ENDA mixed victory

I’m glad to see that the House passed the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (a bill that would extend basic workplace protections to gay, lesbian and bisexual employees). I’m glad that Congress has taken a stand for the rights of some marginalized people. But damn if I’m not angry that they’re all too willing to throw some other people under the bus:

To ensure passage of the bill, Ms. Pelosi and other Democrats, including Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who is openly gay, removed language granting protections to transsexual and transgender individuals by barring discrimination based on sexual identity, a move that infuriated gay rights groups.

The Democrats also carved out a blanket exemption for religious groups, drawing the ire of civil liberties advocates who argued that church-run hospitals, for instance, should not be permitted to discriminate against gay employees. The civil liberties groups wanted a narrow exemption for religious employers.

On the House floor, Ms. Pelosi acknowledged challenges. “History teaches us that progress on civil rights is never easy,” she said. “It is often marked by small and difficult steps.”

That’s certainly true, but I think history also teaches us that it’s important to push for the big goals and to promote inclusive movements. The same-sex marriage issue is a pretty good example. Twenty (even ten) years ago, same-sex marriage was pretty much unheard of, and civil unions were a radical idea. The incrementalist approach would have marriage equality activists pushing for civil unions, and dealing with marriage later. And they did, in states like Vermont and Hawaii, with mixed success. But where the movement actually got it legs was when activists pushed for marriage — they succeeded in putting the big goal on the table and in shifting the conversation leftwards so that civil unions, which were previously pretty out there, were suddenly the moderate position. Had marriage equality activists gone the incrementalist route, I don’t think we’d be seeing the kind of debate we’re having now (a debate that I do think will come down on the side of justice). I think it would have taken another decade to get to where we are today.

If Bush isn’t going to support the rights of LGBT people, he isn’t going to support the rights of LGBT people. Taking the “T” out isn’t going to help. But it will further marginalize the transgender community, and remind us all that certain groups are disposable.


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44 comments for “ENDA mixed victory

  1. Em
    November 8, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    It’s gonna be vetoed anyway. Maybe in 2009 we can try again.

    Fuck the HRC.

  2. D.N. Nation
    November 8, 2007 at 12:03 pm

    One of the major differences between hard-line conservatives and hard-line liberals in this country: Patience.

    Conservatives have always wanted to dump Roe V. Wade. They also always knew they could never do it in one swoop, so they’ve been content enough to peck and peck and peck against the right to choose until this right is de facto non-existent in some portions of the country.

    Liberals should take a lesson. You want equality for different sexual orientation? Then be prepared to live with piecemeal victories along the way. Realpolitiking doesn’t mean the transgender community is disposable…it simply confronts the reality that for many many many Americans this fact is true.

  3. D.N. Nation
    November 8, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    (so I guess in short, Jill, you and I disagree.)

  4. stnemmoc
    November 8, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    I think you are spot on about this bill. I don’t have any real experience with this issue, but it seems to me that transgender people would face even more discrimination than GLB people. If the transgender community is the one that would be helped the most by bills like the ENDA, why are they the first to be left out?
    Also:

    Much of the debate Wednesday was taken up by Republicans complaining, somewhat oddly, that they could not hold a vote on a Democratic amendment to restore gender identity language.

    That just strikes me as especially duplicitous, whether they were doing the right thing or not.

  5. CBrachyrhynchos
    November 8, 2007 at 12:17 pm

    D.N. Nation: Well, I have to disagree with you on that. Religious conservatives may have certainly nibbled away at the right to abortion, but they never hid the fact that their ultimate goal was an abortion ban, and anti-abortion groups do openly criticize politicians who compromise on the anti-abortion agenda. There is no lack of chatter in conservative circles on who is soft and who is hard when it comes to abortion.

    You get the piecemeal victories by continuing to push for nothing less than full equality. If Frank wishes to compromise and play realpolitik, he needs to take the lumps for that, and not try to shift responsibility on the transgender people who have been fighting 40 years for this.

