CommunityPam's House Blend

The HRC's Bad ENDA Behavior — And A Cover-Up?

Hypocrisy. It’s detestable in elected officials, it’s detestable in religious right organizations, and it’s particularly detestable in any of our LGBT non-profits and civil rights organizations. So, seeing the HRC caught late last week supporting a non-inclusive ENDA on their website after saying the organization wouldn’t — it leaves a particularly bad taste in my mouth. But worse yet, after being discovered supporting a non-inclusive ENDA on their website, it appears they attempted to cover up their bad behavior.

Let me digress a bit. Monica Roberts spelled out in a clear and cogent diary why many transgender people are no fans of the HRC; I previously wrote in a diary that I wanted a divorce from the HRC; Monica and I didn’t like the apparent anti-transgender behavior and public duplicity that has, with regards to transgender people, colorfully checkered the HRC’s past.

Well, more recently, the HRC recently stated that it wouldn’t support ENDA without “perceived gender” protections:

On Monday [October 2, 2007], the HRC Board of Directors voted to affirm its 2004 decision not to support a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that does not explicitly include protections based on gender identity. We do not support the current version of ENDA that is being considered by the House, and are not advocating for it on the Hill.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if that were completely true.

Marti Abernathey at TransAdvocate.com wrote a piece entitled HRC’s Bait and Switch. She highlighted that the HRC was as recently as November 1st was…

…passing off HR. 3685 as transgender inclusive (it’s not, gender identity has NEVER been included in 3685) , and asking people to support it! So much for their claim of not supporting 3685, but not opposing it. This is FULL FRONTAL SUPPORT.

If one follows the links in TransAdvocate.com’s article; however, one would find that the webpages Marti referenced have been taken down — apparently, the HRC noted that their webpages indicated hypocritical behavior, and noted that their hypocrisy had been exposed.

Unfortunately for the HRC, Google and MSN caches of the ENDA Take Action and passendanow.org pages were still available (passendanow.org comparison: October 29th cache; November 1st cache).

So much for damage control.

So here’s what the HRC said on the now downed pages. On the ENDA Take Action Page, the HRC said:

The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in a matter of days. Now is the time to call your Member of Congress and tell them to vote for H.R. 2015. The capitol switchboard number is 202-225-3121.

Watch this video to learn more about why ending workplace discrimination is so important.

That’s right. In 31 states, it’s still legal to fire someone because they’re gay; and in 39 states it is legal to fire someone for being transgender.

Thousands of hardworking GLBT Americans have lost their livelihoods simply because of who they are. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is a federal bill that would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote employees simply based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

This historic legislation will be up for a vote soon in the U.S. House. But the radical right is flooding lawmakers with misinformation about ENDA.

You can set the facts straight. Call your lawmakers at 202-225-3131 and make sure they know passing ENDA is the American thing to do.

In a link at the bottom of that statement — a link that took one to passendanow.org — the HRC’s letter read on November 1st as follows:

Dear [Decision Maker],

As your constituent, and a Human Rights Campaign Supporter, I’m writing you to share my strong support for HR 3685, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, legislation that protects GLBT Americans against discrimination in the workplace.

(Edit Letter Below)
I know you share my belief in the right of all American workers to be judged by their qualifications, and their job performance – not by the color of their skin, the name of their religion, or the country of their birth.

But, in 31 states, it’s still legal to fire someone because they’re gay – and in 39 states, it’s legal to fire someone for being transgender.

In a country founded upon the principle of equal opportunity, it’s time to put an end to this injustice. Corporate America has already taken significant steps toward this goal, with almost 90% of Fortune 500 Companies now including sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policies.

Please support equal employment rights for all Americans.

Sincerely,
[Your name]
[Your address]

This post isn’t about playing “Gotcha.” It also isn’t about taking the eyes off the goal of a fully inclusive ENDA — the voting on which looks to be finally happening this week. However, it is about holding the HRC accountable for saying one thing and doing another — and then engaging in what a first glance appears to be a cover up of their actions as exposed on TransAdvocate.com.

Is it any wonder that so many transgender people continue to hold the HRC in such low regard?

The broad LGBT community — and not just the transgender community — deserve more straightforward behavior from the HRC than they’ve been demonstrating.

~~
Note: I requested a statement from the HRC a full business day prior to posting this piece, but the HRC didn’t respond to that request.
~~A~~

~~~~~Update~~~~~

Daimeon sent me an email, reminding me of the HRC’s original statement (from their press release) on the HR 3685 version of ENDA:

“Since 2004, HRC has had in place a policy that supports only a fully inclusive version of ENDA and the Board of Directors voted to reaffirm that position,” Solmonese continued.  “Therefore, we are not able to support, nor will we encourage Members of Congress to vote against, the newly introduced sexual orientation only bill.”

Previous post

Next post

AFA-KY may be resorting to dirty tricks. Again.

Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen

20 Comments