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Old 11-08-2007, 04:05 PM   #1
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the ENDA

well, looks like it passed the House. and it's shocking that this is even an issue, but here's the article:

[q]House Approves Broad Protections for Gay Workers
By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN

WASHINGTON, Nov. 7 — The House on Wednesday approved a bill granting broad protections against discrimination in the workplace for gay men, lesbians and bisexuals, a measure that supporters praised as the most important civil rights legislation since the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 but that opponents said would result in unnecessary lawsuits.

The bill, the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, is the latest version of legislation that Democrats have pursued since 1974. Representatives Edward I. Koch and Bella Abzug of New York then sought to protect gay men and lesbians with a measure they introduced on the fifth anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the brawl between gay men and police officers at a bar in Greenwich Village that is widely viewed as the start of the American gay rights movement.

“On this proud day of the 110th Congress, we will chart a new direction for civil rights,” said Representative Kathy Castor, a Florida Democrat and a gay rights advocate, in a speech before the vote. “On this proud day, the Congress will act to ensure that all Americans are granted equal rights in the work place.”

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat and a longtime supporter of gay rights legislation, said he would move swiftly to introduce a similar measure in the Senate. Some Senate Republicans said that, if worded carefully, it would have a good chance of passing, perhaps early next year.

Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine, has said that she would be the lead co-sponsor of the Senate bill. Ms. Collins, in a statement, said that the House vote “provides important momentum” and that “there is growing support in the Senate for strengthening federal laws to protect American workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation.”

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. Few Democrats expect Mr. Bush to change his mind.

The House bill would make it illegal for an employer “to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise discriminate against any individual with respect to the compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment of the individual, because of such individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation.”

While 19 states and Washington, D.C., have laws barring discrimination based on sexual orientation, and many cities offer similar protections, federal law offers no such shield, though it does bar discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, sex, age, disability and pregnancy.[/q]


so, you know, baby steps. it seems that, on the left, the issue was whether or not this legislation should include protection for gender-identity, and i think it should, but that also gets at the larger issue -- do you all have to move forward together, or do some forge ahead, and then extend a hand back to those that were initially left behind?

on the right, it seems that it's perfectly fine to be able to fire someone for being gay because that's part of religious expression -- the right to rid from your sight those you find different.

for some genuinely moving testimony, listen to Barney Frank (arguably the smartest guy in Congress). he gets quite emotional about 5 minutes in:
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:14 PM   #2
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Yes it seems perfectly right and fair to me. I bet Bush will veto it though

That video is great
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Old 11-08-2007, 06:52 PM   #3
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If he vetoes on principle, I hope he goes after the disabled too, they get all the breaks.
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:02 PM   #4
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Since he's justifying his vetoes with the costs of those bills I wonder when he's going to veto the Iraq war.
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:21 PM   #5
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If he vetoes on principle, I hope he goes after the disabled too, they get all the breaks.
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Old 11-09-2007, 01:27 AM   #6
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It's really depressing to think that 184 Representatives voted against this bill, its prospects in the Senate are considered shaky, and Bush will almost certainly veto it, yet polls have shown the overwhelming majority of Americans support workplace protections for gays and lesbians--89%, according to the most recent national Gallup poll on the issue. I'm not sure in this case whether that more reflects the clout of antigay religious lobbyists, ill-advised strategizing on the part of GLBT groups, both, or what.

The infighting over whether or not to drop the proposed gender-identity protections in the interests of getting more votes sounded pretty depressing too...I'm not sure what to say about that.
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Old 11-09-2007, 01:55 AM   #7
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Originally posted by yolland
polls have shown the overwhelming majority of Americans support workplace protections for gays and lesbians--89%, according to the most recent national Gallup poll on the issue.
That's a very impressive percentage. Now if that acceptance can move up to the lawmakers and then spread to other areas (not just the workplace) it would be wonderful. It is discouraging to see that number and realise this legislation is [i]still[/i[ not likely to make it into law this time.
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Old 11-09-2007, 05:32 AM   #8
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^ I think for most Americans, they support such legislation as basic fairness. But it is not an issue they are overwhelmingly passionate about, so it doesn't become the dealbreaker it could be. It'll be interesting to see how it fares with perhaps a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress. You should have a guarantee pass then although I hope it passes now. At the very least, it will set the groundwork for 2009, which if the makeup of the Congress and the Presidency favors it, this bill should be one of the earliest pieces of legislation passed.

