Joe Solmonese

Recent ENDA developments

Filed By Joe Solmonese | September 28, 2007 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: employment discrimination, ENDA, House of Representatives, HRC, transgender

We know that everyone has been waiting to hear from HRC about the status of ENDA. A lot has changed since Wednesday.

Besides trying to ensure that the Senate beat the filibuster on Hate Crimes—an achievement which can not get lost in this controversy—we've spent the last 48 hours gathering information and using all of our resources to stay on top of very fast-moving developments on ENDA. Rather than issue public statements and alerts while there was still a chance to make the situation better, HRC chose instead to engage directly with allies on Capitol Hill in an effort to save an inclusive ENDA.

During this entire campaign to win an inclusive ENDA, we have been guided by the principle of trying to achieve the end result the fastest way possible. Without question, that result has been—and continues to be—an inclusive ENDA that covers the entire GLBT community. We will continue to use that as our benchmark as we move forward in this process.

Unfortunately, we now know what we're facing. The decision has been made, according to statements from Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Frank issued this afternoon—the House will consider a version of ENDA that does not include gender identity.

This is not what any of us wanted, and certainly not what we’ve been fighting for. But, it has been made clear that the House leadership and bill sponsors are moving forward with a non-inclusive ENDA even without the full support of our community. They view this as the best opportunity they will have this year to help the largest number of people—and have stated that they do not intend to miss this opportunity.

Passing an inclusive ENDA is the right thing to do for our community, our economy and our country. However, we're facing a stark reality.

House leadership and the bill's sponsors very firmly believe that if the House votes on an employment non-discrimination bill without gender identity, that legislation will pass—again, it will pass even without the support of the GLBT organizations.

After trying everything at our disposal to change this outcome, we are just beginning to come to terms with what that means.

Since 2004, the Human Rights Campaign’s policy has been to only support civil rights legislation that is inclusive of gender identity. That's why we fought tirelessly for and won Congressional approval for a fully inclusive hate crimes bill. We’ve been fighting to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act for more than a decade. The breaking news that the House has decided to move forward on a non-discrimination bill that is not inclusive of gender identity is devastating. The Human Rights Campaign remains dedicated to the fight for full equality for our entire community and, in light of this new reality, continues to consult with members of Congress and our lobbyists to determine how we can achieve that goal.

This has been a long battle. HRC first started the quest for ENDA in 1994. We've been pushing for an inclusive bill since 2004. Within two weeks, ENDA could pass the House for the first time in history, but not as an inclusive bill.

Originally posted on HRC Back Story.

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This has been a long battle. HRC first started the quest for ENDA in 1994. We've been pushing for an inclusive bill since 2004. Within two weeks, ENDA could pass the House for the first time in history, but not as an inclusive bill.

Frankly, I wish you'd just say one way or another as to if you're going to oppose the bill without transgender inclusion.

Matt Foreman has had the guts to do so, why don't you? If you're so "dedicated to the entire community" why can't you answer a simple question?

Will HRC oppose any version of ENDA that does not include gender identity. It's either yes or no.

We are one community or two?

Thanks for the recap but is HRC going to oppose
the non-inclusive legislation?
ThAT is the million dollar question.

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | September 28, 2007 8:58 PM

Actually, it was 1993. I was NGLTF's representative in drafting meetings for it beginning in 1992, had meetings with Congress members on it in 1993, and included in the lobbying package I designed for the 1993 March on Washington.

As for your "regrets", we all know if HRC would say they don't support it sans gender identity, the LCCR would follow suit and the bill would wait until it was properly lobbied for and ready for the floor -- which it has not been and is not now.

In other words, Joe, what I'm saying to you is, "Liar, liar, pants on fire. Shame on you!"

If you and the rest of the think-you-know-better- than-the-rest-of-us-but-you-don't-because-the-proof's-in-the-pudding-and-we're-the-ones-who've-proven-in-harder-turf-than-yours-that-it-can-be-done, inside-the-Beltway losers had actually committed to gender identity not being severable in the first place, we wouldn't be having this all-about-politics-and-not-a-damned-thing-about-doing-right-for-either-gay-people-or-the-transgendered brouhaha right now.

But you didn't and you won't because you just won't get it that them is us is them in a way that one cannot progress without the other.

It is not ready for prime time because you failed to make it ready. At least cop to that.

If you really "regret" that it is not going to be gender-identity inclusive, then act like it and join the real fighters for LGBT rights who are calling for the bill to be pulled. If not, at least don't lie about it all to us so transparently. Preserve yourself and us that much dignity, please.

you (and HRC) are selling out the transgender community. No other GLBT organization will support a bill that does not include the transgendered community. transgender individuals FOUNDED the gay rights movement, while the rest were hiding in their plain sight closets. gay rights are HUMAN RIGHTS. when a segment of society is excluded from equal rights, it is discrimination based on bigotry. since HRC supports this legislation excluding the transgender community, you are a partner to that bigotry. what next? are you going to support legislation for seperate transgender water fountains? shame on all of you...the deepest shame. you have abandoned your mission and betrayed those who have supported you. you are traitors to the cause of Human Rights, and a disgrace to your very name. i pity the weakness of your character even more than i despise it.

jeri hughes

On September 14, 2007, I sat in the audience in the Ball Room of the Crowne Plaza Ravinia in Atlanta, GA and heard your wonderful speech on how you and HRC will stand with the transgender community. The Southern Comfort audience not only had about 900 transgender people from various parts of the world, their relatives and allies, but representatives from about 20 Fortune 500 Companies who support equality for their transgender employees. This included Sprint Nextel, the company I have worked for for 17.5 years. Did you forget that day and what you said at the podium? I'm 56, so I can occasionally use "age" as an excuse for forgetting things. You're still under 40, correct? What's your excuse?

There is a new operation available that can place a backbone in people without one. Should we send HRC the link so your organization can receive this operation? As been asked above, "Yes" or No," "Will HRC support the non-inclusive ENDA, or fight to have it made whole again?" Seems pretty simple a question. Every other GLBT organization (except LCR - go figure) didn't have a problem answering that question.

I still have the knives that were in my back 8 years ago. Should I clean them up and get them ready for, "ENDA 4: The Revenge of the Barney?" Special effects by HRC Lights and Magic. "Now you see our support. Now you don't." Don't expect this sequel will make you any money in the box office.

Monica Helms
President TAVA

love conquers hate, loyalty trumps betrayal.

is HRC fighting for transgender rights by supporting legislation that excludes us from the community that we have fought for since it's organized inception?

if you allow the transgender community to be removed from this legislation, you should remove transgender rights from your mission statement. blood is on your hands. whatever you might accomplish in your life, you will be most remembered as a spineless traitor to the cause of human rights.

congratulations. you, pelosi, and barney have collectedly divided the GLBT community. the bigots must be ecstatic.

jeri hughes

ENDA should not get the backing of any LGBT organizations without including the trangender part of the acronym. Anything less is divide and conquer.

But I skipped right over another important thing!

Congratulations, Joe, on your large part in securing hate crimes legislation that includes both sexual orientation and gender identity! Thank you!