Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Today's ENDA Actions

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | May 18, 2010 9:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA, National Press Club, Pelosi, rally, San Francisco, Washington D.C.

This week we will see dozens of actions around the country asking the Congressional leadership to move ENDA and DADT repeal forward. These are our most basic legislative issues.

If we can't move anything forward, then we will have visibly failed as a national movement to make any impact on the federal level during a highly favorable Democratic Administration and Congress.

What will that say about us as a movement? What will that say about our support of the Democratic Party?

Failure is often useful - it tells you that a relationship, a job, or a life is not working. That does not, of course, mean abandoning the relationship, the job or the life, but it does mean that one needs to change course in order to succeed.

There is a press conference today in DC at the National Press Club to demand immediate action on ENDA. It will take place today at noon, 529 14th Street, N.W., Lisagor Room.

There is also a rally in San Francisco at the office of Nancy Pelosi to demand movement now on ENDA. It will take place today at 4:30 - 6:30 pm at 7th & Mission Streets.

What should the rest of us be doing while DC is press conferencing and San Francisco is rallying?

First of all, email Nancy Pelosi. Then click here to send letters to your Congressmembers with one click. If you've previously sent a letter, send another bunch. The language on the letter changes every day, and you should send one everyday.

Then call them at 202-224-3121 and demand ENDA, H.R. 3017, coming to a vote now.

It's crunch time!

Many actions are taking place around the country on Saturday. Check Equality Across America'[s website for a list of local actions. Also look at the sidebar, which has a number of actions not on the main list. Facebook's Harvey Milk Day Actions Page also has some actions listed that aren't yet on EAA's page.

Here's NYC's Harvey Milk Day March on Saturday the 22nd.

Get out into your community and speak up!

Today's DC Press Conference at noon will include many important speakers. Here's the list.

Rea Carey, Executive Director, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

Jody M. Huckaby, Executive Director, PFLAG National

Frank Kameny, longtime activist who was fired from his job over five decades ago due to sexual orientation discrimination; 50-plus years later, he is tired of waiting for equality as he turns 85 this week

Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality

Sharon Lettman, Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition

Michael Mitchell, Executive Director, National Stonewall Democrats

Gloria Nieto, California resident, former member of the Democratic National Committee, former executive director of the People of Color AIDS Foundation, currently unemployed

Liz Seaton, Director of Projects and Managing Attorney, National Center for Lesbian Rights

Peggy Shorey, Executive Director, Pride at Work

Terrance L., a gay man who has been closeted in previous employment

Donna P., a transgender woman from the Baltimore area who was fired from two jobs

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I'm so proud of the groups banding together for some old fashioned honest-to-God civil disobedience - especially with big groups like NCLR joining. The other major groups have all been too chickenshit for that.

Too "chicken shit" to be "old fashioned" or too smart? Most of us have discovered that complaining isn't effective.

That's odd, I've always found complaints to be effective. In fact, I've found that constantly bugging somebody about a problem is the only way to ensure that something gets done about either. Whether to get you to shut up or that the complaints kept it in the forefront of their mind is of no concern to me.

The problem is that the Democrats hired a new complaint manager. She used to be a Republican. Her name is Helen Waite. So now instead of silence when our elected Democrats receive a complaint they will simply tell you to go to Helen Waite. Her contract is only funded through early November. Then I think she'll go back to working for the new Republican majority.

""Complaint quickly tires, however elegant or however just."

- Samuel Johnson

That's nice, but quotes from random people who may or may not be authorities mean nothing.

Okay. Then YOU explain why YOU believe complaining or "demanding" changes any minds.

Who said I'm interested in changing minds? I want the laws. Like with interracial marriage, changed minds will come later.

