ENDA Appears To Be On Path To Being Fully Inclusive
Pam posted a piece up on this story already, but I really need to post a take on the same subject. So, our pardons for covering this story twice.
The priorities have been Hate Crimes and ENDA, fully inclusive legislation in those two areas, so we’ll have to have our strategy work around on how we can get those passed, as well as move forward on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.
—Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House (emphasis added)
That answer was given at in a breakfast meeting with progressive bloggers and writers where Madam Speaker took questions. From PageOneQ‘s Pelosi: No date for DADT repeal, says inclusive ENDA will pass :
Responding to a question asked by Advocate news editor Kerry Eleveld, the speaker referenced the work of Rep. Ellen Tauscher, the member who introduced a bill this week to reverse the law. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was passed during the Clinton administration and signed by the president into law in 1993. Eleveld asked the Speaker if she thought the bill would be voted on by the end of 2009.
As we look to the 111th Congress on LGBT issues, we can see that hate crime legislation/the Matthew Shepard Act, the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) are the top two lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) priorities, followed by repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT).
And, it’s interesting, in the good way being interesting, that the House leadership seems to have “got” the idea that hate crimes and employment nondiscrimination bills need to be fully inclusive. After the uproar by the LGBT community last congress when the House leadership supported a less than fully inclusive version of ENDA, and now after the grassroots have awakened with Stonewall 2.0, they don’t need to risk dividing the progressive LGBT members of their base with another less than fully inclusive ENDA.
And, also from last year, we know that fully inclusive is code for including both sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.
To highlight why we need a fully inclusive ENDA, we just need to look yesterday at Moscow, Idaho. From the Moscow-Pulman Daily News‘ Moscow council nixes specific transgender protection :
The Moscow City Council rejected a resolution Monday night that would have amended the city’s employment nondiscrimination policy to specifically protect transgendered people.
The council voted 5-1 to keep the city’s policy as is despite several emotional pleas from Moscow residents, including the mother of a transgendered child.
Councilman Tom Lamar was the only council member who supported the change.
Transgendered people are those whose gender identity does not match their physical gender. Councilman Wayne Krauss said transgendered people already are included in the city’s current nondiscrimination policy, which provides protections based on age, race, religion and sexual orientation.
We know from experience that if legislation doesn’t specifically spell out gender identity and expression, or other specific language that in meant to cover gender variant people (such as transgender people), then the protections don’t cover gender variant people.
Fully inclusive is good language to hear from the Speaker of the House. We can only hope it’s followed with firm, consistent action that leads to fully inclusive legislation signed by President Obama.
Late this month, we have a meeting scheduled to talk ENDA with my congresswoman: Susan Davis (D-CA). More LGBT people — especially trans people — need to begin meeting with their representatives and talking to them about supporting a fully inclusive ENDA.