Karen Ocamb has a great, wide-ranging interview up with Barney Frank about DADT, ENDA, and other LGBT legislation that's worth reading if you want to know what's up with what. And he's trying to rally the troops:
So what the committee needs to do now is make sure we have the votes. There's only one way to do it - it doesn't mean marching, it doesn't mean waving signs. It means calling up their representatives - the members of the House who represent them - and say, please vote for this bill and please oppose watering down the transgender provision. But the House has already passed the bill without it, which helped us because it helps us focus. Call people and say we want you to support the bill and don't water down the transgender provision - because that's the point of political trouble. And they should start calling now. I believe we'll get a vote sometime this month.[...]
Or by marching on Washington. They tell me they were going to put pressure on Congress. All they put pressure on was the grass. Members of Congress didn't know it [the National Equality March] happened because they didn't call anybody. And I don't understand why they think that works. By the way - you know who understands that? The National Rifle Association. They don't have shoot-ins and rifle marches - they write and call. The NRA - person for person - they are extremely influential because they lobby that way.
So again - we've got the parliamentary ducks in order. Help us get the votes.
He also explained more exactly what the transgender issue was with ENDA:
Essentially, there are full protections for people who are transgender with a couple of provisos: One - the employer can ask for a gender consistent dress code. No mustaches and dresses. Two - people with one set of genitals do not have a legal right to get naked in front of the other set, is the basic way to put it. Some accommodation has to be made there.
If you insist on the right for unrestricted access to bathrooms - we lose. And we're making some accommodations here. And we worked it out with the transgender community. We had people very upset when we raised it - it because clear we couldn't pass the bill without it.
Karen also called up Rep. Miller, chair of the House Education and Labor Committee who we're still waiting on to schedule a vote on ENDA:
I spoke with Rep. Miller's press secretary Aaron Albright about when we can expect a vote on ENDA. He said "nothing is scheduled yet, " thought Chairperson Miller "committed to a vote early this year." I asked him when "early" ends - but he would not speculate on when a date might be set.
When it comes to DADT, Frank is sure it'll get a vote and pass the House, not so sure about the Senate. I'd also like to know where he got this 90% number:
I'm frustrated. I'm disappointed with the administration, in part. There have been some good things. Admiral Mullen saying what he said was spectacular. And enforcing it the way it was originally supposed to - even though I didn't like it - discharges can be cut by over 90 percent.
Go read the whole thing if you're at all interested in LGBT legislation passing.