And I believe that it works because I've used it on companies and government agencies in the past to get shit done. Unfortunately, I don't have a citation, not that you have anything either, judging from a discussion I had with you recently. I'm still waiting for those 'compelling and verifiable' strategies of yours.

kori mika | May 18, 2010 9:55 AM

Hello Dr. I sent off e-mails to Pelosi, McCain, Kyl, and Rep. Flake. McCain and Kyl won't have a change of heart, but Rep. Flake and Speaker Pelosi may just pay heed and actually do something. My prayers are with you and the Movement.

Jillian - I know you believe these "actions" are helpful and I admire your enthusiasm. Because of that enthusiasm, I hope they accomplish something. Miracles can happen.

During the next few months please remember your words:

"Failure is often useful - it tells you that a relationship, a job, or a life is not working. That does not, of course, mean abandoning the relationship, the job or the life, but it does mean that one needs to change course in order to succeed.

I appreciate your efforts and I do not discount your commitment - it's the tactics and methods that are hurting us. Because they are ineffective they just frustrate every new recruit we have. They learn quickly that they can't make a difference. We've been doing that for 40 years. It is the primary reason we have very little participation in the Movement.

The EEA and GetATTENTION attempts to put people in the streets to complain will not garner much support or media attention. It will go largely unnoticed. Some of us not only support that result, we understand it. We know it isn't effective, so we don't participate. At some point it becomes painfully embarrassing to even watch.

Speaker Pelosi promised her fellow Members of Congress that she would would NOT introduce any controversial issues unless the US Senate would support them. She also promised the LGBT Community to support ENDA and hopefully have a vote soon.

What "promise" do you think she'll keep?

Harvey Milk defined the Democratic Party Machine:

"I don't think state assembly seats should be the reward for service to the Democratic Party machine. Machines run on oil and grease. They're dirty, they're dehumanizing, and they tend to be entirely unresponsive to the needs of anybody but those of their operator."

Protesting isn't going to influence the "operator" and it doesn't help us overcome bigotry and prejudice - only conversation does. Having a week of protests dedicated to Harvey Milk demeans his legacy. He didn't encourage complaining, he encouraged explaining.

Harvey Milk said:

"Unless you have dialogue, unless you open the walls of dialogue, you can never reach to change people’s opinion. Once you have dialogue starting, you know you can break down prejudice."

Dialogue isn't a clever slogan on poster board or rhymes flowing from a bull-horn. It is conversation. Harvey Milk knew that "protest" was an appropriate reaction to an event, but discouraged protest for the sake of protest. He never encouraged people to march in the street and make "demands." He encouraged us to come out and to share our lives to end the "myths" about us.

When we understand that in order to succeed we must change minds, we'll stop shouting demands, stop trying to irritate or embarrass our friends, and we'll start talking. We'll ask for help.

There is no political solution to our equality. WE are the solution.

You have failed to note that your strategy has been tried and clearly does not work. We have issues that enjoy the support of 75% of the American public--heck, nearly the same fraction of the public that doesn't believe in UFOs. On many issues we HAVE the support already that you insist is critical, and yet it is NOT MAKING A DIFFERENCE.

I'm sorry, Andrew, but what you are suggesting, by itself, just doesn't work. (It is important, and I entirely support the idea that coming out is an important part of activism. But that alone won't win the day.)

One other thing. Over the various posts you've argued your position, you keep using words like "embarassing" and "embarassed." I've tried to ignore it, but it's time to address it directly.

If you are "embarassed", maybe you need to think about why that is, and just whose fault that is. If you are embarassed by demanding legal equality, you might want to consider where that comes from. Any embarassment you feel represents your feelings, not mine, and in that respect, your feelings are not my responsiblity.

If you are embarassed that other people in the movement are taking actions you do not agree with, you need not take responsiblity for them. If they upset the folks at your favorite political club or church group, and if as a result you feel embarassed by that, what I would suggest is saying something like "Well, gee, I don't think that's a good tactic either. But they are right when they argue that legal equality is a necessity in this country, and I understand why they are angry." There's nothing to be embarassed about! Be out, be proud of who you are and what you believe!