  6. CBrachyrhynchos
    November 8, 2007 at 12:29 pm

    There is also some analysis pointing to the problem that the exclusion of the gender expression language leaves wide open loopholes for discrimination against GLB people and even heterosexual people. Because everyone knows that queer women are “butch,” while gay men are either hypermasculine or sissies. </sarcasm>

  7. Natasha Yar-Routh
    November 8, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    Ah yes the incremental approach, which worked so well in New York state. Oh wait no it didn’t, after a bill was passed protecting sexual orientation they backers said they would come back to protect gender identity only they never did. Barney Frank and the HRC are backstabbing hypocritical liars. Luckily most of the LGBT activist community stood for a fully gender inclusive ENDA, a fact that gives me hope.

    D.N Nation, it’s easy to counsel patience when it’s not you ass on the line. I’m lucky enough to live in California which has state protections for us. I am not going to abandon my trans siblings who are not so lucky.

  8. D.N. Nation
    November 8, 2007 at 1:26 pm

    Natasha-

    You’re right. I have nothing on the line. But be wise enough to flip that:

    Natasha Yar-Routh, it’s easy to shout about moving mountains when you aren’t the white straight Protestant male I am, and are unable to fully realize how slow-moving we can be with our ‘tudes. To wit Denis Leary, we’ve got the bombs. So yes, while it certainly IS easy for me to counsel patience, it’s only easy in the sense that I know my own kind better than you do. So.

    As for “…only they never did,” come back to me in a decade. Never’s a loooong time.

    Finally, I understand that my devil’s advocacy portrays me as…well, angular, so I’ll step back from it for a second and say that the way this country treats the LGBT community rots me in ways nothing much else does.

  9. D.N. Nation
    November 8, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    And by the way, the religious right’s recent foray into absolutism when it comes to abortion has completely marginalized it. You will now notice the complete lack of a true anti-abortion candidate at the top of the GOP’s ’08 list, while James Dobson and his like whine and whine.

  10. Cap'n Colleen
    November 8, 2007 at 2:22 pm

    I’m with Em. Fuck the HRC.

    I’m pissed. I’d really like to be happy, but I just can’t muster any positive feelings about this. The bill is gonna get vetoed anyway, which means the only thing that has really been accomplished here is giving the trans community a big fat slap in the face.

    Grrrr.

  11. November 8, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    It’s sad and I just quote Kathy Acker who died almost 10 years ago (30 November 1997)
    “We don’t have a clue what it is to be male or female, or if there are intermediate genders. Male and female might be fields which overlap into androgyny or different kinds of sexual desires. But because we live in a Western, patriarchal world, we have very little chance of exploring these gender possibilities.”

  12. D.N. Nation
    November 8, 2007 at 3:04 pm

    We’ve never had a clue what it is to be male or female, from the time we were swinging in the trees up until now. The “Western” experience only covers about the last 0.1% of this time period, and the “patriarchy” grows mostly from the original evolutionary experience. So frankly, the “non-Western” traditions had their shot…and screwed it up equally if not moreso.

  13. maatnofret
    November 8, 2007 at 3:22 pm

    D.N. Nation–

    If we waited until all straight white males were “comfortable” with equality, we’d be waiting forever. If my pushing for basic human rights and decent treatment makes them fidget in their seats, too bad. They’re just going to have to learn that not everything is all about them.

  14. Mnemosyne
    November 8, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    The “Western” experience only covers about the last 0.1% of this time period, and the “patriarchy” grows mostly from the original evolutionary experience.

    Actually, it probably grows from the development of agriculture, which meant that people had property that they wanted to hand down to their children. So we’re talking about 12,000 years ago, not all of human development.

  15. D.N. Nation
    November 8, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    You won’t be waiting forever. On behalf of us, I promise.

  16. D.N. Nation
    November 8, 2007 at 3:42 pm

    Mnemosyne-
    Interesting point, but inequality between the sexes can’t really be traced to agriculture…I’ll argue that the property development merely reinforced the inequalities that were there to begin with. Also, that doesn’t really jibe with the “Western experience” at all; agriculture was here and there and everywhere. Also, 12,000 years is STILL 12,000 years. In the grand scheme of the forever, weren’t we JUST debating a woman’s right to VOTE?

  17. Mnemosyne
    November 8, 2007 at 4:09 pm

    Interesting point, but inequality between the sexes can’t really be traced to agriculture…I’ll argue that the property development merely reinforced the inequalities that were there to begin with.

    Well, you can argue it, but most anthropologists wouldn’t agree with you.

