Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

The American Equality Bill: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | July 05, 2010 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, The Movement
Tags: American Equality Bill

The American Equality Bill is a proposed federal law that will amend all existing federal civil rights laws to include "sexual orientation" and "gender identity".

Drafted by Karen Doering, an attorney who has been involved in some of the most important legal LGBT victories and controversies, the bill takes the approach that piecemeal bills for various areas of discrimination -- employment and housing and credit and so on -- will take too long and too many resources to be really successful.

It also recognizes that creating separate bills in separate areas breaks the interests of those against discrimination into small, separate pieces that dilutes the strong force of the coalition necessary to pass any bill on the federal level.

This is a very bold idea -- an idea that some would call "pie-in-the sky." That is to say, impossible. But at the same time, the idea has been endorsed by no less than Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who was so instrumental in putting Don't Ask Don't Tell repeal on the Congressional agenda after it had languished so long that it seemed impossible to move in this Congressional session.

The bill would end discrimination in vast areas of life: employment, housing, credit, public places and facilities, and all programs operating with federal funding. It would cover school discrimination and bullying, adoption, and all federal health programs.

Is this a good idea?

According to the Facebook page created by one of the bill's backers, Todd Fernandez, The AEB would include us equally in the Federal Non-Discrimination "group policy" that now covers "race, color, sex, religion, and national origin."

In sum, the passage of the AEB will make Non-Discrimination against us the official US Governmental Policy.

More importantly, perhaps, than the ultimate purpose of the AEB, working to file and pass the AEB will stimulate real conversation about our suffering under discrimination, and the means of beginning to combat the homophobia and transphobia that are transmitted in the culture along with mother's milk.

As noted on the Facebook page, and in a conference call held yesterday, the people putting forward this AEB idea are not interested in a "command and control" structure to moving the bill. Their idea is that the push must come from the grassroots, and they are committed to empowering the grassroots to support the bill.

There are a lot of objections to this idea -- perhaps some African-Americans won't like it because it opens up the Civil Rights Act to changes, it takes on too many areas, it doesn't make enough concessions to homophobic and transphobic Congressmembers.

At the same time, the piecemeal approach seems to have been a disaster. For example, ENDA was first proposed in 1996, and it is still languishing fourteen years later. Representative Jackie Speier last week said it would take another five years.

How long?

Perhaps we have been looking through the wrong end of the telescope?

What do you think?


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Hmmm. LOL

What

http://www.dyssonance.com/?p=844

do

http://www.dyssonance.com/?p=2691

I

http://www.dyssonance.com/?p=3541

think?

Oh, I suspect that what I think is fairy well known, but, just in case someone might not understand examples:

Yeah. It's what we must do. Perhaps not in that specific format, but absolutely what must be done.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 5, 2010 8:12 PM

There are a lot of objections to this idea -- African-Americans won't like it...

Surely you mean christians and supporters of Obama's anti-SSM campaign instead of everyone in the African American communities?

The idea of including us in existing non-discrimination laws is a good one but all those laws lack teeth and are not really enforced. We need laws that impose harsh fines and jail sentences on racist, homohating and misogynist employers, business owners, public officials, military officers and cult leaders.

And we need an accompanying laws to impose harsh fines and jail sentences for violence provoking statements like this:

"I get amazed, I can't look at it but about 10 seconds, at these politicians dancing around this, dancing around this, I'm trying to find a correct name for it, this utter absolute, asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men." (shouts from crowd)

"I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry." (shouts, applause) "And I'm gonna be blunt and plain, if one ever looks at me like that I'm gonna kill him and tell God he died." (laughter, applause) "In case anybody doesn't know, God calls it an abomnation (sic). It's an abomnation (sic)! It's an abomnation (sic)!" (applause) Jimmy Swaggart, pervert and evangelist.

You're right, Bill, about my oblique note about African Americans. I realized after I saw your comment that it made no sense. I have clarified in the text that the problem is that some African Americans are concerned that opening up the Civil Rights Act to amendments could lead to problems from the right, trying to roll back current protections.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | July 6, 2010 6:14 PM

I didn't express it very well but my comments were about singling out anyone as an opponent based on ethnicity.

Our opponents can overwhelmingly be characterized as bigot cultists, bigot politicians like McCain and Obama or those who pander to bigots by compromising our agenda. The intersection of bigot religion and bigot politics is personified by Tim Kaine and Leah Daughtry of the DNC.