Finally, in terms of "changing minds", let me say that your arguments have if anything redoubled my belief in direct action. If you want to make progress convincing people her to sit down and shut up, you may want to consider a new approach in making your point.

The majority of the LGBT Community is embarrassed by these stunts. They are childish and immature. It is equally embarrassing that some of you believe that "demanding" is an effective strategy or tactic - it isn't.

If you want to defend these actions provide some evidence or rationale that "demanding" accomplishes anything.

I have never suggested a strategy of simply "coming out," but I have said that is the most effective action any of us can take and that isn't disputable.

What makes you think that we change any minds by "demanding" that they change? Where is the precedent? Where is the logic or rationale for that kind of thinking?

As far as "75% of American support us," - prove it. Tell me when they have ever been asked to "join us" or make a statement of "support." You simply site National polling data and seem to misunderstand that our US Senate is run with equal power granted to individual States. How many people support us in Oklahoma, compared to Connecticut? You don't know that and neither does HRC or your band of self-described activists.

Complaining is the result of anger and frustration. It doesn't change anything, but I understand that it makes you feel good to complain. It makes you feel good to let people know you're unhappy. But, our movement isn't about making you feel good, it's about making you equal.

Finally, I have never suggested that anyone "sit down and shut up," as you claim. I have suggested that they do something useful instead of your so-called "direct actions." If you want to argue that point, provide some substance. But, don't try to misrepresent what I have said. I am not a "lone voice," I am very involved in the movement and I represent what most of us already know - these stunts are NOT helpful. That's why they go mostly unnoticed and they do not have any significant participation. These "calls to action" or calls to "rise up," have gone unanswered because we know they don't work.

Today even C-Span ignored the ENDA Press Conference (to demand action) and instead covered the "Sea World Killer Whale Hearings." The media isn't interested in our complaining.

"The majority of the LGBT Community is embarrassed by these stunts"

I believe that you are incorrect. Do you have data?

The 75% figure reflects the most recent polling on DADT. As you would know if you've read the comments in the specific disagreements we've had here, on this site, in the past.

The rest fails to address my points, and appears to be derailing.

The US Senate has 100 Senators, two from each State. National polling data is irrelevant.

Aside from non-participation in "Demanding," there are several focus group studies that I commissioned. Nine out of ten said "protesting or demanding our rights" were "ineffective" or "not very effective."

You can fund a few studies if you like or just try to understand why these stunts and demand parades don't attract any attention. People simply know better.

So, let me get this straight, you want us to go for the general public instead of politicians, but you don't care about the results of polls of the general public because the general public aren't politicians.

Makes perfect sense.

You OWN the politicians when you GET their constituents.

See if you understand that.

Kathy Padilla | May 18, 2010 11:48 AM

"There is no political solution to our equality. WE are the solution."

"We shall reach greater and greater platitudes of achievment."
Richard J. Daley

that was fun - let's try another!

“The Republicans stroke platitudes until they purr like epigrams.”
Adlai E. Stevenson

Andrew - you say you seek new innovative tactics and that we should also employ all of the tactics we have available. Until someone actually implements a tactic we have available.

I don't see how people who are out speaking their truth and artculating their disenfranchisement conflicts with the goal of having our neighbors respect us - it's intergral to that process.

Things are overdetermined - neither a soley political nor solely a social phenomenom. And yes - political solutions are needed as part of addressing a political and social problem.

But - I'm happy to hear how you think I should better outreach to my neighbors. And how to leverage that towards political change. What should I ask them to do? Make phone calls or write our reps? Join me at a demonstration? Ah - those old school tactics will never work. Almost everyone here is and has been out, sharing our truths for years. You're preaching to the choir - been there - done that.

Seriously - what concrete tasks are you suggesting? And how do we hold you responsible for your suggestions?

