EN [USA] ENDA Vote Again Delayed
- ENDA Vote Again Delayed
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff
Posted: October 31, 2007
(Washington) For the second time in two weeks a vote has been put
off on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
The vote originally was to have been taken last week, but was moved
to today because of other pressing business in the House.
"We're hoping it comes up next week," Steve Adamske, Congressman
Barney Frank's press aide told 365Gay.com Wednesday.
The delays have resulted in increased lobbying on both sides of the
"We're making sure we have the votes in line," Adamske said.
The vote delays are are the latest in a series of problems ENDA has
It originally included all members of the LGBT community, but Frank
(D-Mass), the bill's author, removed gender identity fearing the
legislation might not get out of committee.
The move angered most LGBT rights groups, many of whom accused Frank
of selling out transsexuals.
Nevertheless, the revised bill passed the House Education and Labor
Committee last week on a 27 - 21 vote. (story) Several committee
Democrats, including presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich refused
to support the measure without the inclusion of protections for
Following the vote Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) proposed an amendment
that would reinstate gender identity and secured the support of
House leadership to introduce it Wednesday when ENDA reaches the
Frank and Baldwin are the only two out members of Congress.
Frank has said he would support the amendment and has been lobbying
for its passage. (story)
ENDA, as currently worded, would make it illegal for employers to
discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in hiring, firing,
promoting or paying an employee.
There are, however, some notable exceptions. It does not cover
small businesses, churches and the uniformed members of the armed
A Senate version has yet to be introduced.
Last week the White House said the bill is likely unconstitutional
and that if it passes in Congress the president's senior aides would
recommend vetoing it. (story)
"[The bill] is inconsistent with the right to the free exercise of
religion as codified by Congress in the Religious Freedom
Restoration Act (RFRA)," the White House said in a statement.
The threatened veto is the second against LGBT legislation before
Congress. The other is the Matthew Shepard Hate Crime Act.
That legislation has passed the House. The Senate version passed as
an amendment to a military spending bill. The two versions are now
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"[T]he job of the gay community is not to deal with extremists who
would castigate us or put us on an island and drop an H-bomb on us.
The fact of the matter is that there is a small percentage of people
in America who understand the true nature of the homosexual
community. There is another small percentage who will never
understand us. Our job is not to get those people who dislike us to
love us. Nor was our aim in the civil rights movement to get
prejudiced white people to love us. Our aim was to try to create the
kind of America, legislatively, morally, and psychologically, such
that even though some whites continued to hate us, they could not
openly manifest that hate. That's our job today: to control the
extent to which people can publicly manifest antigay sentiment."
--Bayard Rustin; From Montgomery to Stonewall (1986)