Alex Blaze

ENDA passes

Filed By Alex Blaze | November 07, 2007 6:47 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Barney Frank, ENDA, House of Representatives, Tammy Baldwin

From Chris at the HRC:

After 30 years, it's over in the House...ENDA has been approved, 235-184. Thirty-five Republicans joined the 200 Democrats to pass the bill.

And, yes, it's T-exclusive. Tammy Baldwin presented and withdrew her amendment.

The Republicans tried to get a motion to recommit in. This would have sent ENDA back to committee (just to stall the whole process) to consider:

Motion to recommit "to modify, limit, restrict, or in any way overturn any State or Federal definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, including the use of this Act as a legal predicate in litigation on the issue of marriage."

YouTubed speeches after the jump.

In no particular order, here are some of the speeches made in favor of the ENDA.

Rep. Kathy Castor's (D-FL) speech in favor of the ENDA:

Barney Frank today on the ENDA:

And Speaker Pelosi:

And Rep. John Lewis (D-GA):

Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY):

And Tammy Baldwin on her amendment to add gender identity to the language of the bill:

Bonus video! Barney Frank on the Republicans' proposed motion to recommit that would have sent ENDA back to committee:

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Good now we can continue to lobby to have it voted own in the senate.

For all the Right reasons.


Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | November 7, 2007 10:40 PM

Barney, of course, couldn't resist being a trivializing schmuck. From the LA Times: [He said] "he regretted that political necessity dictated dropping sexual identity [sic] as a separate cause. But, noting that 'I also wish I could eat more and not gain weight'" ...

If I was as catty as he I might suggest that, perhaps if he worked harder to pass a gender-identity-inclusive bill, he might burn off the calories enough to eat what he wants without adding inches to troll-ish paunch.

It's hard to imagine a more pyrrhic "victory" for Barney Frank, HRC, and the Congressional Democrats than this futile piece of flawed legislation. Its craven compromises epitomize the many broken promises of the pseudo-Democratic Party and the straight-laced Washington Beltway lobbyists who dominate the Homosexual Rights Campaign. Absolutely no one predicts it will pass the Senate or survive a Bush veto. What ENDA actually marks is a watershed moment - the end of Barney Frank's credibility as Congressional leader of the LGBT movement and the public exposure of the HRC's betrayal of trans and gender variant people. Nothing they say will ever be trusted again.

Hey, Debbie Downers, can we take a break from the mourning and maybe celebrate a little over this showing of goodwill (and you must admit that it is at LEAST that)?

Some good is better than no good. Let's be (partially) triumphant winners rather than ideologically uncompromising losers.

Lets hope when this is shot down we can get with it and pass a real bill that includes every one.I for one have no real desire to head back into the shadows just to be far game so others can have rights I can only dream about.

Love ya

Lets hope the next version includes all of us after all this one is doomed.But if it doesn't then I for one wil be leary of people claiming to be speaking for Trans people.


Hey, there's a bright side!

We have thus really neat cutlery set - as soon as we can get it out of our backs.

Thanks Zoe that made me laugh, your right.
just think it was given to us by the best politicians privileged money can buy.

Cathy, trust me it will get shot down. What needs to happen next is those bastards who voted for ENDA who say they are our friends need to be voted out of office.

Take care
Susan Robins

Well, 3685 passed in the House. Barney Frank (D-MA) responded masterfully to a Motion to Recommit, arguing passionately that to send the bill back to committee was to deny countless gay men and women the protections that they desperately deserve. Had I been a member of the House, I would have supported his argument. I would have voted to pass 3685, a historic step for gay rights. So why do i feel like I want to break into sobbing tears? The answer is simple. In an unprecedented strategy in the struggle for human rights, an entire portion of the community that the bill was intended to protect was excluded – and the portion excluded undisputedly needs the protection more so than any other. The House was forced into that choice as a matter of political maneuvering by Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Solomnese. After the bill was passed they did not feel the remorse that I did. They were smiling at their victory. They continue to smile. The transgender community was left behind to struggle on their own.

I am glad that the bigots in the minority who would have denied equality to our gay brothers and sisters were defeated, and that the bill was passed. I would not have been able to oppose any legislation that would bring some measure of relief to the GLBT community. I have experienced discrimination as both a gay man and a transgender woman and I know that all discrimination is wrong. It is always the time to do the right thing, but that remains unrecognized even on this day. The exclusion of protection for the transgender community in 3685 was wrong; unjustifiably wrong. As wrong as declaring that a victory was achieved for civil rights or for human rights. The victory experienced was solely for gay rights, and it was accomplished by allowing exclusion of those rights to others within the GLBT community.

I hope that Frank and Pelosi and Solomnese enjoy their hollow victory, because the transgender community will pay for it dearly. Transgender exclusion in 3685 will be used as an example that we do not deserve equality, and that we are bad for election strategy. It will be echoed in decisions made by the judiciary. It will exacerbate what is already intolerably high unemployment and poverty. It will increase and validate bigotry. It will be argued that the transgender community was even rejected by the GLB community whom they supported. The credibility of our very humanity has - once again - been negated.

As a lone voice, it is unlikely that the transgender community will gain equal employment rights for a significant period of time - most probably decades, in the best case scenario - years. Yes, many of the members of the GLB movement will remain faithful in the fight for transgender equality, but transgender trust in those communities has been severely compromised. We were excluded at the eleventh hour, and that will be difficult to put aside. We were the “dumpees”, not the “dumpers”. The GLBT community has been receiving the benefit of a united front up until this time; it is unlikely that this devotion to equality for the entire community will continue. That lack of trust will inevitably be reciprocated. It has already begun. Every faction has been strongly delivered the message – “If expedient, your interests will be sold out.” What might appear to some as incremental progress, can only be perceived as outright betrayal and ten step backwards for those left behind. The GLBT community has been factionalized at what remains a critical time in our struggle to gain equality. We will all suffer setbacks.

