Barney Frank | ENDA | Nancy Pelosi | News | Tammy Baldwin

House Passes Employment Non-Discrimination Act 235-184

House passes ENDA 235-184. 35 Republicans joined the Democrats.

Above, Barney Frank's remarks on ENDA — on the left, his comments at the beginning of debate, at right his tearful comments at the end, after a motion was made to send the bill back to committee, in order to kill it. The motion to recommit was made on the basis of marriage: "Motion to recommit "to modify, limit, restrict, or in any way overturn any State or Federal definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, including the use of this Act as a legal predicate in litigation on the issue of marriage."

The motion to recommit failed 222-198.

Tammy Baldwin withdrew her amendment adding transgender protections at the end of debate. Baldwin released a statement following the vote.

Here are a few clips of the debate this afternoon:

Below, Representative John Lewis speaks in favor of the bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's statement in support of the bill.

Below, Representative Barbara Lee speaks in support of the Baldwin amendment that would add protections for transgender people. Representative Kathy Castor speaks in favor of the bill.

Jeremy at Good As You has a whole line-up of audio recordings of the debate that went on this afternoon.

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  1. "Apparently, many of you are NOT as familiar with John Lewis as I, he is my congressman. He is not a "true statesman", but rather an oportunist. I am sure that no one here heard his remarks while speaking at a church in College Park, GA some years back. He spoke about "sodomites" and the need to repent. He spoke of "sinners", etc. Apparently he has jumped on the bandwaggon!"

    Ugh! RB, go sit on a screwdriver and rotate, jackass. You're a fucking Repub! Part of a party that has said, and more importantly, done WAY worse than these alleged comments made by Mr. Lewis. Maybe he does feel that way but he certainly doesn't bring it work with him unlike the true bigots you adore.

    Posted by: Jason | Nov 8, 2007 10:25:44 AM

  2. And how the fuck would that make him an opportunist?!? Yeah, because being a black Democrat in the South is such a SHINING opportunity to support gay rights. Go leap of a bridge.

    Posted by: Jason | Nov 8, 2007 10:28:08 AM

  3. It brings a tear to my eye to see ENDA go even this far.

    Joe Lewis is hardly a statesman. He was my Congressman before I moved and I can assure you he very much is an opportunist - his position on an issue is whatever he needs to stay on the bandwagon. And let's not forget that he has said some of the stupidest shit ever in recorded history as a congressman.

    Both sides will fvck us with no lube - don't be a dumbass and think they actually care.

    Posted by: shane | Nov 8, 2007 10:43:00 AM

  4. Jason, you are a foul mouthed bigot. Your inability to articulate a cogent argument in response to a differing opinion respectfully stated by a long-time commenter reveals your loathsome prejudices. Fortunately for the rest of us, RB is a gentleman who engages in constructive dialogue. Those of us who are frequent commenters encourage a healthy debate. We learn from each other and have owned up to mistakes in judgment. More speech is always better than less speech; however, your sophomoric name-calling will be dismissed by most of us as not worth considering. Rhetorically stamping your feet by issuing ad personam attacks only devalues your "opinion" by making you appear naive, at best, and childish.

    Posted by: rudy | Nov 8, 2007 11:05:50 AM

  5. As far as John Lewis is concerned: there are many Democrats that don't like gay people, but they do as the party leadership instructs them to do. Over the years, as I heard Jesse Jackson or Ed Rendell (Gov. of PA ) speak out for gay civil rights, I knew they'd rather loose one eye than to have a gay son--well, I'm exaggerating, but you get my drift.

    As far as ENDA, well, there are hetero bigots and there homo bigots (we should've known that since 1969). ONce you become part of the establishment, you have to the luxury of being prejudiced and bigoted...we's accepted now, y'all.

    As I said earlier, if ENDA withstands a Bush Veto transfolk should use ENDA anyway--claiming that their sexual orientation is the reason they're be harassed, not being hired, being fired, being discriminated against on the job. Let your lawyer/union representative make your physical appearance a side issue. You are GAY, and that's why you're discriminated against--never mind the fact that you appear (through dress/physical alterations/ make-up) transgendered.

