Rebecca Juro

ENDA Update

Filed By Rebecca Juro | October 06, 2007 1:03 PM | comments

Filed in: Action Alerts, Politics, Politics, The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Barney Frank, ENDA, gender, HRC, LGBT, Nancy Pelosi, NTAC, transgender

The number of organizations supporting an inclusive ENDA has now grown to over 200, with dozens more signing on every day. It's truly amazing...every day, I check the United ENDA website and am thrilled to see yet another long list of community organizations that joined the previous day. The reaction and support this effort is getting is nothing short of astounding. It seems like just about every organization out there is speaking with one voice...all except one.

Yep, I'm talking about the Human Rights Campaign. As I've written before, I'm really not very surprised. HRC, more than ever before, stands alone, apart from the will and the interests of the greater community, pursuing its own agenda, ignoring the clear will of the vast majority of the community. More and more each day, HRC is showing itself to not reflect and represent the American LGBT community, but rather as a selfish, narrow-agendaed special interest group that cares more about about keeping powerful Democrats happy than about staunchly representing what is clearly the will of the community they claim to speak for.

Two hundred plus and one. The arrogance on the part of HRC and Barney Frank here is absolutely astounding. If you'd like to hear it for yourself, check out Michelangelo Signorile's interview on the topic with Joe Solmonese here and his interview with Barney Frank here. Frank even goes after Signorile on the air for daring to suggest that since gays and lesbians are protected in 20 states and many Fortune 500 companies, that the effort here is largely symbolic. If you're looking for a clear picture of the elitist attitudes we're really fighting against here, these interviews will help give you that.

Tonight is HRC's dinner honoring Nancy Pelosi. The National Transgender Advocacy Coalition will be there picketing, and I fully expect they'll have plenty of support. If you're in the area, I hope you'll stop by and show your support. Go here for directions and more information.

More, much more, to come...

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We're also missing the Log Cabin Republicans. I'm just saying...

True, but we expect that from Log Cabin...we know they're not on our side. We expect better from those claiming to be our friends.

What is their hold out? I just don't get it.


According to Solmonese (check the interview linked above), it's because they don't want to have to score Democrats badly on the org's Congressional scorecard. This makes no sense to me, because if they're not on board with transgender rights then they most certainly should lose points for it. Maybe if, like the corporations listed in HRC's Equality Index, Congresspeople did lose ranking for not supporting transpeople they'd be more inspired to do so. Basically, what Solmonese seemed to be saying, to my ear anyway, is that HRC wants Congress to be able to vote for the non-inclusive bill without having to take a credibility hit with the community because of it.

Once again, HRC shows they're more interested in protecting powerful Democrats from the consequences of selling out transgender Americans than in standing up for all of us. Of course, these days they're not fooling anyone anymore.

Once again, HRC shows they're more interested in protecting powerful Democrats from the consequences of selling out transgender Americans than in standing up for all of us. Of course, these days they're not fooling anyone anymore.

Your dead on Rebcca, one is left with the impression that certain democrats think the Transgender community are a bunch of idiots.

Frank said in the above interview
he dump transgendr inclusion in order to save the bill. Then he goes on with his rationality for doing that.
He must think we are morons.

Take care

It's not often that Becky and I disagree, but in this case we do.

Do I think that it's important for transgender folk to be included? Hell yes. But do I think HRC is to blame for this whole fiasco? Not at all. Instead, I think this has become the perfect storm mostly due to Congress.

While it's important for all the orgs to band together to fight off this quagmire, it's also important to realize that politically sometimes you have to bite the bullet to advance the cause. Some of the worst things possible have been done in the name of politics and begs the question: "Do the ends justify the means?"

Apparently HRC thinks that they do. I'll admit, sometimes they actually do - but I disagree with HRC that this is one of those times.

The scorecard rationale is ludicrous. It's their own scorecard and grading system - if anyone can cook the books there it's HRC. Instead, it's much more reasonable to me to point out that opposing ENDA is a political mistake for one simple reason: If you have tons of queers lobbying AGAINST ENDA for any reason and start flooding Congressional office phone lines, it will give right wingers an excuse to say, "Look - even the queers don't think its necessary!" And it sends mixed signals to those Congress members who support us tepidly at best. Not everyone is as up-to-date as we are about queer issues...

HRC has been the De'facto Leader in the ENDA campaign. As a leader they ether through jaw-boning or other ways of forming consensus set the direction and Nature of ENDA.

Given HRC's position as i see it they are ultimately responsible. since people like Frank won't listen to individual groups, however will listen to HRC.

Take care
Susan Robins


Sue has it right here. Just as supportive members of Congress look to Frank and Baldwin for guidance on these issues, so do they look to HRC for the same thing.

Even when over 100 orgs had signed on to a letter opposing the non-inclusive bill, Congress simply ignored it, but when HRC and LCR issued their letter asking for a delay, Congress responded quickly and positively. I don't believe that's a coincidence, do you?

I strongly suggest reading recent entries in Donna Rose's blog for an inside view of what HRC's Executive Board really thinks of us. Having done so, I can make a good guess at what happened here:

Joe Solmonese went to Southern Comfort and told 900 transpeople that HRC would oppose a non-inclusive bill, but when they actually took a vote on it, their Executive Board refused to vote to affirm their promise to oppose it. Of course, it's fair to ask why HRC needed to take a vote on whether or not to honor their promise to us in 2004 in the first place, but according to Donna, the HRC Executive Board has little or no interest in diversity and they vote based on their own selfish interests, damn everyone else.

Barney Frank is similarly disingenuous. On Signorile, he complained that no one got involved with this until just recently. Yet, if there was a problem and they genuinely wanted to do what they could to get an inclusive bill passed, why wait until the last minute to put the word out? And then, once the word was out, why give us only two weeks to lobby for it, a ridiculously short amount of time accomplish something like this?

Donna believes it's likely that the fix was in for a long time on this, and I have no trouble believing that. HRC's Executive Board sold us out, helped Frank and Pelosi to do the same, and are now trying to provide cover and shield Congressional supporters of the non-inclusive bill from the political consequences they deserve to suffer as a result.

HRC most certainly is responsible here, every bit as much as Frank and Pelosi, and I stand by every word I said above.