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    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?

    Mattforeman_2 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.

    Peterlabarbera3_2 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.

    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

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



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    1. Activists are so quiet after getting the 'nothing' they sought on ENDA from Qblog on Oct 27, 2007 8:55:06 PM

      Have you noticed the deafening activist silence about ENDA for the past few days? Blogger Chris Crane [Read More]


    1. Rebecca Juro on Oct 27, 2007 5:16:38 PM:

      C'mon, Chris...how many times does it have to be said? ENDA is NOT becoming law this year or next. It's just not going to happen. Trying to claim that anyone is being denied rights if this bill fails simply isn't realistic.

      This entire exercise has been nothing more than the Democratic leadership trying to win themselves a meaningless trophy to show off at election time. Not only is it good for transpeople that this thing doesn't pass, it's good for the entire community. At least this way when it actually does get introduced after Hillary becomes President, we can hope for a law that will be stronger for everyone than the toothless joke they've been trying to pass now.

    1. NG on Oct 27, 2007 10:15:50 PM:

      Wasn't it you and Aravosis who sourced Porno Pete as part of your gay only ENDA advocacy?

    1. Andoni on Oct 28, 2007 9:10:51 AM:

      No matter who was running Congress or the White House over the past 7 + 8 = 15 years, no gay rights legislation has become law. Why should I vote Democratic in 2008? They have not fulfilled any of their promises over the past 15 years. Like a buyer who has been fooled one too many times, I say, "Where's the down payment?" You want my vote, I want to see a down payment before the 2008 elections. You obviously can't do all those other things you promised us if you are elected in 08 (repeal DADT, DOMA, etc) if you can't even get ENDA and Hate Crimes on the president's desk now.

      Also, to base a strategy on the assumption that the 2008 elections will bring a more Democratic Congress and a Dem president is downright STUPID.

      Look I'm an old gay man who remembers 1993 -94 when our leaders told us the same thing. Wait until the 1994 elections, then we'll have an even more Democratic Congress and we already have a gay friendly president. If you don't remember what actually happened you're either too young or you blocked it out because those 6 years were so awful, it hurt. Think Gingrich, think DOMA, think betrayal.

    1. Lucrece on Oct 28, 2007 2:35:25 PM:

      Why should you vote for Democrats? Because the most pitiful Democrat is still leaps and bounds ahead in terms of open LGBT support than the best "gay-friendly" Republican. Also, it's rather unfair to expect the Democrats to pass LGBT-centered bills when within those 15 years the Senate has been from either Republican-controlled to evenly split, making it impossible for Democrats to overcome Republican filibusters.

    1. Andoni on Oct 28, 2007 5:03:04 PM:

      Lucrece, support doesn't mean much. Actions are what count.

      Let's see, the US supports the poor starving people in Darfur. Do you think they sleep better at night, feel safer, and fill their stomachs on our support?

      I am willing to forget the rotten past, if the Dems can simply demonstrate that they are WILLING AND ABLE to do something. Yes, call me a doubter, but they have taken tons of my money and gotten my unqualified support for the past 20 years, and now I want to see a token to prove I'm not being taken for granted, fooled, or investing in a Ponze scheme.

      Both Hate Crimes and GLB ENDA have overwhelming public support and are assured over 50% of the votes in the House and Senate (and many think 60 votes in the Senate).

      There comes a time when someone has to show you that they are your friend. Simply telling you that they are your friend isn't believable. This isn't a case of what have you done for me lately, it's a case of WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME AT ALL.

    1. Lucrece on Oct 28, 2007 7:26:08 PM:

      Support, no matter how long walking the walk takes to come, is far better than a party actively seeking Constitutional amendmends singling us out or simply shoving us under the rug. I don't know about you, but I'd rather vote for a party that brings up our community, no matter how demagogic it is, in a particular positive light than a party that defines our lives as "lifestyles" and considers our people to be threatening their social institutions.

      The Matthew Sheppard ACT and GLB Enda have nowhere near the public support you make it out to be. I'll be willing to venture a percentage of 50% at best. The Matthew Sheppard Act barely survived a Republican filibuster, and the president, true to his Republican nature, has threatened to veto it, just like he issued a veto threat to even the watered down GLB ENDA under the preposterous premise that it infringes on religious practice. Republicans have constantly blurred the line of separation of church and state, thus their rather large religious following; and when separation of church and state is infringed upon, you should know it is GLBTs who lose big time.