There are more than 20 million LGBT persons in the US. Less than half of them (10 million) are "out." Of that group only 20% (2 million) has engaged neighbors, friends or co-workers in any effort to "understand" our plight. It has been mostly family-related and PFlag is a very good organization that knows understanding is much more valuable than organized-complaining.

Of the 10 million that are out, only 10% (1 million) participate or contribute to our Movement in any way. So, twice as many of our own are following Harvey Milk's admonition that we "come out and share," than participating in organized efforts. That should give all of us pause. It should require us to not only ask WHY, but HOW we change that reality.

Half of the LGBT persons in America are afraid to come out. 90% are afraid to participate in efforts to obtain our equality. Please don't suggest that we are being effective. The truth is we have failed miserably.

We are numerically a "minority." We can accept that math and remain outnumbered OR we can enroll the support of our fellow Americans. We need non-LGBT people to stand with us. We need to figure out how to do that.

When members of our community engage in protests and demonstrations they are complaining to ALL Americans. It is exactly what the radical Right wants us to do - make visible fools of ourselves "complaining." THAT group - our self-defined and proud enemy - is less than one-third of America. That's who you and others continue to focus on with expressions of anger and frustration. You DO NOT seek to engage the two-thirds that WILL support us. That's a big mistake.

We should be reaching out and explaining, not waving signs and complaining.

Kathy Padilla | May 18, 2010 3:11 PM

Other than women, every group now covered by nondiscrimination legislation was a minority. I fail to see why lgbt people also being a minority argues for us acting differently than all of those others.

My neighbors get angry when they see a demonstration - they don't think it's a protest against them - most Americans think they're fair - they see it as a protest against discrimination.

But - back to my questions - what concretely do you want people to do to bring their neighbors "on board" & what do you want us to ask them to do when they are on board?

And - of course protests can work. Even if they don't have an immediate effect they help unify a movement, they force the media to ask those in power what they're doing about the issues - and put the issue in front of the public - and makes non lgbt leaders have to respond to the issue.

For an interesting assessment of whether protests work in the new media age:

What this means is that you must not desist from protesting because you don’t see an immediate result. What immediately looks like a failure may turn out to be a success. Testing is always a gamble, but one worth taking, because if you don’t take the risk, you will be stuck with the status quo and I suppose we all agree: the status quo is extremely undesirable.

Some examples:


"There was protest when the founding fathers concluded their work in drafting the Constitution in Philadelphia because there was no Bill of Rights. With the protests threatening the successful ratification (the vote was close in major states: New York, Massachusetts, Virginia) the Founders agreed they would add it, and they did in 1791.

The anti-slavery movement had to keep protesting for decades, from the 1830’s to the early 1860’s, until it had an effect on Lincoln and the Congress, first with the Emancipation Proclamation, then with the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution.

The nation-wide strikes in the 1880’s resulted in winning the eight-hour work day in many places. The demands of the Populist movement resulted in regulatory legislation in various states and resulted in national reforms years later in the New Deal measures to help farmers.

The sit-down strikes of 1936 to 1937 led to recognition of the C.I.O. unions and contracts and better wages and conditions.

The wave of protests in the early 1930’s — by the Unemployed Councils blocking evictions; by the Tenants of organizations winning rent control in the Bronx, for instance, but also other places — led to the New Deal measures that helped the poor.

The various protests against racial segregation, taking various forms, are well known — the Montgomery bus boycott, the sit-ins, the various demonstrations in the South — and all led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and various Supreme Court decisions that effectively ended legal racial segregation in the South.

The protests against the Vietnam War certainly helped Lyndon Johnson come to his conclusion in early 1968 that he would not run for president again, that he would begin negotiating with the North Vietnamese, and that he would not send more troops to Vietnam as General Westmoreland had requested.

The protests of G.I.’s during the Vietnam War — desertions, fragging, public disclosure of massacres — helped build public opinion against the war; and if you study the Pentagon Papers you will see how often the officials in Washington worried about public opinion, and why Nixon promised an end to the war, though it took years.

