…and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
Cross-Posted at TMV: http://themoderatevo…
Last Friday I briefly addressed the ENDA bill in this post, stating:
My opinion? Passing the hate crimes bill and ENDA will be long-overdue steps in the right direction. If the transgender issue will sink ENDA, take it out. We can address that another time.
Well, I made a snap judgment based on what turned out to be incomplete information on a much more complex issue than I had realized. In other words, I should have kept my mouth shut.
There has been a lot of cyber-shouting on all sides of this issue, especially at Pam's House Blend and AMERICAblog. Discussion is productive; screaming and shouting really isn't. I am truly fortunate in that I have an old friend who is a full-time lobbyist and activist for gay rights and that she took the time to discuss (not scream about) this issue with me by email and IM.
When I originally commented and posted on ENDA, I had no reason to doubt the proffered head-count of Representatives planning to vote for/against H.R. 2015, the fully-inclusive ENDA bill. Apparently, that head-count was not accurate.
When I originally commented and posted on ENDA, I was not aware that gender identity expression was not included in Rep. Frank's and Speaker Pelosi's “new, improved” ENDA bill, (H.R. 3685) and that meant that those of us who are perceived not to fit “appropriate” gender stereotypes (most of us) could be discriminated against on that basis. In other words, “I'm firing you because you're gay” would be illegal but “I'm firing you because you look like you might be gay” would be perfectly legal.
When I originally commented and posted on ENDA, I was not aware that many localities have already passed legislation that is *fully* inclusive and that much of the needed education has already been done. We are progressing faster than I had realized.
In this year alone, states as diverse as Iowa, Colorado and Oregon have passed non-discrimination legislation that includes protections for transgender people. In fact, since 2003, every state that has passed non-discrimination legislation has included protections for transgender people.
According to my friend Marla, this may be the most accessibly written piece on the “GI-inclusion is necessary to protect the average gay person” angle:
The Bilerico Project | Don't Forget…Gender Identity and Gender Expression Protect Us All
I see the points made by the critics of the “new, improved” ENDA bill but also see that the critics of the critics raise some valid questions. I don't have all of the answers but a lot of good questions are being asked. I just wish the discussion had happened much earlier.