I suppose I ought to explain my barely-concealed contempt for the phrase "full equality now." In brief, I don't like the idea that there's a point at which we'll declare this movement over (when those web banners reach 100%, that'll mean all our problems are solved!), and I don't think that it makes all that much sense to declare a list of laws, some of which are literally not about making the law equal between straight/cis people and LGBT folks (like ENDA and hate crimes legislation), the definition of what it means to be a full class citizen. Throw in the fact that many of the people rallying around this and declaring themselves "0% equal" are plenty more equal than I am right now....
Anyway, I was agnostic on the Dallas Principles because they're not really an org or any entity that does anything, but if they get more people involved than were previously, then more power to them. To my understanding, it's a manifesto put together by Bilerico contributors Juan and Ken Ahonen-Jover of the gay mega-donor group eQuality Giving and a group of like-minded people they assembled at the airport hotel in Ft. Worth one weekend to criticize the movement and try to set a new direction for everyone else, which is all good stuff. Anyone who has read this site for two days knows that I have nothing against criticizing the movement or trying to get queers to think in new ways.
What is troubling, though, is they're being used as a reason to avoid actual progress. Here's Juan and Ken discussing the ENDA and the Dallas Principles in the comments on Bilerico:
1. ENDA does not cover other important protections that people usually associate together with employment: public accommodations, housing, and credit (financing). They are in our minds because of are part of civil rights legislation.[...]
For all of the reasons above, I believe that Indiana Equality has shown tremendous vision, leadership, and courage in pointing out that ENDA is not enough, nor appropriate (since it is a separate statue).[...]
A point that some people bring up against expanding civil rights legislation is that it is problematic. In fact, this legislation has been expanded multiple times.
As we all know, the movement went through the discussion about getting something now vs. waiting for a full inclusive ENDA in 2007 and 2008. I think that it is safe to say that we have reached a clear consensus that we are not leaving anyone behind and that we will all support only a trans inclusive ENDA. We know that our will will be tested in the Senate, where it seems, we may not have enough votes.
Then the question is not about Indiana Equality, but is about do we ask for full civil rights or we take a watered down ENDA (but trans inclusive)? This is an important discussion that we should all have.
Here are some points of reference in that discussion.
First, as a co-author of The Dallas Principles (www.TheDallasPrinciples.org), here is Principle #3: "ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY: Every LGBT person has the right to economic opportunity free from discrimination in employment, public housing, accommodation, public facilities, credit, and federally funded programs and activities."
Everyone should be free from discrimination in all of those areas. But let's be honest: the biggest one is employment, both in terms of economic importance and the fact that that's where most anti-queer discrimination is occurring right now.
Saying that ENDA is only about jobs doesn't ring as an effective argument against it - every possible bill for LGBT people is going to exclude some area of the law or public policy. If ENDA included public accomodations and housing as well as jobs, it still wouldn't include outness in the military and hate crime legislation. If it included everything in Juan and Ken's LGBT omnibus bill, it still wouldn't include increased domestic HIV prevention and treatment funds (as Californians who need AIDS meds get kicked off state assistance and are pretty much being sentenced to death), funds and anti-discrimination legislation for queer homeless people, and directives to police to stop arresting, hassling, and entrapping men for lookin' for a little lovin' in all the wrong places.
And by the time we get all those bills and policies enacted, who knows what new problems will have presented themselves to LGBT people. What if a new epidemic starts? What if the protections passed have loopholes no one foresaw? What about things we can't even begin to imagine now that will be vitally important in 20, 30, 40 years?
My point is: there's no such thing as "full equality," and holding off on good legislation, which would be a clear improvement over the status quo and a beginning to having queer oppression acknowledged as something worth fighting against by the federal government, for "full equality" is far too abstract for me right now. As Juan and Ken pointed out in their comment above, civil rights legislation for African Americans was expanded several times to get to its current state. Employment protections for women were last updated in 2009 with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Legislators started somewhere and worked from there. So if the Dallas Principles require us to oppose the ENDA, then they're simply not a useful tool to advance an agenda.
(Opposing a sexual orientation only ENDA is completely different. The cruel joke behind the "incrementalism" and "half a loaf" arguments in favor of dropping the T was that, for transgender people, it wasn't incrementalism or half a loaf. It was nothing. Cutting people out of legislation isn't acceptable incrementalism since it's a clear divide-and-conquer tactic and we shouldn't participate in our own destruction. That's why the main voices against trans inclusion generally resorted to transphobia to defend their position - they knew their cynically deployed "incrementalism" argument was illogical in that context.)
While Juan and Ken say opposition to the ENDA shows "tremendous vision, leadership, and courage," and while Indiana Equality is justifying its opposition to ENDA with the Dallas Principles (all while LGBT Hoosiers continue to have no job protections), I'm still not sure that the Dallas Principles require opposition to the ENDA.
Then again, since they expressly avoid demanding any specific legislation, I suppose they're much like the Bible - they can be interpreted by any person who buys into them to give credence to their own pre-existing personal beliefs. And I'm sure both people who say "yes" and "no" will appear in the comments, and let's have that debate.
Ultimately, though, I'll continue to define my personal beliefs based on my own experiences, thoughts, and disposition, not a document drawn up by others. I was born a dirty fuckin' hippie, and I'll die a dirty fuckin' hippie.