    Before agriculture, it wasn’t particularly important who fathered which child. After agriculture, it was vitally important because of inheritance. The pre-agriculture period wasn’t a wonderful utopia of egalitarianism, but it was better than the repressive patriarchy that came with agriculture.

    Also, that doesn’t really jibe with the “Western experience” at all; agriculture was here and there and everywhere.

    Remember the Fertile Crescent from high school history class? That’s where large-scale agriculture started. Other areas developed it later (it started in the Americas around 8,000 BCE), but for the people who argue that Western history marches from the Sumerians to the Egyptians to the Greeks to the Romans, that’s the line that usually gets traced. (It’s a silly contention, but that’s a whole other post …)

    We’re not talking about subsistence agriculture here — we’re talking about the large-scale stuff that allowed surpluses, which allowed people to start accumulating wealth and building cities. So, no, I don’t agree at all that the system of patriarchy developed primarily because of what’s in our DNA. Sorry.

    Also, 12,000 years is STILL 12,000 years. In the grand scheme of the forever, weren’t we JUST debating a woman’s right to VOTE?

    Actually, we’re still debating a woman’s right to vote. It doesn’t seem to be a settled question in some circles.

    I do actually get what you’re saying about incrementalism and, frankly, the choice here was which version of the bill was going to get the inevitable veto by W. But a lot of the arguments brought out a lot of ugliness between communities over who “deserved” to get equality now and who would have to wait their turn.

  18. November 8, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    I’m with CBrachyrhynchos. One of the many reasons that the Republicans have had more luck than the Democrats in most US elections of the past few decades, is that the Republicans have staked a claim to honesty and morality. When the left looks so ashamed of what it believes in that it won’t even stand up for itself (say, by taking a vote on T protections), it looks disingenuous and wishy-washy. One of the better ways to convince the public to consider your platform is to pick a just position and consistently and unwaveringly advocate for that position.

    I may hate most of the American right’s stances, but I’ll give them one thing– they stick to their guns. It’s almost enough to give the impression that they actually believe what they’re saying, which is more than I can say for most Democrats.

  19. November 8, 2007 at 4:36 pm

    This is significantly more complex than some are putting forth in the blogs. There has been quite extensive blogging on Pam’s House Blend by both Pam, Autumn and other blenders over the issues regarding ENDA.

    Probably the issue that has been ignored the most is the absolute misogyny of those justifying the exclusion of trans people that has by in large come from older gender normative gay white men in positions of privilege. This has largely come from Barney Frank himself, AmericaBlog and some editors of prominent LGBT newspapers as well. They have been downright insulting to transwomen, and incredibly dismissive of transmen and gender variants within the gay and lesbian community. The truth is an enda without gender identity and expression does not protect those within the gay community that can’t hide it either because of their atypical gender expression, and this is part of what is being missed as well, the butch lesbians and effeminate gay males…are often the ones to face the most discrimination, and this bill does little to protect them as well.

    On top of that there was the absolute betrayal of the HRC, who since 2004 has promised the trans community extensively it would not support ENDA without a gender identity provision, took a position supporting the non-inclusive bill right before its passage, and it came out HRC was lobbying for the non-inclusive bill since September.

    Leaving the weakest part of the community behind has never been a successful strategy for civil rights struggles, and leaving those who are the most vulnerable behind in the cruelest way possible is not the right course to take.

    Thanks for the blogs support of recognizing the issue.

    So I leave you with a comic that sums up the situation quite well:
    The Slippery Split Enda Slope

  20. November 8, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Oops bad link here is the comic I mentioned above.

  21. Natasha Yar-Routh
    November 8, 2007 at 4:42 pm

    D.N.,

    A reasonable reply so I will try to calm down some and explain a little better.

    I am fully aware of how often it is necessary to compromise in politics. I thought, however, that one compromised when you fell short on the bill you really wanted. We had a fully inclusive ENDA bill with 117 sponsors. It got bottled up in Barney Franks committee and with Pelosi’s connivance Frank replaced it with the non-inclusive bill. Would the inclusive bill have passed in the House? We will never know now, as it was never given the chance. Fully inclusive bills have passed in over 30 states so the argument that the original version would not have a chance in the House is week at best.

    I hope this helps you understand my frustration and rage.

  22. D.N. Nation
    November 8, 2007 at 4:43 pm

    Mnemosyne-

    Thanks for the proper schooling. WIth that being said, we’ve gone round and round and have ended up here:

    Actually, we’re still debating a woman’s right to vote. It doesn’t seem to be a settled question in some circles.