Although I don’t possess a violent nature, this betrayal makes me want to throw bricks and break windows. I am sure I am not alone in my frustration with a society that would deny my community the right to exist. It is the same frustration that created the “gay” rights movement at Stonewall and at Comptons. It is the same frustration that initiated the riots in Watts and throughout our nation. It is frustration with a society that refuses to acknowledge our humanity or to allow us simple dignity. Educate congress about our issues? Like Barney Frank was educated? Or Nancy Pelosi? My message to Congress is this. We are mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters. WE ARE HUMAN. We are human. We are…human. There is nothing more that can be said that could be more relevant. Right now, I am sorely tempted to deliver it with a brick. Instead, I think I am going to have that cry. I cannot help but think about the youngsters yet unborn who will continue to suffer discrimination. They will suffer because we were not strong enough to do the right thing and ensure that transgender protections were included in the legislation that passed in the House, on this historic day. I can still find a brick tomorrow. And maybe I will.

Transgender folk may not get equal employment, they can lobby for the failure of ENDA still.

and believe some of are doing just that.

If Transfolk can't have equal rights why should anybody else?

after you all say you support an inclusive ENDA put your money where your mouth is and urge your senior to vote against ENDA.

How can anybody who supports an inclusive ENDA let this one pass and have a clear conscience.

Susan Robins

Susan, if we lobbied against the trans-exclusive ENDA, the In or rather Ex-cremental approach, we'd be no better than those who would exclude us for their own immediate benefit.

Now in the short-term, that's pragmatic, sensible, rational, and wrong.

In the long term, it's not just wrong, it's foolish. Our only weapon, our only justification that we can use to convince the bulk of the straight population to support us, is that we deserve it on moral grounds.

If we engage in such sordid, "pragmatic" betrayal, then we weaken our own case in the future. What is penny-wise is pound-foolish, what is "merely rational politics" in the short-term is fatal in the long.

But honesty compels me to say that even if it was good in the long term, I just couldn't do it. TS people have to be good at stripping away self-deception, and I couldn't convince myself that what I was doing wasn't morally bankrupt.

We have to show the GLB groups the consequences of what they've done, not allow this to slide the way that SONDA was allowed to slide. To make sure that their consciences won't give them rest until they've made good on their betrayal. Now to do that most effectively, we need to hold the moral high ground. So in the medium-term too, this strategy is best for us.

Right now I'm trying very hard to summon up enthusiasm for ENDA. I haven't managed to yet. A lot of GLB people, not just T's, feel the same way.

GLB groups have seen the consequences of what they have done on the state level many times. History can't be allowed to repeat itself.
Principals matter Politics won't insure any of my friends employment. I will keep up my efforts to see ENDA scuttled, and when it happens i will be at peace knowing some will know not to cross TG/TS folk again.

The only thing politicians and Gays and lesbians with no sense of what is right and wrong is force and that force can be directed at killing ENDA>

Given that Zoe i must respectfully disagree.

Take care
Susan Robins

i understand your anger and your frustration. i am not sure i can just put it aside, either, but there are a lot of good men and women in the GLB movement who appreciate our efforts and stood by us through this. steven goldstein, jody huckaby, tammy baldwin and many, many more. i want to quote steven goldstein from garden state equality:

"Transgender people have been there selflessly for the rest of the LGBT community time and time again. How could the rest of us not be there for them?

Friends, when the fight began for marriage equality in New Jersey years ago, when no one thought we had a prayer -- unlike today, when New Jersey is so well-positioned to enact marriage equality through legislation -- who were the vast majority of our volunteers? Transgender people. At our initial town meetings and rallies for marriage equality years ago, when all the volunteers gathered on site a couple of hours beforehand, I was often the only non-transgender person there.

In 2003, when politicians cut transgender protections from a domestic partnership bill (before Garden State Equality existed), the transgender community still helped to lead the way in fighting for the bill. That was as selfless an act as many of us have ever seen in politics.

And today, with LGBT activism in New Jersey having grown beyond what we ever dreamed, who are still among the most devoted activists in fighting for the rest of us? Who are still among our most reliable volunteers for every LGBT cause under the sun? Our transgender sisters and brothers.

For too many years, the transgender community nationally has been told to wait, be patient, your turn will come. How could we ever live with ourselves, considering how much the transgender community has given to the rest of the LGBT community, by telling our transgender sisters and brothers to wait any longer?

The fact is, our transgender sisters and brothers have been waiting and waiting and waiting since the Stonewall Rebellion of 1969, a rebellion they led for us all."

i am never going to turn my back on my GLB friends. and I thank God that my friends didn't turn their backs on me. forget about the bigots claiming we should wait our turn or earn it. they are most probably closet cases, and they certainly aren't activists. if they were, they would not show their ignorance by making statements that transgender people haven't done their share. we have always been leaders in the fight for civil rights, and we will continue to be. like the gentleman from georgia said, "the time is always right to do right."

we were betrayed. we are hurt. we are not defeated. we will prevail.


We have waited too God Damned Long
it's time for the Gays and Lesbians to step up and
return the favor before we do turn our backs
on you people

Susan Robins