, Welch is probably only pissed off because the drag queens are prettier than she is.

The right wing has really been gearing up for a fight over ENDA. Sadly, I haven't seen that much prep from the LGBT community.