And like Irvine, I'm very fond of Barney Frank.
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Old 11-09-2007, 10:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by yolland
[B] I'm not sure in this case whether that more reflects the clout of antigay religious lobbyists, ill-advised strategizing on the part of GLBT groups, both, or what.

i think it reflects the toxicity of being viewed as pro-gay (and, thusly, anti-"traditional" marriage) in some districts. it's kind of insanely frustrating. DC is one of the gayest cities in the country, and i would guess that nearly *all* members of Congress have gay staff, and nearly *all* members of Congress are not personally homophobic (and many would also likely drive their pregnant teenaged daughters to the abortion clinic, but that's another story), but there's absolutely nothing to be gained by a Republican in voting for this bill, but there is something to be lost in the span of a 30 second political ad next November ("advancing the homosexual agenda"). and, as BonosSaint said, it's just not a pressing issue for most americans.

as for GLBT groups, well, that's a whole other story. Memphis was at an awards banquet for his (very powerful) consulting firm and Barney Frank was a guest speaker, and Frank got some heat from the MC (who's name escapes me) on his support for legislation without transgendered folk. apparently, it was quite an uncomfortable moment, and, to me, this just exposes why the left is so fissured and thusly not as effective as it could be.

i can see it both ways. some argue for incremental change. and some would say that when you swing for the fence, you might miss, but then everyone pays attention to the swing. take marriage equality. it was unthinkable 10 years ago, and the VT and HI civil unions were cutting edge. then, MA suddenly treats gay people like people, a debate happens, there's a backlash, and suddenly marriage is on the table, and civil unions are seen as the mainstream compromise.

so ... i dunno what's the right way to go about this.

i will say that it does feel slightly strange to be lumped in with a transgendered person. i am fully comfortable in my gender (can't get enough of it, actually), and while i am fully in support of everyone to live as best they can, it simply doesn't feel like *my* struggle, and i do have a specific struggle, and it feels strange that it's lumped in with another struggle that's so different. i can see the point that we have a common oppressor -- gender essentialists -- and that homophobia is really sexism, which is also the enemy of the transgendered, but we're all affected by this enemy in very, very different ways.

i thin i've mentioned before. a friend of a friend is a F2M transgendered individual. he is marrying his girlfriend. he is legally a man, and so he gets to do that. but i don't.
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Old 11-09-2007, 07:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511 i can see it both ways. some argue for incremental change. and some would say that when you swing for the fence, you might miss, but then everyone pays attention to the swing. take marriage equality. it was unthinkable 10 years ago, and the VT and HI civil unions were cutting edge. then, MA suddenly treats gay people like people, a debate happens, there's a backlash, and suddenly marriage is on the table, and civil unions are seen as the mainstream compromise.

so ... i dunno what's the right way to go about this.

But isn't that precisely the viewpoint (gay marriage by increments, not at once) that gets straight posters on here labelled as borderline homophobic, or at the very least suspiciously conservative?

Quote:
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i will say that it does feel slightly strange to be lumped in with a transgendered person.

Does it makes you feel icky? Are you transgenderphobic?
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:21 PM   #11
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Originally posted by financeguy



But isn't that precisely the viewpoint (gay marriage by increments, not at once) that gets straight posters on here labelled as borderline homophobic, or at the very least suspiciously conservative?



i don't hear anyone arguing the incrementalist position when voicing their opposition to marriage equality. it's usually a combination of the Bible and essentialist understandings of gender that lead to these positions, and also with an underlying "icky" sentiment.

i've argued the incrementalist position before, and it's one i'm torn on. i really don't know what's the best.

but, yes, i do think that opposition to gay marriage -- in any other form beyond political strategizing -- is homophobic at it's core.




Quote:
Does it makes you feel icky? Are you transgenderphobic?

no. i'm just not transgendered. i wouldn't feel comfortable if someone wanted to say that gay rights are the same rights as those of, say, undocumented workers. apples are not oranges. and while both might be fruit, they are not the same, and treating them as such does somehow dilute the struggle of both.
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