    Use the "mainstream" homos' law the same way they intend to.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 8, 2007 11:34:58 AM

  6. While there are unlikely to be enough votes to override a certain Bush veto, those who don’t understand both the emotional and tactical significance of a symbolic victory are thinking awfully small if they’re thinking at all. It took an actual and violent revolution to turn a group of British colonies into the independent United States but it might not have happened or as quickly as it did without a few men throwing some tea into Boston harbor. Technically, Rosa Park’s refusing to give up her seat on that Alabama bus only got her arrested, but it led to the integration of the entire bus system in Montgomery, and, eventually restaurants, movie theatres, schools, and businesses, and contributed mightily to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act [which however great in terms of race, no, did not gays, let alone Ts include].

    The 2003 Supreme Court legalization of “sodomy” was, in most places, only symbolic either because states had already changed their own laws or no longer enforced those still on the books. Even the iconic Stonewall Riots were, technically, nothing more than what New York media who covered them at all described them at the time: an extended hissy fit by the patrons of an illegal dive owned by the mafia. And their narrow focus contributed to the myth much-repeated in this debate, “She sat there with her legs crossed, the lashes of her mascara-coated eyes beating like the wings of a hummingbird. She was angry. She was so upset she hadn't bothered to shave. A day old stubble was beginning to push through the pancake makeup. She was a he. A queen of Christopher Street.” – “New York Daily News.” National mainstream media ignored her and the non-transgender gays who far outnumbered her over those days but look at us now, Ma!

    But this historic week will not stop some from continuing to push their own agenda which has nothing to do with LGBT equality no matter how many tired rhetorical ribbons they wrap it in. Thar she blows! Like Moby Pencil Dick, Comrade Perdue, the Oldest Living Cocksucking Commie, predictably rises out of the depths of deception and deceit to spray the Dems with his cracked cliches and bovine bile. For only the 900th or so time in the last month. One has to admire how he maintains his stamina after each bout of verbal diarrhea. And has to wonder about the mental stability of someone not willing to take “Yes” for an answer. The first successful vote TOWARD federal gay job protection in American history and it’s bad?

    Missing this time is his usual vicious reference to “Quisling” Barney Frank. Could it be that even a worm like Perdue shrinks at the praise others have given Frank? Surely it wasn’t Barney’s moving response to the fascists’ effort to recommit. Robots don’t have feelings. But they can keep turning on people whom they were formerly praising, and so Tammy Baldwin is now added to Little Billy’s Enemies List. Anyone familiar with the infamous history of a certain photo of Stalin and his inner circle that had fewer and fewer faces every time it was reissued as more and more were painted out as they lost favor understands the way he's been programmed. Fortunately for Frank, Baldwin, et al., Comrade Perdue can only publicly soil his pants in rage and has no power to exile them to the Gulag.

    But back like a flasher and his limp dick is Billy’s attempt, yet again, to sign us up for the “US Labor Party.” But, sad for him, it will take more than ruthless smears and lying attacks against Democrats, or even Republicans, to attract us to phantom organization, not to mention one that is so microscopic, so impotent that it hasn’t even updated its own Website in over a year.

    As for REAL labor groups, e.g., the AFL-CIO, International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace & Agricultural Implement Workers of America-UAW, and the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees, for those who missed it, they were among those, along with the NAACP and the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, who wrote every member of Congress to vote for this bill which calls for job protection for the MILLIONS of gay men and women in 31 states, ignoring the “we must burn down the village in order to save it” demand for political suicide of Mad King Matt at the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. What kind of “leader” tells others to vote AGAINST his own? Particularly when Foreman works where he, himself, already has job protection. What’s that saying about a general never asking his troops to do something he’s not willing to do himself?

    His partner in slime, the screaming banshee behind ENDA Insane, Mara “I ALREADY Have Job Protection Fuck YOU Gays” Kiesling is probably spitting the same lie today she did yesterday and for weeks before, “They all know it is against the position of the vast majority of LGBT people to move ahead with this bill.” Someone please alert the National Education Association [who also signed the letter to Congress]—this must be NEW New Math: a few hundred rabid extremists = “the vast majority of LGBT people.” She may no longer be anatomically male but apparently the need to confuse an inch on a map with a mile is something that can’t be surgically removed.

