October 27, 2007
Has United ENDA killed ENDA?
Posted by: Chris
It looks like congratulations may be in order, to both the "United" ENDA coalition led by Matt Foreman and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, and Peter LaBarbera of the anti-gay Americans for Truth. They say politics make strange bedfellows, but who would have believed these two would hop in the sack for a quick lay?
D.C. newspaper The Hill is reporting that last week's "postponement" of a House vote on Barney Frank's compromise Employment Non-Discrimation Act may well be indefinite -- as in killing the bill for this Congress. The Blade reported at the time that the delay was to give transgender supporters more time to round up votes for Tammy Baldwin's amendment that would add "gender identity" back into the bill. Others suggested it was a short delay because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had put a higher priority on other bills.
According to The Hill, freshman House Democrats approached Pelosi at a breakfast meeting and asked that she not allow the Baldwin amendment to come up for a vote. Their concern was that the vote was a no-win situation for them, between conservatives like LaBarbera and corporate interests opposing the bill because they are anti-gay or anti-regulations and liberals like Foreman and United ENDA who opposed any ENDA that did not include "gender identity."
That political squeeze play was enough for the first-term Dems, and apparently Pelosi as well. And while some claim the compromise ENDA will still get a House vote, I seriously doubt it -- given Pelosi's public commitment that trans rights supporters will get a vote on their amendment.
Thanks be to Foreman, LaBarbera and their allies, workplace rights for thousands upon thousands of GLB Americans may now be stalled indefinitely, and historic gay civil rights legislation will not receive its first-ever House floor vote. All because transgender activists and their P.C. allies couldn't accept anything other than the same for them, despite their much shorter lobbying history.
If ENDA is dead, the blood is on all their hands, and I hope history doesn't allow those on either end of the spectrum to clean it off easily.
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