As I remember it the original ENDA, before it was gutted in 2007 by Barney Quisling had quite a bit of support from the NAACP, MALDEF and other because it expanded the ability to sue for grievances.

That's the key to passage of an omnibus equality law or amendment. Give it teeth, real enforcement teeth and sabertooth provisions for harsh fines and jail time for bigots.

The ERA came close to passage but failed, in part, because it was limited to gender and in part because it lacked enforcement teeth and didn't draw enough support. An inclusive AEB amendment with accompanying toothy enforcement laws would stand a much better chance of rallying widespread support and would tend to unite, rather than divide people oppressed by racism, including African and Arab Americans, Asian and Pacific Islanders, Latinos and Latinas, GLBT folks and women.

There are an awful lot of people in this country who catch hell on a daily basis because of bigots of one flavor or another. Uniting them behind a powerful idea like an AEB Constitutional Amendment would be a powerful way to crack the power of the bigots.

The AEB would include us equally in the Federal Non-Discrimination "group policy" that now covers "race, color, sex, religion, and national origin."

I think this is bang on. "The List," the master list, needs to be expanded. Everywhere.

Whenever I read about equality legislation, I'm never sure if I will be included.

The commentary, though not yours, Dr. Weiss, is not always inclusive of transsexual and transgender people--transphobia as well as homophobia, more specifically, transsexual-phobia as well as transgender-phobia.

Having said this, I am increasingly concerned not only with the grudging acceptance of difference/diversity, not only by the public at large and by LGB populations also, but the end of aversion, the end to restraint of action, as Bill so strongly cites, but to the move beyond tolerance to true celebration--not always even evidenced at [Gay] Prides.

Legislation limits action and leads to the beginning of new thinking--maybe to thinking itself. And without it we are, understandably, obsessed with it.

My deepest concern, however, is the way I have seen this struggle diverge in Canada: those who have their legislation now proceed towards engaging hearts and minds and leave those without legislation to fend for themselves; this reality merely reinforces the attitude I refer to above about the invisiblizing of transsexual and transgender people; we have seen this tendency recreated not only by the HRC, but also Barney Frank.

Am I missing something or is this a revamped (and more expansive) version of the 1970s-era federal gay(-only) rights bills?

St. Barney has long since made the decision that smaller is better, er...., the only thing that is going to happen on his watch. A neo-Abzug bill is going nowhere as long as he is in Congress.

I don't think so.

Barney's a politician. He's got a lot of power, yes, and he's got a lot of backing, absolutely. But all of it comes from the orgs.

And he didn't get where he is by being stupid. He goes the way the wind blows.

You just gotta show him the wind is blowing hard enough.

The effort to do it in pieces is a compromise, in and of itself, and what we are doing by trying it piecemeal is making compromises on a compromise.

You don't get what you want that way. If we are going to learn anything from our consistent failures, we should learn at least that much.

You go in, you demand the sky, and then you compromise on that until you come down to the level of sky scrapers.

You get the support faster, you get a more unified coalition, and you get a damn sight more bang for your buck.

If it's going to take 5 more years, then by god, let it be five years that give us everything, instead of drips and drops, crumbs and crud, kibbles and bits.

Compromise is the way Obama works: give up the sky before you actually get to talking, and by the time you get to the final legislation, the other side has everything they wanted, because, in the hopes of bipartisanship you've given up what might have been a negotiating, e.g. single payer/public option.

Who gets thrown under the bus this time?

The same as the last time, maybe. . . ?

Compromise is the way the government works. Compromise is why we a Bill of Rights (literally), compromise is why we have a Senate and a House (also literally).

Compromise sucks, yes. Especially when the very idea of separating all these little bits and pieces into separate bills is a compromise already; especially when we walk in there having put into place in the bill all the stuff we've already figured we'll have to compromise on.

That's the worst way to work a solution when you are dealing with people who come at you with demeaning attacks and ugly words.

What you have to do in situations like that is stand up to them and make them work for their stuff as hard as you work for yours. You go in and you scream for everything under the sun.

And yet, you go in aware that you will have to compromise, and when they scream about you saying they have to recognize you in their churches, *that* is when you say "oh. Ok, I can compromise on that as long as the UAFA portion stays in the bill."