    One must respect her desire for job protection SHE enjoys for Ts living elsewhere, while denouncing her dishonest, divisive, demonizing tactics. Maybe Foreman, having failed in his effort to bring down HRC [which I regret but for other reasons], will quickly add “Transgender” to the name of his group. The absence of a second T in NGLTF remains egg on his face he can’t wipe away as easily as he did his ringing defense not that long ago of leaving Ts out of New York States’ job protection bill.

    We must move forward in electing a Congress that will pass a bill that includes transgenders and a President who will sign it, even if that means stepping over the bitter bodies still blocking the door to common sense, civility, and honesty. He’s really only a poser not a player in all this, but, in short, decline when Comrade Perdue begs you do the Time Warp again.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Nov 8, 2007 12:06:51 PM

  7. I read every word of your comment, Leland. Damn.

    The issue of ENDA without the "T" is over.

    I still don't know the difference between transgendered and gay, and I never ever will...and I dare any gay man to try to explain it to my 50 year old ex-makeup wearin' ass.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Nov 8, 2007 12:23:06 PM

  8. "I still don't know the difference between transgendered and gay, and I never ever will...and I dare any gay man to try to explain it to my 50 year old ex-makeup wearin' ass."

    Derrick, that is easy.

    From Wikipedia:

    "Gender identity disorder, as identified by psychologists and physicians, is a condition in which a person has been birthed one gender, usually on the basis of their sex at birth (compare intersex disorders), but identifies as belonging to another gender, and feels significant discomfort or being unable to deal with this condition. It is a psychiatric classification and describes the problems related to transsexuality, transgender identity and more rarely transvestism. It is the diagnostic classification most commonly applied to transsexuals."

    The core symptom of gender identity disorders is gender dysphoria, literally being uncomfortable with one's assigned gender."

    This means that transgendered people believe that their birth gender and their real gender are out of synch. They may or may not have same-sex attractions. Some MTF transsexuals have a "heterosexual" attraction to women. I have known several MTF transsexuals who are essentially "lesbians" because they pursue relationships with women. I don't know any FTM transsexuals so I cannot speak from experience for them, but I would assume that it is similar.

    Now, contrast that with homosexuality.

    A homosexual is a person who has a natural attraction to member's of their own sex and not to members of the opposite sex. Homosexuals don't have gender identity disorder and don't seek to become the opposite gender.

    Maybe you are confused about transvestism vs. transgender. There are gay men (and many, many straight men) who like to dress up in women's clothing and makeup. They are still male, consider themselves male and their sexual orientation is for the same-sex. They don't have gender identity disorder, they don't want to become women. They just play "dress up" and explore their feminine side that way.

    I have done "drag" on more than one occasion. It was lots of fun! I enjoyed playing a character, being someone other than who I am, and the freedom that comes with being in disguise. But I never wanted to become a woman. I was just a gay boy dressed up in makeup and a dress, having a good time.

    THAT is the difference. Make sense now?

    Posted by: Jonathon | Nov 8, 2007 1:22:27 PM

  9. Jonathon: I don't accept Wikipedia's definition of transgender. The way I understood it, the term "transgender" came into use because a term was needed to describe ALL people who break gender role norms to the point of being very noticeable.

    Where I work, we have a young woman who dresses in men's clothes, wears a boy's haircut, men's athletic shoes, and men's eye-glasses. She considers herself a gay woman--not a transsexual. Now, I always felt that transgender was a term to cover gay people like her, BUT they had no intention of having (or seriously investigating having a sex change).
    They simply do their homosexuality, But using heterosexual gender role behavior opposite to what they are assigned.

    Some gay men say, "well, I don't know people like that." Who gives a Brokeback fuck who you know! How did so many gay men (black, white, Latino, whatever) get so damn arrogant?

    There was a time, Jonathon, when the only representations of the gay world that were known were the gender rebels. "Traditonally" masculine homosexual men and "traditionally" feminine homosexual women could hide in the closet, and most did. Those who were "OPENLY gay" are now being told, "you're not gay". And that makes me furious.

    No homosexual man on this planet has the authority to tell a feminine male in drag at a Pride event that "she" is not gay. The transfolk decide whether they want to be considered "gay"--not the other way around. Why? Because transfolk invented "gay"--the idea/concept that being homosexual was NOT just about one's sex life, but about their identity, the group they belong to--separate from the straight majority. Without gender-bending homosexuals--much of what is considered "gay culture" wouldn't exist.