After the Vietnam-Watergate era, the protests of disabled people certainly led to the Disabled Persons Rights Act.

The feminist movement of the 1960’s and 1970s undoubtedly led to affirmative action for women, moving more women into better positions in the economy.

There is much more historical evidence, but I am running out of space and time."

And quite a few more examples - including a somewhat sucessful little protest thatgoes by the name of Stonewall.

It's 2010. Please don't suggest that with our struggle, the current circumstances and our ability can be compared to the 1800s-1960s.
The world has changed dramatically, we haven't.

If you want to defend "demanding" and "protesting" just provide the rationale or logic in today's world. Just say HOW taking to the streets and "demanding" will change even a single mind.

We need people to join us. We need your neighbors to support our efforts. Rallies and demonstrations don't do that - conversations do. Unfortunately, only 5% of the LGBT Community makes any effort. That's much more than engage in protest - but it isn't enough to make a difference.

Kathy Padilla | May 18, 2010 4:51 PM

Thanks for that calandar update. Though I think you may be the one who's a tad disoriented. That whole NYTimes/Freakonomics article addressed just that question - are protests effective now? Perhaps you should read it before dismissing it.

It's not just a question of are protests the only thing to do - as you continually imply. But do they have a place amoung the arrows in our quiver?

"We need people to join us. We need your neighbors to support our efforts."

Again - what do you want us to ask our neighbors to do? Just saying they support us while doing nothing isn't a strategy.

Personally, I love hearing this from Andrew. He doesn't seem to realize that even though technology changes, people don't. We humans interact the same ways now as we did 20 years ago as we did 50 years ago as we did 1000 years ago. When given examples spanning over 200 years of successful protesting he insists that people are different now for no 'compelling' reason.

"We should be reaching out and explaining, not waving signs and complaining."

What does this mean? I mean, what do you suggest we do, if we are to "reach out and explain"?

You have written quite a lot in this thread about "complaining" and "stunts". I think we have seen some negative and counterproductive stunts performed lately by people claiming to speak for the LGBT community, but the actions Dr. Weiss is describing in this post are (1) writing letters to Congresspeople and (2) holding rallies in support of a piece of legislation. These are not "stunts", they are the most basic forms of participatory democracy. What, exactly, would you have us do instead? (I'm looking for specific proposals here, not bolded slogans.)

Talk to neighbors, friends and co-workers. Figure out how to get people to join us, not avoid us.

Irritating Nancy Pelosi (in Jillian's Post) planned for this afternoon, isn't reaching out - it is pissing on our friends. It is embarrassing. It is counterproductive.

Talk to neighbors, friends and co-workers. Figure out how to get people to join us, not avoid us.

Okay, how would this pass ENDA? My neighbors, friends, and co-workers are not members of Congress. In order to get ENDA passed we need votes in Congress. The opinions of random citizens have no direct or short-term effect on the bill's prospects. The only benefit of talking to neighbors and friends about ENDA would be if I were to try to convince them to also contact Nancy Pelosi or other Congresspeople and request ENDA's passage-- which, as you're looking at things, would just be more "complaining".

Now interestingly, EQCA, in my area, is already doing exactly what you suggest right now-- neighborhood walks trying to talk to people about marriage equality. But this is, again, just for the marriage equality campaign, where % of population in support makes a difference (because in California marriage equality will be determined by initiative vote). They are not doing canvassing on legislative priorities such as ENDA, because that does not make any sense.

You seem to be setting up community outreach and legislator outreach as competing strategies. They're not at all, they're two different tools that serve two different purposes. You also seem to be lumping any targeting of legislators under the realm of "complaining" or "irritating" those legislators. As long as you're not occupying their office and making them call the police, or spitting on them, or whatever, I do not see how this follows. Congresspeople hire staff just for constituent services and this is a kind of interaction they are used to.