If they get all frothy about that, all the better, because if they jump up and down about the no, then suddenly they are the one's that are being unreasonable, they are the one's being radical. We're just asking, and we're willing to bend a little.

When it comes to employment issues, we say that the religious bookstores are not exempt. They will be angry about that, so we say ok, we'll drop that if the restroom issue is left alone.

We already know what they cherish the most: their bigotry against us. So that's what you include as taking away from them, that's what you hit them hard with -- you go after what they hold as dearly as we hold our lives.

You put them on the defensive for a change. THis isn't the usual kind of bill that I'm talking about. I'm talking about taking the kind of bill Jillian discusses here and you add in all the same sort of oppressive stuff they do already, to give you leverage to bargain with.

ANd because this is an omnibus bill, because it covers everything and then a whole hell of a lot more, it changes the discussion. It forces them to mount a diffeent kind of campaign. Here all those things are tied together.

Toss in marriage equality and you tell them that they have to perform them as agents of the state duly licensed to perform such services.

Now they'll have to choose between their belief in not letting you marry and their belief in their right not to have to do it.

When following the rules doesn't work anymore, you change the rules. That's what Harvey did. That's what Sylvia did.

That's what we need to do. GO in there and demand the sky and bargain down to skyscraper level.

There's marriage and military service and work and health care and immigration and housing and public services and on and on -- and those become our positions of no compromise, and we won't have to because we put in there a whole lotta stuff besides those basic things we need and want and damn it all to hell we deserve.

Stuff that scares the crap outta them and makes them feel cornered for a change instead of us being afraid and desperate all the time.

Put their lives on trial just as they've put ours on trial.

Give them an Agenda to point to and scream about, something that makes their nightmares true and then, when the push comes, you bargain with it.

Force them to choose: their lives or ours.

They'll choose their own, every time. Because the secret no one wants to really talk about it is that they don't really give a crap about all of this, they just use us to line their pockets and pass their policies.

Push them, and they will find a different boogeyman.

70% of America supports ending DADT and ENDA and they feel the same way in the end about housing and all the rest. This will make the conversation happen like it had to happen every time something like this went forward.

The 15th and 19th Amendments to the Constitution were fights of an order that few can imagine today -- except they were just like this kind of fight, they were just as much a "culture war" as this is.

And decades later we had to pass more laws -- laws like this one -- that made it clear that we will not tolerate this kind of stuff and those fights were also culture wars.

And in all those fights, that's how they were won. Not in bits and pieces, not in "quibbles and bits", but by demanding the sky and negotiating -- compromising -- down to the essential stuff, the critical stuff, the stuff that was most important.

And besides, if we ask for the sky, we might just get a really big piece of it, too.

I think you underestimate the extent of my cynicism about St. Barney.

When I say 'smaller,' I mean 'nothing.'

I've long said that there will be no ENDA of any kind as long as Barney Frank is in Congress.

It's not that this is a good idea or a bad idea, it is a silly idea.

Understand the concept: we can't pass a single Bill, so let's put them all in a basket and try passing that. Let's (once again) suggest to people that this is brilliant and all they need to do is "get their Senator to support it." Make the calls, send the emails and make a difference. That's silly.

In the US Senate we have 45 Senators that are Anti-Gay. They have a "moral objection" to homosexuality. It doesn't matter if it is ENDA or a DADT or DOMA repeal - they are against anything LGBT-related. Putting all those rotten eggs (their belief) in "one basket" doesn't change any minds or votes - it simply makes a bigger, easier target. That's not smart.

I take exception to even referring to this as a "strategy." It is just a gimmick. There is nothing about "grouping" these issues that provides ANY benefit or improved likelihood for success.

Like everything else that comes from the LGBT Advocacy crowd or the Activist crowd there is no increased possibility of success with this gimmick. To express some hope or even encouragement about its substance or effectiveness is disingenuous.

You know better Jillian. You quit politics a few weeks ago because of this kind of silliness. You admitted to understanding that we need to change votes and minds. This doesn't do either.

I will vigorously try to stop this charade before it does the kind of collateral damage that GetEQUAL did. We don't need to be embarrassed and we don't need to intentionally look stupid.

