Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

GetEqual Interrupts House Committee To Demand ENDA Markup

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | April 21, 2010 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: Committee on Education, Committee on Education and Labor, employment discrimination, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA, GetEqual

The activists of GetEqual interrupted a meeting of the House Committee on Education and Labor today, handing Chairman George Miller a magic marker labelled "GetEqual: Markup ENDA."

"I don't know if it's because of the recession that you guys you can't afford markers, or whatever the issue is, but in our community there are people being fired because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender."

Mitchell refused to take the marker but told the activists that the committee plans to consider ENDA soon.

"We're working on it as expeditiously as we can," Miller said.

Another unidentified committee member could be heard voicing opposition to ENDA.

"This is the problem with this. There's no end to it. You're never going to satisfy them all," the unidentified lawmaker said.

I am of two minds about whether this will be helpful in moving ENDA forward.

More info available here: http://www.dallasvoice.com/instant-tea/2010/04/21/getequal-interrupts-house-committee-meeting-to-demand-markup-of-enda/ and pictures here: http://www.towleroad.com/2010/04/getequal-disrupts-house-education-and-labor-committee-meeting-delivers-markers-for-markup-of-enda.html

On the one hand, Chairman George Miller of the House Committee on Education and Labor is a friend of the LGBT community, and clearly wants to move ENDA. His good faith is clear.

On the other hand, here we are a week and a half after the Easter Recess, and nothing is even scheduled. We have stories in the press about Steny Hoyer and Barney Frank saying this will happen soon. But why didn't the Committee at least say something about when this markup is going to be scheduled? Why didn't we hear anything about the result of the whip count taking place? Why did we hear nothing about a scheduling of the floor vote?

Communication, people! It's what keeps a community working smoothly together.

While GetEqual may be pissing off our friends a bit, I don't fault them for wanting to get some information about what is going on. After all, we've been promised an ENDA vote every month since last summer, and not a darn thing has happened.


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I agree with the action taken although this is the first I am hearing of it. We can not always be polite when demanding our rights. I know some will say it was rude or will make enemies but those that want to treat us badly will continue to do so. Those that are our friends will see we are not sitting back and waiting while we grow old and doing nothing. We must keep reminding them!

"This is the problem with this. There's no end to it. You're never going to satisfy them all," the unidentified lawmaker said.

That's Ms. Them to you!

>> "This is the problem with this. There's no end to it. You're never going to satisfy them all," the unidentified lawmaker said.

Actually, there is an end to it.

"Mr. Speaker, I put forth a resolution to repeal Law No. _________________."

"All in favour, say aye."

'AYE."

"Done. The law is repealed."

Wow, in the immortal words of Barbie, "that was hard."

Steve Talbert | April 21, 2010 1:27 PM

They probably hear alot from religious bigots, so the 'them' could be both sides. In similar issues, such as slavery, right to have an abortion, birth control, marriage, death penalty, equal rights,, etc.. you either have it or you don't. There really isn't a compromise to do. WHATEVER is done or not done will not satisfy whatever side doesn't get what they want. The mark of a true leader is to do the right thing and explain why it is.

There isn't any excuse for continuation of DADT, Marriage Inequality, DOMA and for not passing Full ENDA unless one believes gay and trans people are less than straight people and deserve less. There isn't any other argument.

Steve said:

"There isn't any excuse for continuation of DADT, Marriage Inequality, DOMA and for not passing Full ENDA unless one believes gay and trans people are less than straight people and deserve less. There isn't any other argument."

Unfortunately, that seems to BE the argument of the ppl who hate us...

Carol :(((

They brought a marker to our friend - the Committee Chairman - because "he couldn't afford one." ENDA was already ON the schedule. Our friends in the US Congress don't need MARKERS, they need VOTES.

This stunt was childish.

We don't need attention, we need SUPPORT. Pissing on our friends doesn't create any support or sympathy.

Agreed.

But:

How do we get that without letting them slack off, as they have for almost a year and a half now? Sorry, but I no longer accept the "he hasnt been in office long enough!/"You cant expect him to get everything done so soon!" line, which was parceled out last time as a justification. It was in his SOTU. It was in his campaign. It has more support right now with the public than the healthcare overhaul, and he managed to get that mess through, even by pissing off everyone in the process.

So what do you recommend as a plan of action here? Be specific.

When we elected "Hope" that was what we got. I know of no examples of threatening "Hope" in order to guarantee progress.

Politics is what it is. In order to succeed we need to garner support from friends, neighbors, co-workers and even strangers. We need to take our case for full equality to the PEOPLE.

Our Movement has defaulted into lobbying or complaining - neither of those activities encourage or inspire support.