What should we do if our goal is to pass ENDA? What could we possibly tell "friends, neighbors and co-workers" that would make ENDA more likely to pass?

Emails sent, off to P's office in the afternoon. Thanks, Doctor W!

Sent mine. And also continuing to ignore AndrewW

"If we can't move anything forward, then we will have visibly failed as a national movement "

If nothing moves forward, it will be for one reason, and we all know what that reason is. The Washington Post reported on it last week: The insistence of gay leaders on including "gender identity", a term which is barely defined and which opens up a host of novel workplace issues, is killing this bill. The last thing we needed was to have a long, involved, and bizarre discussion about bathrooms, imposed employer accommodations, and, as Barney Frank put it, bearded men in dresses. The whole thing is embarrassing and is solely the product of a weirdly retrograde political culture that equates gay people with transgendereds.

If ENDA does fail, this may be an "ah-ha" moment in which ordinary gay people wake up to the costs of this forced association.

polargirl360 | May 19, 2010 4:40 AM

I am a transsexual (By medical and not queer and community and porn industry definition; transgender being a forced umbrella onto us) woman who is more bothered by the forced association than you are.

Problem is, it is the queer community doing it onto transsexuals by umbrella-ing them with their cross-dressers. http://www.glaad.org dictates to the media how queers and transgenders are relative to other people. I have a right to complain that you don't because you people brought it onto us not the other way around!

Transgender inclusion at all costs is not a noble act of solidarity on the queer community’s part. A major poll I read on a queer news site stated that almost 70% of queers are gender-nonconforming. The queer community supports transgender inclusion at all costs because the queer community is incapable of agreeing on where to draw a line as to how non-conforming is a queer before their gender non-conformity can be considered transgender and unworthy of queer community resources.

It is more than just resentment to be seen as a homosexual trying to trick men into sex, it is dangerous and often deadly. My man is also transsexual but the other way making our relationship heterosexual no matter which way people see our gender. We never had any association with queers. He never was a "lesbian community man", I a "gay community woman" or neither of us any other form of self-mockery that only the queer community is capable of creating. We never had heterosexual intimate relations either before transition.

If you'd like, start a group of queers and transsexuals who mutually oppose the forced association. Then have the group pressure GLAAD into socially disassociating queers with transsexuals. I would be more than happy to support your cause as would many transsexuals would.

Don't be silly - you think this person wants anything to do with your kind, or anyone like you?

polargirl360 | May 19, 2010 9:57 AM

You are right. She would rather bitch about something that is the fault of her own community and blame others (like transsexuals have the political clout to force queers into this forced association)than do something to change it.

It will take seperatist voices on both sides collaborating for disassociation for GLAAD to even consider this. Brianna just doesn't want to accept that and would rather bitch even though there are many transsexuals who want what she and other queers wants.

Do you have any more information on the rally outside Pelosi's office? Who is organizing this? Thanks

Thanks for keeping us informed, Jill!

Do you have any more information on the Pelosi office rally? Who is organizing?

Just received the latest copy of HRC's EQUALITY magazine and the standard request to renew membership. A quick perusal showed NO articles or mention of ENDA except for a quick quote from Traditional Values(?) Coalition. WTF?

Rea Carey's at today's ENDA Press Conference:

"We’re here today to demand that Congress pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, without delay."

The Press Conference and the "demand" have gone mostly unnoticed by the media and, of course, Congress.

Just to let people know, some of us have started an "Ignore Andrew Campaign." We have come to the conclusion that Andrew comes here to constantly put down people' s actions, has no positive comments or suggestions to add, has never done anything to help, never answers the questions you ask him and believs the civil rights actions of the past didn't do anything to help. In other words, he fit the accepted definition of a troll. I hope some of you will join us in this IAC effort. Thank you for your time.

I agree with Monica. The particular poster goes on and one making no sense as if engaging our neighbors will make it magically happen. No reply necessary from that poster.