    To which I say, incrementalism has been forced upon you, like it or not.

  23. D.N. Nation
    November 8, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    Natasha-

    Don’t ever feel as if you need to calm down or explain your rage.

  24. LS
    November 8, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    Have you considered that the inclusion of transgender in the bill in the first place might have been — to apply your metaphor — gay marriage? The extra step which made the others look reasonable, and thus passed the bill? I am just throwing it out there, because however much we would like to imagine that those who support LGBT rights support the whole package, the fact is that most people don’t really “get” transgender people yet. It’s easier to sympathize with LGB, but T is still “those weirdoes.”

    Incrementalism sucks, but since the only solutions to it are dictatorship and fantasy-utopia-land, we’re stuck with it.

  25. S.H.
    November 8, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    You cannot take a portion of freedom from any group and still claim to believe in equality. It’s all or nothing.

  26. D.N. Nation
    November 8, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    And so you accept “nothing” as an option.

  27. CBrachyrhynchos
    November 8, 2007 at 6:04 pm

    Well, that’s one of the issues here. I can’t think of one time that I’ve experienced prejudice because of my bisexuality, that it wasn’t coupled with prejudice regarding my gender role or performance. I don’t consider myself trans or genderqueer, at least not on most weeks. But people seem to label me a faggot because they don’t like the cut of my jib, and sometimes if I out myself it seems that all of a sudden, my gender performance is under scrutiny. Trying to factor out GLB protection and ignore the ways in which heterosexism is ultimately anxiety regarding gender roles is refusing to see the forest for the trees.

    I’m saying this on multiple places, but it’s not the compromise that bugs people as much as the quarter where it came from and the high levels of anti-trans prejudice that came with it. Frank calls himself a leader of the community, but he spent weeks fighting against rather than for trans inclusion. If the straights don’t like trans inclusion, let THEM author and lobby for the compromise. Frank’s decision to lobby against inclusion just reveals his own prejudices.

  28. November 8, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    I’m saying this on multiple places, but it’s not the compromise that bugs people as much as the quarter where it came from and the high levels of anti-trans prejudice that came with it. Frank calls himself a leader of the community, but he spent weeks fighting against rather than for trans inclusion. If the straights don’t like trans inclusion, let THEM author and lobby for the compromise. Frank’s decision to lobby against inclusion just reveals his own prejudices.

    This is exactly it. The compromise came from Frank and the actors behind and advocating for the compromise were predominately gay white males. If you read into the history, you will realize why the outrage from the trans community is there over the exclusion of gender identity and expression. Its a nasty little battle that reveals the underlying transphobic sentiment within a certain segment of the community and from Frank himself. As well as an entire history that goes back some time.

  29. Mnemosyne
    November 8, 2007 at 6:28 pm

    To which I say, incrementalism has been forced upon you, like it or not.

    How? Why is it my problem if some privileged white males can’t handle the fact that women were given the vote over 80 years ago?

    I’m pretty sure that privileged people blocking advancement isn’t exactly an argument in favor of “incrementalism.”

    Women weren’t given the vote out of the kindness of men’s hearts, no matter what Chris Matthews seems to think. Women fought and struggled and were jailed for the 70 years between Seneca Falls and the passage of the 19th Amendment.

    The fact that the gains were incremental has nothing to do with the goals of the movement — it’s a testament to the power of the entrenched interests to squelch the people working for change, not any benefit of “incrementalism.”

  30. S.H.
    November 8, 2007 at 7:07 pm

    And so you accept “nothing” as an option.

    Look, I would prefer they pass a bill that says it is a federal crime to discriminate against ANY HUMAN BEING and be done with it. Apparently nobody seems to be championing that, individual groups just fight for themselves and tell the other “better luck next year”. There is an intensive need to rationalize this issue when the bottom line is it just sucks and everyone knows it.