I acknowledge the sincere efforts of Tif and others, but we're smarter than this. We're more creative than this. We can do better, much better. We need a strategy to win, not look even more helpless. We need to stop asking members of our community to bang their heads against an immovable wall - we need to move the wall. Too many members of our community, over the last 40 years, have been sent into winless battles and have quit participating. They have become frustrated and we cannot win without their support and participation.

The American Equality Bill is a non-starter. We can and must do better than a magical Equality-Easter-Basket.

Eh? What?

Reality Dose: we have passed a single bill.

Just not one you apparently cared about.

Talk about looking stupid.

Sorry, Antonia but Congress didn't pass the "Hate Crimes Bill," it was used to hold Defense Spending hostage. That's the only way it could pass. Congress didn't decide to pass it, they had NO choice. That trick won't work again.

Bella Abzug was one of the first members of Congress to support gay rights, introducing the first federal gay rights bill with fellow Democratic New York City Representative, Ed Koch, a future mayor of New York City. It was another Easter Basket strategy - 36 years ago.

There are 45 Anti-Gay US Senators and they don't object to the description, they are proud of it. Do you really think the Easter Bunny can trick them or convert them?

Like Jillian says in her Post today - we have failed to educate the public and enroll them in our struggle. Until we get people to join us, it doesn't matter what you "call" our legislation or how it is "packaged." In some ways we have wasted 40 years believing politics was the "solution," it isn't. We are finally beginning to understand what must be done.

Well Andrew, and it might surprise you to hear this -- I agree with you that in and of itself the bill is a silly idea. If ENDA couldn't get a vote, how is adding together all of this other stuff going to make it anything but harder. It'll take years to generate any kind of support for such a bill.

Yep. But as you say, ENDA is no easier. ENDA is now dead for this session of Congress barring a miracle, and the with the expected Dem losses in the midterms, we won't see ENDA or any other LGBT bill move for several years.

So then, this is the perfect time to ratchet up the political conversation, and the educational conversation at the same time.

I agree with you that education is the key to movement on LGBT politics. But if we have no agenda on which to educate, or that agenda is puny and shaped by our reaction to reactionary politics, then our educational efforts are doomed to raise people's consciousness into a twisted caricature of equality.

As long as we're going to start this long term educational effort, you and I, let's start it off right. Not with a bill with so many exceptions and concessions to homophobia and transphobia that it seems almost apologetic.

Full civil rights, and marriage equality. Why should we make points for our enemies by advocating anything less?

So with that being said, let's start working on the education efforts. We have several years to make something happen.

We shouldn't be "educating" people about politics, we should be educating them about us. We should be sharing ourselves and asking for support. That means asking them to support the basic human principle of "equality."

It complicates the simple issue of equality by asking people to understand seven different issues, their uniqueness and their political history, etc.

I think the basic education is simply whether or not people believe and support EQUALITY. A simple "yes" or "no" will suffice. Two-thirds of America is ready to say "yes," but we need to engage them and ASK.

Jillian, I think the consider is that ENDA, DADT, etc., all these are themselves "silly," because it's a tiny majority of a tiny majority that is trying to push them.

The only way the Civil Rights Act was passed in the first place was through a huge effort on the part of the President, and powerful members of Congress. We're talking Health Care Overhaul type of push. No one's going to do that for ENDA - why would they?

The point is that even before this bill is going anywhere, there needs to be full support from the President and those big folks in Congress who will make the push. There needs to be a mentality of "this is it, and after this, we don't have to expend more political will on LGBT issues."

It's not going anywhere with a half-hearted call-in campaign from a few thousand people; that's for sure. Something like this requires a true understanding, from the community, that this is our last battlefield in Congress, and that there's never been anything more important than this bill. If that argument can be made, and accepted by both LGBT people, and Congress, then there's a chance. Otherwise, it's not worth it.

Dan Massey | July 5, 2010 11:57 PM

The problem with incrementalism is akin to Zeno's paradox. The more steps you take to do anything, the longer it takes. Thus, if you want to get from A to B you first go from A to C, which is halfway to B. Then you do it again, since that worked so well, to get the rest of the way, from C to B, you first get from C to D, about halfway to B. Then all you have to do is get to D, Continue and you will never get there because of all the overhead in task switching, planning, etc. Even the though the individual steps get smaller and smaller, they tend to each consume a finite amount of time. So you will never be done.

