The rumors of problems with the Employment Non-Discrimination Act have been circulating for weeks now, and yet there has been little response by the LGBT community and the wider progressive community. The markup of the bill has been postponed with no reschedule date by Representative George Miller, chair of the House Committee where the bill is currently languishing.
It is pretty obvious even to casual observers that ENDA's passage will occur "no time soon," in the words of Jewelle Johnson, head of the diversity committee at national labor law firm Fisher & Johnson in today's edition of Human Resource Executive Online
Every DC-knowledgeable person I have spoken to is telling me that postponing the House vote until February means ENDA will be pushed to the bottom of the Senate list, and its likelihood of passage is greatly lessened. But there are more than enough votes in the House, and the Senate is missing only a few. The missing Senate votes could be obtained by notching up the momentum and working on the 9 holdouts. So what happens? The motor is switched off.
Where is Congressman Barney Frank, the most powerful U.S. Representative? Where are Representatives Tammy Baldwin and Jared Polis? Senator Jeff Merkley, the lead sponsor of the Senate bill? President Obama? And, more importantly, where are Y-O-U, LGBT community and media? I've not seen many stories about ENDA in the LGBT media, let alone the progressive media. Michelangelo Signorile, I've not heard from you. I've not seen community organizations stepping up to the plate and asking their Congressmembers to demand a markup of the bill now. HRC, NGLTF, NCLR - where are you? Bloggers - Andy Towle, Joe My God - almost complete silence.
We have a community conference call scheduled for today to discuss emergency action on ENDA, and how many people are registered? 70.
70 out of 30 million LGBT people in this country. For shame.