  31. Timmy
    November 8, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    Just a quick legal question: under what Constitutional authority would Congress pass this bill? Even with the Wickard Aggregate Principle applied vis a vis the Commerce Clause, the link between discrimination against homosexuals and interstate commerce is pretty attenuated. Even homosexual men account only for roughly 2% of the male population (inflated statistics proffered by activist groups notwithstanding) so how can one argue that even in the aggregate interstate commerce is truly implicated?
    Might there also be broader principles of Federalism pushing back, since this is such a divisive social issue, and towards the core of traditional “healthy welfare morals” that is the competence of state governments? Congress might be on better Constitutional footing it it attempted something with carrots rather than sticks, such as grants with a condition of equality for gays imposed.

  32. Mnemosyne
    November 8, 2007 at 8:10 pm

    Just a quick legal question: under what Constitutional authority would Congress pass this bill?

    The same one that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed.

    Oh, wait, you guys think that needs to be repealed, too. My bad.

    Even homosexual men account only for roughly 2% of the male population …

    Oh, looky, another two-percenter. It’s so sad when statistical victims show up here.

  33. CBrachyrhynchos
    November 8, 2007 at 8:32 pm

    Timmy: The 14th Amendment empowers Congress to pass legislation to promote civil rights on the national level.

  34. CBrachyrhynchos
    November 8, 2007 at 8:39 pm

    And again, the reason why this is drawing so much heat is because there is a segment of the gay community that wishes that trans and gender variant people would just go away and stop embarassing them. This is not a drama that’s about ENDA or something that started three weeks ago, it’s yet another iteration of a conflict that has been played out over, and over, and over again, in just about every GLBT group that has ever existed.

  35. marc
    November 8, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    POlitics is all about compromise – whether we like that process or not. Barney Frank is a savvy enough politician to know he had to budge on the removal of the T part of the bill. He knew he could always revisit it in the future, and he knew the historic significance of the law by itslef. The same thing should have occured with gay marriage  versus gay unions. I actually think the community went too fast in pushing for marriage once they had the small victories in two states for unions. The religious right came out of the woodwork once the name was changed to “marriage.” If we would have waited another decade (real societal change doesnt happen over night – maybe more like 30 years or  more), we could have introduced marriage with far less resistance. Our important goal was the legal rights of a civil union; the meaning of the term “mariage” was a battle of semantics that could have come later on. You gotta walk before you can run.

  36. November 8, 2007 at 11:13 pm

    not that i’m at all relevant to this discussion here, but i am really proud of my congressman – i don’t have any proof to show you because it all happened behind the scenes, but he went on a rampage trying to get the trans protections restored. he’s not all that influential, but i was glad to hear that he did what he could.

  37. Timmy
    November 8, 2007 at 11:37 pm

    CBrachyrhynchos: “The 14th Amendment empowers Congress to pass legislation to promote civil rights on the national level.”

    To my mind this answer merely pushes the inquiry back one step, or at least raises another question. I understand that some argue that Section 5 gives Congress powers to “overenforce” Constitutional norms, but apart from that, one can scarcely argue that private employers’ practices raise a civil rights question of 14th amendment dimensions, since the 14th amendment only targets state action. Even assuming the overenforcement thesis is correct you would face the further issue that the 14th amendment was clearly not intended to give a Constitutional right for homosexuals to marry and so Congress would have no section 5 power, though it may have power elsewhere (e.g. as I suggested earlier, in the taxing & spending clause).

    Mnemosyne: “Oh, wait, you guys think that needs to be repealed, too. My bad.”

    I am not sure whom you are referring to by “you guys,” but I am making no argument here against the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But I think it clearly has more Constitutional grounding in the commerce clause than the legislation presently at issue (because the economic impact of Jim Crow laws was enormous, and the use of facilities on public highways was directly implicated by Jim Crow).

    “Oh, looky, another two-percenter. It’s so sad when statistical victims show up here.”

    I’m not sure what you mean by that.

  38. November 8, 2007 at 11:44 pm

    D.N. Nation —

    @15: You won’t be waiting forever. On behalf of us, I promise.

    You pwomise? Cwoss your heart and hope to die?

    Nah, just another 50 years, by which time I’ll be 99 (literally) and finally be ready to jump for joy that you decided to come back for me.

    Oh, wait, the nurses at the nursing home won’t let me jump for fear I’ll break something…

    In the grand scheme of the forever, weren’t we JUST debating a woman’s right to VOTE?

    You’re right, of course. Waiting a few decades is just like waiting one second. Selfish me, wanting myself, and my gender variant brothers and sisters, to be able to work without fear of getting fired, sometime before we die.

