Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

EN [DC, USA] Stripped-Down Gay Rights Bill Heads To House Committee

Expand Messages
  • Stephanie Stevens
    365Gay.com, USA ... Excerpt: On Sunday he tried to quell the dissent, saying removing trans rights was the only way to get the rest of the measure passed. It
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1, 2007
    • 0 Attachment
      365Gay.com, USA


      ---

      Excerpt: On Sunday he tried to quell the dissent, saying removing
      trans rights was the only way to get the rest of the measure passed.

      "It is never possible for us at any given time to get everything that
      we would like, and so we have to make difficult choices," said Frank.

      ---


      Stripped-Down Gay Rights Bill Heads To House Committee

      by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

      Posted: October 1, 2007 - 6:00 am ET


      (Washington) A new version of the Federal Employment
      Non-Discrimination Act - with protections for the transgendered
      removed - goes to the House Education and Labor committee this week
      amid growing anger from LGBT rights groups and without the endorsement
      of one of its key sponsors.

      The committee on Tuesday is expected to mark up the measure and send
      it to the floor of the House for a vote.

      The bill was introduced in Congress in April (story
      <http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/04/042407enda.htm>) and, in its
      original form would have made it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or
      refuse to promote an employee based on the person's sexual orientation
      or gender identity.

      Late last week all references to transsexuals and gender identity was
      removed in a backroom deal orchestrated by Rep. Barney Frank
      (D-Mass.).

      Frank, one of only two out members of Congress, is the lead sponsor of
      ENDA in the House. His decision to split off transgender rights
      infuriated LGBT activists. (story
      <http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/09/092707enda.htm>)

      On Sunday he tried to quell the dissent, saying removing trans rights
      was the only way to get the rest of the measure passed.

      "It is never possible for us at any given time to get everything that
      we would like, and so we have to make difficult choices," said Frank.

      "We are on the verge of an historic victory that supporters of civil
      rights have been working on for more than thirty years: the passage
      for the first time in American history by either house of Congress of
      legislation declaring it illegal to discriminate against people in
      employment based on their sexual orientation," he said in a statement.

      "Detracting from the sense of celebration many of us feel about that
      is regret that under the current political situation, we do not have
      sufficient support in the House to include in that bill explicit
      protection for people who are transgender."

      Frank went on to say that it boils down to "whether we should pass up
      the chance to adopt a very good bill because it has one major gap."

      He also suggests that transgendered leaders have their head in the sand.

      "One of the problems I have found over the years of discussing this is
      an unwillingness on the part of many, including leaders in the
      transgender community, to acknowledge a fact: namely that there is
      more resistance to protection for people who are transgender than for
      people who are gay, lesbian and bisexual," Frank said.

      "This is not a good fact, but ignoring bad facts is a bad way to get
      legislation passed. I have for some time been concerned that people
      in the transgender leadership were underestimating the difficulty we
      faced in a broadly inclusive bill being adopted."

      Frank said that once ENDA passes he will work on a separate bill to
      ensure the rights of transsexuals, but he gives no timeline.

      The new version of ENDA has another glaring omission. Unlike the
      original it does not come with the co-sponsorship of Rep. Tammy
      Baldwin (D-Wisc.) the only other openly gay member of Congress.

      Stripping out trans rights earned Frank a stiff rebuke from a
      transgender legal group.

      "This is a divide that we cannot afford," said Masen Davis, Executive
      Director of the Transgender Law Center.

      "LGBT organizations and allies have been working for years to pass a
      bill that protects gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees
      alike. I fear that this move by the Congressional leadership will
      create unnecessary divisiveness among our communities."


      (c)365Gay.com 2007

      http://www.365gay.com/Newscon07/10/100107enda.htm
    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.