ENDA Goes Before House Rules Committee; Headed to Floor

Gay City News reports that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is currently before the House Rules Committee and is headed to the floor at some point this week. The version of the bill before the committee does not include protections for transgender individuals:

Frank“According to Steve Adamske, a spokesman for out gay Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank, ENDA’s lead sponsor, the Committee will take up the measure in the form it was scaled back to in late September, at Frank’s recommendation, to include only sexual orientation – and not gender identity and expression – as a protected class.”

Rep. Tammy Baldwin’s amendment, which would add protections for transgender individuals back into the bill, may be heard on the floor as well, however, the exact process by which that would occur is reportedly being considered by the Rules Committee.

Baldwin declined to add her name in support of the watered-down ENDA (she was a co-sponsor of the original bill), and several Democrats may defect in their support of it due to the lack of transgender inclusion. However, Gay City News notes, the fact that is in committee is a signal that leadership feels it has the votes to pass the bill.

ENDA Heading to Floor This Week [gay city news]


  1. Derrick from Philly says

    All right, no trans inclusion. Don’t say a damn word, Leland. Not one damn word.

    A lot of y’all gay guys better “butch it up” or else ENDA won’t protect your ass either.

  2. Anonymous says

    If there aren’t the votes to get the transgender protections in, we have to move on and get the vote for the bill in the form that we can get it. I’m certainly telling my congressman to vote for the bill even if the transgendered protections aren’t there and he says that he will.

    We can’t let the “perfect” be the enemy of the “good” which is the situation that we have been caught in for the last few weeks!

  3. says

    I agree, while it isn’t perfect, all things come with time. Just like how we have to be satisfied with civil unions for the time being. Marriage will come and so will trans inclusion.

  4. Derrick from Philly says

    ANONYMOUS: I respect what you’re saying, and many of us on the other side need to rethink our strategy. We can still make ENDA (if George Dumbya’s veto can be overridden) work for trans folk. How? Claim it’s our sexual orientation that is being persecuted, not our physical appearance. As I said, most straight anti-gay assholes don’t know the difference between gay and transgendered. We are all faggots and bulldaggers to them. ( I forgot , y’all white folks say “bulldykers”. Sorry.

  5. TNBlueDogDem says

    One who identifies as ‘transgendered’ is characteristically defined by intersexuality and gender displasia which are chronic psychological/physical conditions that require extensive psychiatric therapy, long-term medications (hormone-therapy, anti-depressants, etc.), and ultimately radical reconstructive surgery. All are criteria for classification as a disability.

  6. Leland Frances says

    Sorry, Derrick, I can’t remain silent to the drone of misrepresentations that continue to try to drown out the truth in this propaganda from the editor of “Gay City News,” who, of course, already has job protection as a gay man working in NYC unlike the gays and lesbians in THIRTY other states who don’t; whom he’s asking to try feeding themselves and their families on a diet of selfish anger and self-righteousness should they get fired in one of those states. It’s easy for someone already immune to demand others endure pain.

    “debate over whether or not the gay rights measure should include protections against bias motivated by an individual’s gender identity or expression” Sorry, girlfriend, the debate wasn’t about who/what should be included in the PROPOSED bill, but how it would affect possible passage.

    “Baldwin has apparently made limited headway in wooing colleagues to support the inclusion of transgender protections, and ironically her measure, if put to a vote, would create precisely the framework that Frank warned against when he advised a narrower formulation of the bill. His fear was that Republicans would put up a mirror-image amendment to Baldwin’s, stripping out transgender protections.” Wow. The most truthful thing in the whole editorial. Karma’s a bitch ain’t it?

    “Both Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, and Roberta Sklar, a spokeswoman for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force” BOTH also already have job protection as they work in D.C.—once again, unlike the gays and lesbians in THIRTY other states who don’t; whom they’re asking to try feeding themselves and their families on a diet of selfish anger and self-righteousness should they get fired in one of those states.

    “two groups leading a coalition of roughly 300 organizations” VERY “roughly” since the overlapping of organizational memberships, microscopic size of many of the groups, and the absence of any evidence that even 10% have polled their members for approval of their Machiavellian machinations have been pointed out. Anyone find it strange that the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force still doesn’t even have “transgender” in their title, but yet are telling the millions of Gs & Ls to gladly go over the cliff with them?

    “pressing Congress to vote no on any version of ENDA that is not fully inclusive” There she blows, folks. The shameful naked truth: pressing Congress to vote against even minimal job protections for millions of gays and lesbians in 30 states. In short, so-called ENDA United is pissing on our legs while trying to convince us it’s only rain.

    “NCTE, NGLTF, and several hundred other LGBT groups nationwide formed United ENDA” Gee, guy, make up your mind? We aren’t talking about rabbits. How did, In a couple of paragraphs, “roughly 300 organizations” multiply to “several hundred”?