    @23: Don’t ever feel as if you need to calm down or explain your rage.

    “There, there, angry humorless trans woman / trans man / genderqueer person…I’ll pat you on the head even when you’re angry, cuz your so cute!”

    Gee, thanks. I indeed won’t calm down as long as you advocate that trans / gender-variant folks be patient and wait a few seconds decades for your pragmatic incrementalism to catch up to us.

    FYI, I can do without your patronizing attitude.

    @26: And so you accept “nothing” as an option.

    Sucks to be privileged, doesn’t it?

    (The privilege that I’m referring to is your obvious cissexual privilege and your obvious gender-conformant / passing privilege.)

    psssst!., D.N. – I’m not going away any time soon, and it’s just too bad that my presence and my anger is making you uncomfortable. “We gotta keep Teh Assimilationist / Straight Acting / Gender-Normative Peepulz comfortable and happy and shielded from Teh Transies!!!123!!!eleven!!!” is a lousy f**king excuse for incrementalism, especially when it is thrown in our faces by said Peepulz.

  39. November 9, 2007 at 1:40 am

    But I think [the Civil Rights Act of 1964] clearly has more Constitutional grounding in the commerce clause than the legislation presently at issue (because the economic impact of Jim Crow laws was enormous, and the use of facilities on public highways was directly implicated by Jim Crow).

    Cripes. Okay, you do know that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 includes a provision about employment discrimination, right? little thing called Title VII?

    And that all federal employment discrimination statutes – Title VII, the ADEA, Title I of the ADA, Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Equal Pay Act, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act – come from commerce clause jurisprudence?

    And that having employable people out of work has a direct and immense effect on interstate commerce?

  40. jon
    November 9, 2007 at 11:43 am

    This whole comment debate is what drives me nuts about the left on every issue. Doesn’t matter whether it is the environment, abortion, civil rights, or any other issue, for any group. If someone doesn’t agree with your views on how to achieve the same goal, then they are bigoted, small minded, traitors to the cause who are just as bad as the people who actually oppose your group.

    IIRC the modern post-war civil rights movement didn’t start with the the Civil Rights Act of 64 or the Voting Rights Act of 65. It started with many brave people making small stands, accepting that they couldn’t change the mind of every bigot overnight. It started with Jackie Robinson becoming a major league baseball player, Harry Truman integrating the Army, and people like Rosa Parks and others in the South saying, I want to be treated like a human being.

    By the way, for everyone that says they wouldn’t know if the bill would have passed with the trans provisions, this isn’t like a regular election where you can’t get a truly accurate count before the election. There are only 435 people in the House, it’s pretty easy to talk to anyone who is a potential fence sitter and find out how they intend to vote. In fact there is a member of each party who has this exact job, they are called the Whip. If you don’t have the votes, you don’t have the votes. Unfortunately in this country, there are very few congressional districts where opposition to a gay rights bill will cause one to lose an election. Much more often it goes the other way. So trying to threaten a politician like it was possible with S-CHIP will not work for LGBT bill.

    I don’t expect any person to be happy or grateful for anything less than full equality before the law. However, don’t get mad at people who say much of the country isn’t ready for X measure. Get mad at the people who are opposed to the measure on general principle.

  41. Hector B.
    November 9, 2007 at 4:01 pm

    I see two problems: A lack of understanding of who are the Ts, and the difference between the T-Genderqueer branch of Queer Nation and the LGB branch. Ls, Gs, and Bs all have some degree of same-sex-attraction, while Ts have some degree of gender identity-genitalia mismatch. Bundling anti-discrimination provisions against both branches at the same time is a little like eliminating racial discrimination and national origin discrimination at the same time. It can be done, but at the risk of confusing the ones you are trying to persuade.

    Who is speaking for the Ts?

  42. November 9, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    One problem with the criticism of this bill is that people are assuming Bush will veto it. He was careful in his spokesperson’s statement NOT to promise a veto.

    Now, why would Bush allow this to become law? Well, for one thing, his Vice-President may well support it (with the gay daughter and all). And he may be thinking legacy given his screwed up foreign policy. And he is no longer on the ballot trolling for votes, and by all accounts is personally not offended by homosexuality.

    I think one big reason why one might want to pass ENDA without the gender identity provision is to give Bush something he just might decide to sign.

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