I would agree with Andrew to the point that complainig can become ineffective; exacting a cost is far more effective.

I've said this repeatedly, but here it is again: We will win our rights only when it becomes too costly for our opponents to continue to deny them.

At what point will that become clear to the larger community?

Kelly Kochka | May 18, 2010 7:44 PM

Love the "Ignore Andrew Campaign". He spends his entire day trolling blogs preaching the same message. One might think he works for the religious right to try and thwart our efforts. Just look how much he wrote today and that is just on this blog post.

Check out his writing on the passage of Hate Crimes.

Making us a “special class,” “protected class” or a “minority” only perpetuate our differences – instead of confirming our “sameness.” As a gay white man I do not want to be “tolerated” or “protected.” I would rather not gain “minority” or “victim” status, either. I think it is counterproductive.

Check out his facebook fan page. http://tinyurl.com/lgbtequality Impressive Andrew!

He doesn't want to be protected? He does realize that "male" and "white" are protected classes, doesn't he?

I wouldn't have as much of a problem with Andrew if he would stop his obsessive anti-whatever-we-are-doing-now campaign and except what we are doing as part of the solution. And that Facebook page. Seems to only have activity for a 10 day period and only 9 followers. Wow, that is what I call trailblazing!

Wow. Reading that AOP post (it's the same Andrew?) it really seems like this isn't a "your tactics are ineffective" and instead is more of a "I don't agree with your goals in the first place". Would be nice if AndrewW had been more upfront with that, I wouldn't have bothered responding to him.

I wouldn't have as much of a problem with Andrew if he would stop his obsessive anti-whatever-we-are-doing-now campaign and except what we are doing as part of the solution. And that Facebook page. Seems to only have activity for a 10 day period and only 9 followers. Wow, that is what I call trailblazing!

Let's see where we stand now. Pelosi laid out the tentative game plan. DADT repeal is first and will be attached as a floor amendment to the Defense re-authorization. Timing, soon but whether the Senate follows suit or its negotiated away in conference is another matter.

Next she said - in mid June is ENDA followed by the Kagan affirmation process. I suspect the timing of those 2 is being engineered so that the Senate will not take up ENDA until after the Kagan hearings. Then there will be differences between the bills and so ENDA will die in conference as the clock runs out.

The only winner I see in all this is the strong possibility of Kagan being the next Supreme Court Justice. The establishment on both sides of the aisle will have its excuses heading into the mid term elections. Then in November the people will shake up the halls of Congress enough that GLBT concerns get buried for at least the next 6 years if not 14.

Does that sound pessimistic? I'm just reading the T-leaves. If anyone can cast stones and bones on the grass and see a different reality please have at it.

I agree with you, Deena, though I think Pelosi's conference call shows even more nefarious deeds at work. More in my post today.

Many people on Bilerico want to ignore the truth.

Deena fairly described the probable fate of DADT Repeal and ENDA - neither has a chance of passage.

Yesterday LGBT "leaders," including Rea Carey of the NGLTF had a Press Conference to "demand" action on ENDA. The press conference was ignored.

The mid-terms will put us back to 1994. Perhaps at that time many of you will realize that all your complaining and demanding didn't help, in fact it hurt us. GetATTENTION organized efforts to embarrass Obama, Pelosi and Chairman Miller. Those actions harmed our efforts.

Since the excitement of Obama being elected we have played "politics." We have made countless demands. We have taken to the streets as if we live in the 60s. We have delusional to think "political promises" had some value.

As pointed out above I DO NOT want laws to permanently fix us as a "protected class" or "minority." Those laws don't make us equal and they don't protect anyone. Laws didn't end racism and they won't end bigotry. Only death does that - death of the belief or those that harbor them.

In 2010 we have the opportunity to engage the majority of our fellow Americans in our equality. But, we do nothing in that regard. Instead, we believe in the false promise of politics or we make useless demands.