    ENDA is not an issue for me anymore (maybe it never was). Gay men's bigotry and MISOGYNY is. And gay men's dislike (and im many cases, hatred) for feminine males is a form of misogyny--and Lord knows, sometimes it's coming from homos who aint all that "rugged" themselves.

    "Before Stonewall" should be REQUIRED viewing for every homo before they can claim the title of "GAY".

    Posted by: Derrick from PHilly | Nov 8, 2007 2:10:51 PM

  10. I am ashamed that my Congressman Jerry NAdler has voted against CIVIL RIGHTS protection based on SEXUAL ORIENTATION.

    he states "it fails to uphold the American values of fairness and equality.”
    Do you think it is fair and equal for hospitals and universities to discriminate against their employees based on sexual orientation?
    I do not think that the law protecting race or sex carved out such and exception.
    Will you work now to make this inclusive?
    And how about our Armed Forces?
    I did not read any objection in his statement on this exclusion.
    And yet the Congress makes the rules for the Armed Forces.
    I guess he believes that a gay, lesbian, bi or transgedered citizen can be discriminated in this employ.
    No he chose to play politics with civil rights.

    It seems he also discriminates against children. All children must have health insurance.

    He does not support Health Care for ALL Children because you voted for the current SCHIP bill. Oh and that bill also excludes children whose parents do not have the right paperwork. I guess they are out of luck....

    Oh and do you think that Rep. John Lewis voted for a bill that fails to uphold the American values of fairness and equality.”

    Posted by: MCnNYC | Nov 8, 2007 4:03:32 PM

  11. The fundies got it wtong: Gays aren't immoral because they have sex with each other...they are immoral because they eat their own.

    Posted by: lyssa | Nov 8, 2007 4:46:34 PM

  12. And LYSSA

    They sad to say...
    seem to LOVE IT!

    Posted by: MCnNYC | Nov 8, 2007 5:14:53 PM

  13. Is our faith-based president going to veto this and render it useless?

    Posted by: ReasonBased | Nov 8, 2007 5:31:33 PM

  14. MCNYC: Yeah, I'll bet they do. To see how emptyheaded that makes them, see below:

    REASONBASED: Probably. Sadly, I would've taken one for the team IF 1) I hadn't been lied to about inclusion from day 1, and 2) we had a Prez who wouldn't make the Congressional vote absolutely meaningless.

    It's not that I was stabbed in the back, it's that I was stabbed in the back for nothing.

    Posted by: lyssa | Nov 8, 2007 6:45:40 PM

  15. Jason, have you ever lived in John Lewis' district? Have you ever had to contact his office and speak with him, as one of his constituents? I would venture a guess that you have not!

    Oportunism has nothing to do with being a dem or repub. It has everything to do with pandering to the will of those that are currently standing in your face! John Lewis does this well. And do not take my word for it, read Shane's post behind yours. He apparently agrees with my take on Lewis.

    And it is always a pleasure to hear from you Rudy! Always a class act my friend. Thanks for the kind words!!!

    Take care


    Posted by: RB | Nov 8, 2007 7:18:37 PM

  16. The Democrats successfully torpedoed ENDA by passing their hopelessly ineffective version. They needed a hook to get our votes because their history on DOMA and DADT and other gaybashing laws look bad. (And it let Barney Frank make good on his threat to punish those who had the temerity to disagree with him.)

    Their backstabbing will backfire as the word gets out about the fake ENDA. The Democrat bogus version encourages discrimination by christian totalitarians. The Democrat bogus version encourages discrimination against transsexuals. The Democrat bogus version accepts and reiterates the bigoted premised of their federal DOMA. And worst of all the Democrat bogus versions promise to deliver legal relief is DOA. Millions of GLBT folk face unremitting discrimination d by bigoted bosses who increase their profits enormously by underpaying us and don’t mind sharing with their toadies in Congress.

    The bill is so watered down that today’s New York Times reports that “President Bush threatened to veto an earlier version of the bill, but a White House spokesman, Tony Fratto, said the administration would need to review recent changes before making a final decision.”

    The arrogance and stupidity of the Democrats is going to backfire on them. They’re patting themselves on the back thinking they’ve pulled the wool over our eyes. Their shills, brain curdled transphobic right-wingers all, are gloating and swaggering as if they’d actually won something. What senile fools. They’ve succeed only in isolating themselves. Only a tiny few are going to follow them as they march in lock step with the Republicans.