What is required is not a plan for further division and compromise. Rather, what is required is a single, grand vision, which transcends all boundaries and all divisions, without impairing any of them. Only through such a vision can one achieve unity of purpose, without uniformity of action and belief.

For society as a whole, this grand, transcending vision is of a society in which all forms of sexual orientation and gender identification are understood as a gift of god to humanity that is legitimately expressed in an unlimited variety of different forms, some fixed and some mutable. This we call Columbia, after our all-encompassing national spirit of divinity.

The AEB is the best possible application of the idea and ideal of Columbia in the present social and political context, i.e., working within the existing governmental system. I am confident the AEB ideas will finally triumph, but hope the outcome will not be endlessly delayed.

" . . . what is required is a single, grand vision, which transcends all boundaries and all divisions, without impairing any of them."

Transcending All 45 US Senators that are Anti-Gay? How? Putting everything they object to in one Bill changes their minds? How?

By making them choose between their bigotry and our freedoms.

They have already "chosen" and they are very clear about it - God owns them.

In the last 30 years of the US Congress we haven't changed a single vote about LGBT-issues. They are elected Anti-Gay and they stay that way. They won't change until their constituents.

Please stop referencing "National Polls" that support ENDA and DADT Repeal - they don't apply to the Senators from the 23 States that are Anti-Gay.

I agree with you, Dan. Significantly, given the fact that ENDA and DOMA repeal are dormant until after the midterms, and the expectation is big Democratic losses in Congress, even the incrementalist bills are not going to go anywhere for several years. Why not then take the opportunity to build up momentum for a bill that will really tackle the full monty? It's not like we can pass ENDA or repeal DOMA anytime soon. If we don't ratchet up the conversation, it has no place to go but down.

Compromise means not giving up your strongest arguments/positions before the negotiations have even begun--in the hopes that the other side will similarly give up what it wants the most; this is what negotiating is all about.

Only the other side is not this, what, crazy, stupid, clueless. . . .

Yet, this is precisely what Obama has done time and time and time again.

This isn't bipartisanship; this isn't negotiating; this is giving up before trying.

It is a way of giving oneself political cover, because he never believed all the promises he made during the campaign and never had any intention of fulfilling them.

Amy Hunter Amy Hunter | July 6, 2010 7:30 AM

This idea represents a basic re-framing of the debate, something Some of us have been advocating for many years.

Incrementalism simply does not work in American politics--never has. I echo sentiments already expressed here by some: Engage the debate as; "In what kind of country do you want to live?" rather than, "Should we let LGBT people have the same rights as we do?"

When local non-discrimination laws are up for passage, an interesting fact comes to light: Most people do not know that LGBT citizens are not protected by existing State and Federal legislation. Overwhelmingly, when asked, the general population support equality and fairness for everyone-including Gay and Trans people. The heavy lift becomes helping that same majority become aware that LGBT people do not enjoy the same rights as they and moreover, that we are actually proscribed from enjoying those freedoms by law in many fundemental ways.

"This idea represents a basic re-framing of the debate, something Some of us have been advocating for many years."

It's repackaging, not re-framing. It's Bella Abzug did this in 1974. Changing the "packaging" doesn't change the minds of the 45 Anti-Gay US Senators. Changing their constituents is the only thing that will work.

Massive failure of logic and social understanding, there.

Your position is change the minds of 130 million people instead of change the minds of 45.

I realize that for you everything is a losing strategy that involves anything that isn't assimilationist, but damn...

Until I saw that, I didn't fully realize the depths of the failure to understand the situation that you possess.

Changing the minds of the constituents only goes so far. Who's funding the campaigns? Who's actually getting their people out to vote?

It matters. And those things are often on the right wing side at the moment, but are changeable.

Pauline Eiferman | September 27, 2010 3:09 PM

Hi Andrew, I'm a student writing an article about the American Equality Bill. I think you have a very interesting point of you and I was wondering if I could quote you. Could you email me back at pe2172@columbia.edu?
Thanks so much!

I love the naysaying -- "can't be done." If you can't help out, that's OK. Just don't get underfoot.

Equal rights for all, now. Yes, it's huge. Yes, the current congress wouldn't touch it. But it's the right thing to push and push and push until it finally sells. For one thing, it's got a much better hook than rights for employment. Who can't get excited about equal rights for all in all areas of life? Simple and very visible.

