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    October 16, 2007

    Another ENDA analogy…

    Posted by: Chris

    …this one from Barney Frank himself.

    Barney We've talked often on this blog about how the trans-or-bust strategy for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is almost without precedent or analogy, certainly within the civil rights sphere. This comes despite claims by black gay leader H. Alexander Robinson to the contrary.

    Now Barney Frank, who has championed the gay ENDA compromise, offers his own analogy, to the federal and state equal rights amendments, which expressly excluded gays:

    There were efforts in the seventies … to explicitly include in equal rights amendments language that protected people against discrimination based on sexual orientation. That is, the amendments – federal and various state versions – prohibited discrimination based on sex, and people sought to add sexual orientation. I and others opposed that because we knew at the time that it would defeat the Equal Rights Amendment.

    It's worth noting here that there is as close a connection (or lack thereof) between discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation, on the one hand, as there is between discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity on the other.  All those arguments about how being gay is defiance of gender stereotypes, all those claims that Title VII really ought to cover male workers fired for being a "fag" and female workers for being too "butch" are in play here.

    But gay groups chose not to attempt to leverage their way into the ERA, as Barney points out:

    That is, as a gay man, along with virtually all of the gay and lesbian groups, I opposed inclusion of explicit protection for gay and lesbian people in equal rights amendments because it would have jeopardized the passage of the amendment. Of course at the federal level the amendment was never ratified, but it was ratified in Massachusetts and in several other places, and the relevant point is that it was ratified to protect women against discrimination based on their gender with the explicit approval of gays and lesbians that we be left out, because we thought that protecting people against a very significant form of discrimination was worth doing, even though it didn’t protect everybody.

    Nice fit for an analogy, if you ask me.

    Those with an open mind interested in a more thorough explanation of Barney Frank's views on the ENDA debate should take a look at his (very) extended remarks on the subject in a speech on the House floor.

    For a complete news summary on ENDA, click or bookmark: gaynewswatch.com/enda

    For a complete news summary on transgender rights, click or bookmark: gaynewswatch.com/transgender



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    1. Andoni on Oct 17, 2007 9:28:11 AM:

      As the guy who has offered at least 4 analogies to support my views on the ENDA, I would say Barney has offered the best one to date.

    1. Andoni on Oct 17, 2007 9:28:47 AM:

      As the guy who has offered at least 4 analogies to support my views on the ENDA, I would say Barney has offered the best one to date.

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