If we are to rely on politics we need to enroll constituents. We need to put our time, money and energy into convincing people that equality is a basic human principle. Research indicates that if we frame the conversation in that manner - without bitching or demanding, but instead asking for help, two-thirds of our fellow citizens will support us.

We're not doing that. Until we do, we'll keep repeating history. We'll keep being disappointed with politicians. We'll keep making demands that are increasingly unpopular. We'll keep losing.

Our movement needs to be based on winning instead of fighting.

Yes, yes, but *how*? I mean, what you're writing are admirable goals. *How* do you propose we get there?

1. Accept accountability for all tactics, strategies and organizations. They must be proven to be effective and ADD to our support. We no longer do things because 'that's what we've always done." They have to make sense and lead to support.

2. Re-direct our efforts to our neighbors, friends, co-workers and even strangers. Enroll them in our full equality. Demonstrate it with polling.

3. Target efforts to replace Anti-LGBT US Senators in winnable States (there are 5). Go after their constituents, not them.

4. Seed the cultural conversation with LGBT-positive stories. Create media campaigns where we define ourselves, instead of continuing to allow our enemies to do so.

5. Present a winning strategy and timeline to our community. We will ALL participate if we can see the "finish line."

There are numerous ideas and strategies that are being developed. They are all focused on results, not simply getting attention. They will emerge when we are honest enough to realize we don't currently have a strategy and we certainly don't have sufficient participation.

Andrew,

Since Enda markup is already on the calendar, could you please let the rest of us know what that date is?

Thanks

I'm a bit ticked off in the other direction because history tells us it takes not just one or two acts of civil disobedience but many many overt "in your face" incidents before Congress will get off its collective arse and do something. Abolitionists, feminists, field workers, blacks, anti war, and on and on. GLBT has been playing "nice" far too long.

I don't think pissing on our friends (President Obama, Chairman Miller, Speaker Pelosi)is civil disobedience, it's uncivil distraction.

Don't be ridiculous. Pelosi, Obama, and the rest of congress know the game. They want us to make it appear that they're forcing their hand, until public opinion is in our favor, at which point they want to look like the vanguard of rights.

They're big boys and girls - they knew what they were signing-up for when they got elected. And a politician never burns bridges; they know where the money comes from.

Stop being an apologist for stalling tactics. "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” Frederick Douglass

Your friends called Polis a liar - a few times.

Watch the video and then explain to us how that makes any sense.

You actually believe that you can threaten a politician with our "financial support?" The other side - the religious fanatics have a lot more money than our small community.

You need to think about winning Jordan, not just about fighting. Sometimes the struggle for something becomes the something. It's not about fighting, it's about winning.

I know many young people have romanticized the whole idea of being an "activist," but smart activist would be much better. If these stunts are helpful, please explain how - GetEqual never has.

You still have not told us the date the markup is on the calendar.
You said "They brought a marker to our friend - the Committee Chairman - because "he couldn't afford one." ENDA was already ON the schedule. Our friends in the US Congress don't need MARKERS, they need VOTES."

please tell us the date.

Yeah, but, Andrew, you don't agree with pretty much anything.

In fact, all you do is disagree.

You don't offer concrete examples, you don't provide positive or constructive criticism (one key aspect of constructive criticism being that it suggests some alternative methodology), you don't even give reasonable responses to people who do ask for such, you merely repeat the same old tired lines that you say all the time.

Please, on the next post (not this one, as I suspect this will upset you some), take the time to outline what you think is a decent response -- to provide something positive to the commentary you leave.

Otherwise, all you are doing is acting as a constant poo poo on the efforts of people who are trying to get something done, which is not an asset to the effort, and does, in fact, actively further the very thing you are complaining about regarding others.

Most of what you said is untrue Antonia. That's your prerogative. You don't need to resort to intentional misinformation.

I didn't piss on Chairman Miller or Rep. Jared Polis - your friends at GetEqual did. Therefore, THEY have an obligation to provide evidence that these stunts are effective.

Tonight John Stewart was the latest to make fun of GetEqual's pissing on the President. Nobody in the media has has suggested that GetEqual's silly stunts are helpful - most have laughed at them.

No, Andrew, it wasn't untrue.

That you don't see that is, indeed, part of the problem.

I just keep hoping that maybe you will.

But then, I tilt at windmills

I'm fully on board with the motivation, but not so much with the execution in this case. I think there are better ways to go about this.

For those who are interested, I take on this topic in my latest podcast (3 up now, more coming), which can be heard here as well as on I-Tunes.

I think anyone who would like to make an opinion about this protest should watch the video of the protesters talking to Rep. Polis, who is gay.

It was fairly cringe-worthy for me on a lot of different levels.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuZMlViCA_M&feature=player_embedded

Thanks for posting the damning video.

