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  • « A.I.G. and Congressional blowhards | Main | UPDATE: Julian Bond's speech »

    March 21, 2009

    Introducing: The Omnibus Gay Rights Bill

    Posted by: Andoni

    AAA equal

    Finally, someone has put together an Omnibus Gay Rights Bill.

    Officially called the Equality & Religious Freedom Act Proposal (Omnibus Equality Bill, for short), it is the work of eQualityGiving.org, a group composed of LGBT major donors and activists.

    Tired of the piecemeal approach for equal rights taken by our leadership over the past 15 (or more) years, eQualityGiving decided to put it all on the table. If the goal is LGBT equality, let's spell out exactly what that means at the federal level -- in one bill. This is a very comprehensive, very well thought out proposal that has been months in the making. It is more than just the sum of the parts of our current proposals before Congress.

    There are the major pros and cons of this approach. Critics will say that this bill is DOA. There is no way Congress will do all this. We aren't equal, we aren't close to being equal and they simply won't do it. Besides, a bill that encompasses so many issues will be split up and sent to a dozen different Congressional committees based on legislative jurisdiction, where it will turn into mincemeat when finished .....if it ever survives any of the committees.

    The pro side says that we need to show Congress what true equality really looks like for the LGBT community. When you spell out what true equality is, it is glaringly obvious that we are second class citizens at best and in many cases -- non citizens. At the least this proposal can be used as the gold standard, the measuring stick, against which all piecemeal legislation will be measured.

    So after ENDA (the Employment Non Discrimination Act) is passed and everyone says, wow how great, we can point to the Equality Bill and say, OK, that's a little bit of what is necessary, but look at how much is still missing. I think that alone makes this bill worthwhile to have around.

    A lot of work by a lot of smart and enthusiastic people went into crafting this proposed legislation. I think you should take a look at it to see how good it is. It addresses everything but marriage at the state level, which is not a federal issue.

    Feel free to tell us what you think.

    Full disclosure: I am a member of eQualityGiving.

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    Comments

    1. dimitri on Mar 21, 2009 11:59:13 AM:

      Even though I am skeptical of an omnibus gay rights bill being passed any time soon, I think it is a good way to lay out our inequality so people can fully grasp the problem. It is also a great way to make as much "noise" as possible.

      Besides that Andoni, what is your opinion of the up and coming CIR that is being promised by Obama? Do you think the UAFA has a shot of being slipped into the immigration reform legislation?

    1. J Todd Fernandez on Apr 10, 2009 4:44:31 PM:

      A VISION with a COLLECTIVE call to action. ALL RIGHTS FOR ALL!!!! ALRIGHT!!!!!!!

    1. J Todd Fernandez on Apr 10, 2009 4:46:04 PM:

      Re: UAFA - and immigration - although we hope it happens -- wishing for that is why we need the omnibus bill.

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