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    October 17, 2007

    Baldwin offers ENDA 'solution'

    Posted by: Chris

    Baldwinbig110700 Lesbian Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) has come up with a "solution" to the ongoing drama surrounding the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.  She will offer an amendment to the gay-specific version when it reaches the House floor next week to add "gender identity" back in as a protected category.

    It's a clever strategy, though I'm surprised to see the groups calling themselves "United ENDA" -- talk about your misnomers -- buy into it. But it does allow them a House floor vote on trans-inclusion into ENDA so that they can guage the support the provision has and record the votes of those they will need to lobby in the future for transgender protection. Certainly no problem with that.

    The open question -- though it's not really open for the glbT groups  -- is what Baldwin and the "United ENDA" groups will do if (when) the transgender amendment fails. So long as Baldwin and the more liberal members of the House don't try to tank the gay-specific ENDA, then Baldwin's "solution" really is that, and she should be congratulated for offering it.

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    Comments

    1. Rob Power on Oct 17, 2007 3:16:02 PM:

      My prediction:

      Baldwin's amendment will pass overwhelmingly, due to the combined votes of those who want gender identity included in employment nondiscrimination laws and those who don't want ENDA to pass at all and see the amendment as a poison pill.

      (I'm in the latter category, for the record.)

    1. Citizen Crain on Oct 17, 2007 3:26:33 PM:

      Interesting theory Rob. The problem with it is that this poison pill would be political poison, since it opens up those voting for it to charges that they supported cross-dressing teachers in the classroom etc. etc. I don't see it happening, and I hope it doesn't (for the record).

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Oct 17, 2007 4:27:25 PM:

      Not really, Chris.

      Simply put, "I voted to bring it up for a vote, and then I voted against it -- so that the Democrats would be forced to go on the record about how they want your school-age daughters to be forced to share bathrooms with cross-dressing male schoolteachers, and I don't."

      Political gold mine.

    1. Andoni on Oct 17, 2007 5:39:19 PM:

      If the Republicans are ballsy enough to follow the strategy Rob suggests, it could turn into a Little Big Horn for ENDA on the House floor. I hope the Democrats are wise enough to watch how the Republicans are voting before they vote.

      From all I hear, the votes are not there to pass the Trans-inclusive ENDA on the House floor. If the anti-Barney LGBT groups and their Republican mischief maker friends succeed in getting the Trans amendment onto Barney’s ENDA, the bill would certainly get massacred on the House floor. After that, ENDA in any form (but most certainly the Trans inclusive form) will be dead for at least 5 years.

      I’m worried.

    1. Citizen Crain on Oct 17, 2007 6:21:38 PM:

      Ahh yes, NDT, the classic "I voted for it, before I voted against it." That didn't exactly work out so well for the last politician who used it, as I recall.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Oct 17, 2007 6:48:47 PM:

      Problem is this, Chris; how exactly is a Democrat going to exploit that against a Republican?

      After all, in order for a Dem to call a Republican bad for voting that way, they have to say that the idea is bad.......

    1. Andoni on Oct 17, 2007 8:56:38 PM:

      What's the matter with a Republican saying, "I voted for the amendment so we could kill the entire gay bill -- and it worked." Sometimes the truth is best.

      I passed Rob's (and my) concerns on to the legislative department of a prominent national organization I help govern, and they said that the Republicans demonstrated a lot of tricks during today's maneuvering and voting on FISA, and that the scenario of the Repubs helping pass the Trans amendment to Barney's ENDA simply as a poison pill could conceivably happen.

    1. Andoni on Oct 18, 2007 7:18:35 AM:

      POISON PILL: The Republicans successfully used a poison pill yesterday to block Democratic anti-spying legislation. Read about it in the NYTimes, beginning in paragraph 7:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/18/washington/18nsa.html?_r=1&ref=washington&oref=slogin

    1. Tim on Oct 18, 2007 11:37:48 AM:

      Yeah as I read it today they were going to include it into ENDA and I'm sure it will kill the bill. I'm slightly more depressed about the whole thing now.

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