    The real activists and real organizations, which are overwhelmingly opposed to their rightward dance with the Republicans are now left with no choice but to begin organizing independently of the Democrats and Republicans. The fakes have dug themselves a cozy little grave and now they can lie in it. Good Riddance!

    Posted by: Bill Perdue | Nov 8, 2007 7:41:49 PM

  17. It's interesting. I would have thought that the rights of trangendered people would be secured under previous civil rights bills dealing with sex. I say if one's sex is irrelevant, as the law says it has to be in employment, then it must be whether that sex is inborn, emergent over time, or chosen. I can see why some people don't see trangendered individuals as necessarily in the same predicament as gays and lesbians. But, like with the bisexuals, some are, some aren't.

    Posted by: Brandon | Nov 8, 2007 8:05:31 PM

  18. "Jason, have you ever lived in John Lewis' district? Have you ever had to contact his office and speak with him, as one of his constituents? I would venture a guess that you have not!

    Oportunism has nothing to do with being a dem or repub. It has everything to do with pandering to the will of those that are currently standing in your face! John Lewis does this well. And do not take my word for it, read Shane's post behind yours. He apparently agrees with my take on Lewis."
    To start I'd like to apologize to RB for my earlier rant. I was feeling a bit "abrasive" today and took out my anger on you. Again, I do apologize.

    As for the rest, I'm an Atlantan, born and raised and you're incorrect in your assumption that I've never spoken with Mr. Lewis. I have actually had a few meetings with him and his support for all civil rights has never, to me, come across as insincere. In fact, he's one of the few reps from this state who I believe actually wants to help ALL of his constituents. YMMV.

    As for pandering, I really don't understand what you mean. How is he pandering? By actually consistently supporting gay rights? By speaking out against the hateful bills pushed (and passed) by Repubs? By speaking out against DOMA? By being one of three reps from this state to actually support ENDA? I really am not clear on what you mean. IMO, it doesn't matter what you do on your personal time. It's quite unfair of you to penalize him for an alleged statement said on personal time (one that I could find no proof of, btw). What matters is his record, and on that, there aren't many better than Mr. Lewis.

    Posted by: Jason | Nov 8, 2007 8:17:33 PM

  19. I think it is pointless at this time to stab each other over whether transpeople should have been included in the protections.

    Our priorities should be:

    1. Get this through the Senate
    2. Make it politically impossible for Bush to veto it (polls say that even 70% of Republicans support job protections for gays)
    3. Get to work on building the political support for trans protections.

    Posted by: Timothy | Nov 8, 2007 8:24:19 PM

  20. 4. Urge gay people to educate themselves on trans issues and actively and publically speak out against gay-on-trans hate speech (of which there is a lot).

    As far as 3 is concerned, I think that gay people have some bridges to rebuild.

    Posted by: lyssa | Nov 8, 2007 9:29:23 PM

  21. Derrick from Philly: Would you like to set up an alternative household with me? I think I'm in love...

    Posted by: LIA | Nov 8, 2007 11:07:14 PM

  22. Hey LIA, I saw him first!

    Posted by: kyssa | Nov 8, 2007 11:37:30 PM

  23. Memo to Comrade Perdue:

    You lost.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Nov 9, 2007 12:04:09 AM

  24. LH: It's rude to gloat.

    Oops...sorry. I read your stuff on Queerty, and realized you simply don't care as long as you get yours. I won't waste my breath on you

    Posted by: lyssa | Nov 9, 2007 1:25:16 AM

  25. Of course we lost. The GLBT communities all lost. The Democrats want their thirty pieces of silver from the bigot bosses and did what they had to. We never had a chance in the House of Greed.

    But we also won. Now the 360 pro-ENDA groups and the tens of thousand of activists who support ENDA have gotten a wake up call.

    As the NLGTF said: “We are relieved this episode is behind us, and starting right now we are going to pick up where we were six weeks ago — namely, working to pass into law in 2009 the ENDA our entire community wants and deserves.”

    We'll still be here long after you bunker down in you log cabin.

    Posted by: Bill Perdue, RainbowRED | Nov 9, 2007 1:29:16 AM

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