    “Human Rights Campaign, which virtually alone among LGBT groups indicated it would not oppose any version of ENDA.” Willfully dishonest again. Gertrude Stein Democratic Club and GLAA DC have been around longer than your paper and accomplished far more. While hoping for a trans inclusive ENDA they have refused to demand the destruction of an ENDA without it.

    “Frank’s retreat on transgender rights” Shame on you. Frank, despite the ruthless demonization of him by those with Mad Tranny Disease, never retreated on transgender rights. He retreated on a bill that would not pass to one that might. The sane would call that common sense. The common call it betrayal.

    “’It’s unfortunate that leadership would continue to try to pass a bill that the LGBT community has said it doesn’t want’, Keisling said” Fuck you, bitch, and not in the good way! Neither you, nor anyone at NGLTF, speak for the LGBT community! I’m a member of the LGBT community, as are all of the other individuals who have called bullshit on you, as are the members of Gertrude Stein and GLAA DC. How dare you?

    Distortions, blatant lies, self-destruction, character assassination, and self-canonization have characterized the spokespeople and many supporters of ENDA United. It’s time for it to end.

  7. Lia says

    ADA, when it was written, specifically excluded the transgendered. Most challenges to sex discrimination in the courts by transgendered people have also been shot down (judges concluding that it’s not their sex but their trans status responsible for the discrimination), but this is beginning to turn around if recent judgments are any indication. In the meantime, we need a bill, folks.

  8. Derrick from Philly says

    Leland: I respect everything you write…well, almost everything (and Bill Perdue too–I like his views on Palestine), but Leland, you were around in the 1960s–there is no big difference between most gay men and most transgered folks. The only thing that separates many of us is the DRAG. Only true transsexuals do not want to be “gay”, and even some of them return to the gay world after their surgery. It aint so black and white–it’s a big gray area. Gender issues are part of gay issues–whether y’all like it or not. It’s always been that way–whether its European, African, Asian, American, Pacific Island homosexuality–gender benders have always been a part of the homosexual world.

    Sometimes, I wish they’d have never invented the word “transgender”.

  9. Adam says

    Why not include trans in this bill? The bill that has no chance in the Senate, a promised White House veto, and no chance to override said veto. It’s pure politics from House Democrats and all fundraising for HRC; there will be no law while Bush is in the White House. What advantage is it to pass a non-trans inclusive bill out of the House just to watch it die. Dems had the votes to pass a trans inclusive bill; it would have met the same fate.

    What has happened is that you all who support a non-trans inclusive bill have been duped into taking the divide-and-conquer bait. It defies reason that non-trans people would willingly turn to a trans person next to him, look at him and say, “hey, you’re holding me back. catch you next time around.” We’re talking about protection here! If anyone needs it, it’s the trans community. Yet, here we have people who are so greedy for a political win, they’ve split the gblt community so they can get an award from Joe Solomonese.

    What if they stripped protection for gay men out of the bill instead and the lesbians treated it like they’d just been given a gift?

  10. Leland Frances says

    Thanks, Derrick. I agree with you in terms of how we are all lumped together by most “straights.” That is, “expectations” of so-called “gender appropriate” appearance and behavior are behind homophobia and transphobia. More simply still, it’s rudimentary sexism. In their minds, “men” look/act this way and “women” look/act that way and never the twain is supposed to meet and there has been severe punishment for those involved when it does since Time began.

    Certainly my own inability to “pass,” contributed to my being terminated from one job and denied a promotion in another. [Not mere speculation in either case. In the former, I was sleeping with one of the managers who did pass and so could tell me what the boss was saying, and, in the latter, my manager quoted to me her boss literally saying, “We don’t want any queers in that job.”]

    While I pride myself on being able to see beyond my gay nose, I have to admit that I was shocked that some of the representatives who had come around after 33 years to voting for gay job protection, however limited still were hung up about transgenders. A sub atomic particle of naivete still alive in Uncle Leland’s body? Call “Science” magazine and “The Jaded Queen’s Gayzette”!

    Yes, we have tons of work to do in every regard. We wouldn’t as much if national gay groups, particularly, had abandoned the educational part of their mission decades ago, which was what made the folly of trying to raise consciousness in Congress about transgenders in just two weeks so absurd.

    But daring to tread yet again into the briarpatch of simple analogy, just because the bill being advanced isn’t champagne, why should we all die of thirst?