    1. Citizen Crain on Oct 28, 2007 10:23:37 PM:

      Rebecca: Of course you want everyone to believe ENDA has no chance this year; it suits your interests to a "t." But as I have detailed before, a wide array of sources say different, including the Washington Post, which reported that the Senate was expected to move forward on ENDA if it passed the House. The fact you would call the compromise ENDA "a toothless joke" is just further evidence that you have no respect for the rights of GLB Americans.

      NG: That was Aravosis, not me. Read my post on the ENDA veto for the details.

      Lucrece: I think the point Andoni is making is that supporting Democrats over Republicans does not mean we must submit to whatever Dem leaders say about what is in their or our interest. We have to pressure and hold them accountable. Not on silly sideshow issues like Bill Richardson's "choice" gaffe or Barack Obama's ex-gay gospel singer, but on policy and on measurable progress toward our equality.

    1. Eva Young on Oct 28, 2007 10:44:09 PM:

      I totally agree Chris - thank you United ENDA for the good work here.

      In my opinion, if the Dems don't pass ENDA during this congress, they need to get something else accomplished to earn gay votes. My suggestion is repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. That polls well - even in the military.

    1. Lucrece on Oct 28, 2007 10:55:45 PM:

      CC: I agree with that point if it is truly what Andoni is trying to say; I never stated otherwise. However, how do we punish them? Besides primaries, there is very little we can do, and the Democrats know this. We are shooting ourselves in the foot by punishing the Democrats by voting for the Republican candidate.

      There is no finer example of how well Dems know that they are in the power position than the recent appointment of Leslie Southwick. This infuriated me beyond the Obama impasse. That woman responsible for Leslie's appointment serves the SF community, yet I'm sure that most of the gay community is distracted with its petty parades and dinner "fundraisers" to they point that they are not aware of this. We need far better organization. Hispanic and black organizations put us to shame in terms of influence and organization. Nevertheless, we are between the sword and the wall. It's a lose-lose scenario if we decide to "punish" Democrats. We can remove our vote from them, but the result will be that it will further downrank LGBT issues on their list, it will get the far worse Republicans elected, and we'll be getting nowhere anyways. I have no problems with Andoni's frustration with Democrats; it is common knowledge that they use us most of the time for political football. However, I profusely caution against supporting the Republican party with the delusion that they could possibly be any better, if equal (patently false) to Democrats in terms of LGBT support. Name me one Republican who has actually taken the initiative to introduce a bill pertinent to the LGBT community for vote. Now name me the number of Democrats that have done so.

      We can only hope that there will come the time where both parties will court our vote, but that time is far off from reality. My fiscal conservative self will have to remain seated behind higher priorities, such as being acknowledged as an equal human being with entitlement to the same protection that heterosexuals enjoy. I value the social justice side over monetary benefit any time. While we should pressure Democrats, we should find an effective way to do so. For example, the educational system is an aspect I have not seen LGBT constituency paying attention to. It would be of huge help if there were school-promoted Pride Month just like Black and Hispanic Heritage months. Literature classes should explore issues of homophobia just like black and women's issues. By educating the younger generation, we are able to dethrone the bigots from their reign of censure.

    1. Andoni on Oct 29, 2007 9:18:45 AM:

      Yes, that is what I was trying to say. We have to hold the Democrats feet to the fire and hold them accountable.

      I am very frustrated that with their control of Congress, anti-gay judicial appointments are still going through, the war is raging on without a plan on how to scale down, and that there isn't more unified support for moving gay legislation.

      They need to know that we are upset with them!

    1. Geena the Transgirl on Oct 29, 2007 12:37:59 PM:

      I'm with Andoni. The biggest mistake in politics is assuming you'll be reelected with stronger numbers in the next cycle.
      Donkeys win, Elephants win, political Hogs get slaughtered.

    1. North Dallas Thirty on Oct 30, 2007 1:56:17 PM:

      Lucrece's post is a marvel of rationalization for slavery to Democrats.

      You would think, Lucrece, that if these Dems really supported you, you wouldn't have to give them all your money and your unquestioned obedience for them to keep doing it.

      If someone is your friend only if you do exactly what they tell you to do, never question them, never disagree with them, and give them everything you have.....are they really your friend?

      Furthermore, you argue that speaking out against Democrat abuses is bad because we shouldn't alienate people and lessen our support -- yet you regularly do it to Republicans and then wonder why they don't support you.

    1. jordan shoes on May 24, 2010 11:09:53 PM:

      Li is typical of Chinese professional women, with a very high opinion of herself and plenty of self-confidence. She told us she “always reaches whatever goals” she sets. In her interview she gave herself a rating of ten out of ten for whatever she does. After the interview, Li sent us a supplementary, unsolicited e-mail listing no fewer than 15 of her strengths.

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