It's easy to be a self-proclaimed "activist." It's easy to believe in a "political solution." It's easy to protest and "make demands." It's hard to be honest and objective and understand the truth about tactics, methods and strategies. It's hard to do the real work of creating our equality - enrolling non-LGBT people. We will not achieve our full equality until we are willing to talk to neighbors, friends, co-workers and even strangers.

And now Herr Andrew is the self-appointed spokesperson for the entire trans community?

Not all of us sit at their computers all day whining about what everyone else isn't doing. Some of us do actually educate the general public about what it is to be trans. And we do win allies in the process.

Coming to blogs like this, and bitching incessantly that nobody is doing what you think they should be doing is a complete waste of time, and only makes you look stupid.

Don't presume to speak for me again, dude.

If you are trying to educate the general public, then you're doing a lot more than those who want to run around "demanding."

I haven't suggested what people should do. I have suggested that we make an honest effort to determine what tactics are effective. Like others, you apparently don't care what works or doesn't work. That's your choice.

I have to agree with the others.
You're a complete waste of time.

But not only that, you contradict yourself in two sentences.


Keep educating the public.

Instead of demonstrating at Nancy Pelosi's office or any other allies office why not target the Republicans and the religious right.Take it right to their front door in a big way.Target those the farthest to the right both politically and religiously.Go to their offices their churches protest, campout whatever it takes for them to get the message we're sick of suffering from them holding our perceived sins as worse than theirs and demand are civil rights as Americans.Seriously target them long term if need be.But do it in a most obvious and media eye catching way.

polargirl360 | May 19, 2010 10:48 PM

You can educate the public all you like. Problem is that it isn't the public that is resisting giving LGB and even T people workplace protections and overturning DADT both of which has public support in the 70-80% range. I read that 91% of Chinese oppose discriminating against gays, yet it is still rampant and severe in China.

The problem Americans are dealing with is an arrogant, corporatist puppet government that wishes to continue to rule this country and the world with unchecked impunity. They abjure regulations that force them to do what they don't want to do. They just want public lip service and use the most egregious disrespect of this lip service as a public token enforcement of regulations such as environmental and civil rights.

If this arrogant, corrupt, and tyrannical government has the gall to screw 90% of Americans over with extortionary demands of mandatory health insurance purchases that will lead to fines and imprisonment if not paid, than it goes without saying that queers let alone trans people don't have any chance of getting real protections enforced!

The only way to get real respect in this world is to do what many Progressives have been saying all along: “America needs to re-develop class conscientiousness”. This of course means allying with other people that share this view and are willing to make major sacrifices including their lives if need be to re-achieve respect for the common people that rapidly eroded since Regan became president. This was how it was done in the past and the only potentially successful way to do it in the present and future.

AndrewW, you are not a transsexual. You have NO right whatsoever to tell the transsexual community WHAT issues we should care about, or HOW we should go about protesting. The transsexual community could not care less what some sheltered, privileged, cissexual, white, male, heterosexual thinks.

You will never understand the issues the transsexual community faces, because you are not transsexual. The issues we face we have known all our lives, and we face EVERY day, the online community just helps us put into words some of the feelings we feel all the time. Just because you read the online commentary does not make you an expert: You have only fleeting glimpses of small pieces of the issues we face.

How can the cissexual man, with the blood of our transsexual brothers and sisters dripping from his hands, have the AUDACITY to tell us how we can protest, for the specific aim of easing HIS FEELINGS and HIS EMOTIONS?

Jemma I appreciate some of your angst but you are overstepping IMHO. It was not the black slaves in this country who found a successful way to alter the very fabric of the country but rather the abolitionists. If you will study history you will find that it is seldom the oppressed who rise up and find solutions but rather those who see the oppression from an outside perspective. Lenin, Alinsky, Caesar, Moses, Franklin, and hundreds more. The list is extensive.