Stonewall Girl Stonewall Girl | July 6, 2010 12:02 PM

Get ENDA now! Put our folks to work! Create enough political and financial capital, enthusiasm, momentum and drive that we can pass and implement an American Equality Bill!

But Hell! If we cannot get our crap together to get a simple weak but inclusive ENDA done, how can we possibly figure out how to amend the civil rights act?

What do we wish to accomplish now? Have we given up when success is near? Do the right wing religious fascists give up so easily?

If we cannot do any heavy lifting on ENDA, what are we doing in expending energy?

planetspinz | July 7, 2010 1:31 AM

Why are we not all considered Americans, and as Americans all have the exact same unconditional constitutional rights? This is the 21st century, and by now Americans should finally cut all this stuff out about needing permission, denying permission, voting against or for one another, deciding that only one group of Americans have one set of rights based on they look, what they believe or how they love. It is time that our rights do not depend on the approval, acceptance, agreement, tolerance, understanding or respect of any tyrannical majority. It is past time that the United States constitution applies unconditionally to all Americans, for only one reason - we are Americans.

After reading a number of articles here, I think there is a point that is being overlooked. What I don't see being addressed, even by the proposed American Equality Law, is health care benefits.

All benefit plans fall under ERISA which unfortunately provides a loophole for employers to discriminate. Since it is not mandatory that an employer offer a health insurance benefit plan, ERISA allows employers to exclude any treatment they wish if they do offer a plan. Accordingly, no law, other than one that specifically amends ERISA will resolve this issue. [In 2006, I confirmed this with the MN ACLU.]

For example, my company's plan specifically allowed "Reconstructive surgery which restored or improved function caused by illness, disease, trauma, congenital condition, ....." However, under the exclusion section of the policy, exclusion #56 is "sex transformation" which disallows all treatment.

We have a lot on our plate and while I'm not suggesting we add another course at this time, I think it important to realize that nothing currently on our agenda will resolve discrimination in this area.

I do not buy the notion that there are not 60 votes in the Senate for lesbian and gay civil rights. Transgender rights might be a different story because the politics underlying that is different. If the politics weren't different, then there would not be a disparity in support amongst electeds. My position on the two is the same, but I am not in the US Congress, so my position does not count.

There have been no votes called for in the Senate, and it appears that there are a handful of Republicans, starting out with Snowe and Collins, that can make up the difference for backwards Democrats. The late Senator Kennedy certainly thought he could move the bill through the Senate. Whether current Senators can is an open question.

In addition to presuming defeat, I agree that we need to stop negotiating with ourselves before commencing talks with our opponents, lest we go Obama on everything and compromise past meaninglessness.

The strategy of incrementalism has failed. The HRC needs to be kicked out of their $20m palace and forced to sell that and set up shop in pup tents on the Mall, because if they do their job properly, they're not going to be there that long. That they purchased a palace indicates that the HRC wishes to make a career out of delaying our rights by dribbling increments before us to keep us paying dues and supporting the Democrats.

Let's lay it out:

Title I, voting rights. LGBT have not historically been denied the right to vote through whatever equivalent of literacy tests might be applied to us, we don't need Title I protections.

Title II, discrimination in public accommodations, yes, we need this.

Title III, prohibiting state and local governments from discriminating, yes we need these.

Title IV, desegregation of public schools, not applicable to us, mostly solved by Title III.

Title V, expanded civil rights commission, blah blah blah.

Title VI, Prevents discrimination by government agencies that receive federal funding, yes yes yes.

Title VII, employment discrimination protections = ENDA. We would need for affirmative action to be explicitly excluded from this as to my knowledge, the discrimination we face is not as ingrained in the culture and as organized and consistent as that which blacks faced during Jim Crow. We face much more random discrimination.

Title VIII, compiling data on voting rights compliance, not needed.

Title IX, Made it easier to move civil rights cases from state courts with segregationist judges and all-white juries to federal court. That should be fun to see for LGBT, to demand a change of venue to a less homophobic jurisdiction.

Title X, Community Relations Service, tasked with assisting in community disputes involving claims of discrimination. We'd need this.

Fair housing was passed in the Civil Rights Act of 1968 with the fair housing law. We'd need inclusion in that in addition to amendments to the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

This fixation with the "equality" meme does not cut it for me as a messaging strategy.

Demand the impossible.

-marc