These misfits wouldn't even listen to Rep. Polis.

This behavior is beyond counterproductive - it may be fatal. Abusing people who support us while the cameras are rolling is insane.

GetEqual needs to GetLost.

I watched the video before commenting. What Rep. Polis said jives with what I have heard. Bottom line is that he stately clearly and unequivocally that he believes the votes are there to pass NON-inclusive ENDA but he thinks that we should hold off until we have the votes to pass INCLUSIVE ENDA, and that if we move forward at this juncture, either trans protections will have to be stripped from the bill or ENDA will not pass. Whether you agree or disagree with Polis, it is obvious that for all their supposed inclusiveness, Get Equal does not really give a crap about that--see the way that the presumably well-trained and informed Get Equal activists (and the end of the video) ignore Polis' point and make it clear that they *want* it to go to a vote NOW, knowing full well that INCLUSIVE ENDA probably does not have the votes to pass yet. The Get Equal activists "yeah, yeahed" Polis concerns about inclusion and refused to address them. Why? Because they know they can get NON-inclusive through the vote and clearly don't give a crap if protections for gender-variant/trans* Americans are bargained away in the process. Guess this little video makes it pretty clear that the group should actually be described as "Get Equal: an organization for Gays and Lesbian Rights, Only. Trans folk need not apply".

I just think they are ill-informed. Having self-described activist that don't even know what's happening is troublesome.

They just want attention. They are succeeding, but thankfully very few people are being subjected to their piss-on-everyone strategy.

Co-sponsors in the house for an inclusive bill is at 199. That is higher than ENDA has ever had before and certainly higher than it had for non-inclusive 2007 amended bill. So Polis is saying that he needs 18 more? Somehow that position lacks credibility. I think the house leadership is afraid of the Senate posture. I favor pressing forward. The only problem I saw with the interruption of the hearings is that there weren't enough people and there should have been thousands outside on the streets.

Andrew you sound like what we called an Uncle Tom back in the civil rights era. I don't mean to be insulting but segregation would still rule the south if blacks had taken your approach...in my opinion.

Blacks didn't piss on Lyndon Johnson or other supporters. Blacks were justifiably angry but they didn't take that anger out on their political friends.

That was 46 years ago, everything has changed. We are not oppressed like Blacks - we have been repressed. It's very different. Plus, the world is very different. We should understand that when determining what strategies are effective.

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AndrewW I agree with you. This will get us nowhere. And that video says a lot.

Andrew, you are ill-informed. Rep. Polis offered to pay bail for these folks. Nobody pissed on anybody. Who said this? "I will never forget that the only reason I'm standing here today is because somebody, somewhere stood up for me when it was risky. Stood up when it was hard. Stood up when it wasn't popular. & because that somebody stood up, a few more stood up. & then a few thousand stood up. & then a few million stood up. & standing up, with courage and clear purpose, they somehow managed to change the world." President Obama. Thats right.

Watch the video. These misfits repeatedly called Polis a liar. They repeatedly interrupted him.

Watch the video and then decide if you want these self-proclaimed activists speaking for you.

If you really believe this type of behavior is helpful, go argue with someone that supports us.

"What a stupid thing to do .. immature and tacky."

- Barney Frank (Regarding GetEqual's stunts)

McGehee pointed out....
''This is a man who says our movement needs to use the tactics of the NRA,'' she said. ''Well, the NRA uses tactics that don't only involve lobbying and phone banking.''

Beautiful. We want to emulate the gun-toting, redneck NRA.

GetEqual = LGBTea-Baggers.

Hey, I like that. Why not? LGBTea-baggers. Grab your favorite weapon and take it to the opposition in live town hall meetings. :)

AndrewW still has not told us the date.

"They brought a marker to our friend - the Committee Chairman - because "he couldn't afford one." ENDA was already ON the schedule." comment from AndrewW.

AndrewW, whats the matter??????

AndrewW, you do not deserve any respect at this time. Either fess up that there is no date yet, or give us this supposed date.

It was tentatively scheduled for Wednesday April 28th while the Whip Count was underway.

I think it's safe to say that it's now off the calendar.

Barney Frank asked a very simple question regarding GetEqual: "who's minds are they changing?"

Regrettably, they may have changed Chairman Miller's mind.

If that is true...and I don't think so...he was never a true friend of this community.

Well if it did change his mind he is a weakling for sure. I doubt he is. Most members of Congress are both strong and intelligent. Remember, Nancy Pelosi herself used these same tactics of interrupting a house committee meeting not too long ago.

And now a general response to Barney....Give up your federal pension, health care coverage, current position and move to someplace like North Carolina or Mississippi and try another run for Congress. Then maybe you will be interrupting Congressional committee meetings. Privilege certainly has its rank doesn't it.