    Footnote: Even before the obligatory nelly young snap queen was eliminated last night, and they were introduced to the Emmy-winning show’s first out lesbian couple, “straight,” as well as a few “bent” “Amazing Race” fans must have dropped their teeth trying to figure out what Kynt’s story is on the premier of the new season last night. He and his partner Vyxzen describe themselves as “Goth.” While that may be the new “Bulgarian” as in, “Let’s not call them gay, let’s call them Bulgarians,” HONNNEEE, Kynt’s got a lot more than mint going on in his julep. I’m no expert, but it might be safe to say that few male Goths try to look like the love child of Sylvia Rivera and a mid-transition Alexis Arquette. Kynt says he was sad to have to leave his platform shoes at home, but with a million bucks at state, “If it comes to re-doing my eyeliner or doing a Roadblock, I’m definitely doing the Roadblock.” Will he displace Reichen as the most famous gay Amazing Racer?


  11. anon (gmail.com) says

    And prey tell, what are Bill’s views on Palestine? (Of course, call them “his” views is a misnomer. Communists are not allowed to dissent from the party line.)

  12. Bill Perdue, RainbowRED says

    There’s no point in denying it at this point, we’ve been stabbed in the back by Democrats Frank and Pelosi. And now, while the Congressional Democrats are twisting the knife, their shills and apologists are scuttling out of the way, afraid they’ll be caught in the backlash of this outrageous betrayal. As soon as they stopped gloating they began a mad dash to cover their asses. It won’t work; nobody makes steel plated diapers.

    The replacement of the real ENDA by the counterfeit, toothless Democratic version was a shocking and revealing wake up call for tens of thousands who assumed the Democrats were their friends.

    Without notice, debate or dialogue Frank and Pelosi unilaterally stripped some of the most important provisions of the real ENDA. Their deceit was matched by the antidemocratic arrogance of their refusal to consult, listen or discuss it with the movement. They understood from the first that their bogus ENDA would ignite a firestorm of opposition and decided to ignore GLBT opinion on the question. http://www.glad.org/ and http://www.lambdalegal.org/enda-we-can-do-better.html and http://www.civilrights.org/issues/glbt/enda.html

    To our credit the overwhelming majority of GLBT activists, leaders and thinkers repudiated the Democrats and their quisling shills. The Democrats watched slack jawed as the opposition to their betrayal provoked a massive and determined rejection.

    The days when Democrats could take us for granted are over. We’re in the same boat as tens of millions of working people, antiwar activists, environmentalists, and minorities. We have to build an independent voice to express the political will of the GLBT communities.
    That summarizes the politics of the debate, but it has another side, a human dimension that should inform and guide our debate, even if the Democrats and their hacks try to conceal and ignore it.

    Gwyn Abrujo was murdered, as are many others every year, because she was transgendered. TransActive Education & Advocacy, a group supporting youth of all genders in Portland, Oregon reported two days ago that “Ian, a 16-year old transgender boy committed suicide yesterday. As sad as the death of any child can be at any time, in any way, the loss of this child, in this way at this time is particularly painful for many of us.”

    People know when they’re being trhown under the bus.

    The crime of the Democrats is their attempt to write off the lives of transsexuals, to trade them for party loyalty. For thirty pieces of silver they’re making it easier for the bosses who make a mint underpaying us. That’s despicable.

    The crime of their apologists is their sudden fondness for the acronym GLB and their use of hate language like “freak” “tranny” “transjacking” and “mad tranny disease”. Those people are writing themselves out of the movement. Good Riddance!

  13. ATLSteve says

    Um, not every gay man is some borderline feminine drag queen and not every lesbian is some pseudo-male bull dyke.

    Please stop acting like there is no difference between the majority of gay and lesbian individuals and transgendered folks in this country today.

  14. Bill Perdue, RainbowRED says

    Dear J. Edgar AKA (anon@G.mail.com) I know it’s not easy for conservatives and other species of reactionaries to figure out the little nuances of politics so here’s a hint.

    The Communist Party (CPUSA) has supported the Democrats in every election since 1948. So do you. So does Frances and other gullible ‘babes in the woods’. I don’t and I haven’t ever voted for a Republican or Democrat in my life. I wouldn’t be welcome in the CPUSA.

    If you don’t believe me call them at 212-989-4994 and ask them if Bill Perdue is now, or ever has been, a member of the CPUSA, of if I’m critical of them and their politics. Then ask the FBI for my dossier under the Freedom of Information Act. Let us know what you find out.

    If war breaks out against Iran we’ll have a more appropriate chance to discuss the Mideast.

  15. MCnNYC says

    I called my congressman and told him that if he believed in civil rights at all he MUST VOTE YES on any and all ENDA provisions.
    That a NO vote on this ENDA would simply be a vote AGAINST CIVIL RIGHTS.
    And what would he achieve for civil rights by voting against this bill?

  16. MCnNYC says

    Oh and ADAM you are WRONG HRC is not using this issue to fundraise it is every other organization state local legal that put out a fundraising letter and bashed HRC for it’s politically realistic work.

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