To our community:
The non-inclusive version of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday by a vote of 235-184. The bill bans the hiring and firing of employees based on sexual orientation, but not gender identity. While the vote was not surprising, it was disappointing. OutFront Minnesota had joined a large national coalition pushing to have gender identity added back into the bill. Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin introduced an amendment to re-add gender identity to the legislation, but that effort failed.
While an inclusive bill is not what we have been delivered, we are still very proud of the strong national momentum to stand up for our transgender brothers and sisters. This signals a milestone in our movement to include transgender people as full partners in the struggle for our equal rights.
OutFront Minnesota hopes that the legislation will be able to come before congress again in the near future, include gender identity in employment protections, and be signed by a new president.
Thank you to everyone who contacted their U.S. Representatives on this vital legislation.
I'm not the only one who gets tired of Outfront Minnesota claiming to represent "our community. A regular Lloydletta reader wrote me:
Did you see this message from Outfront? Why do they write, “Wisconsin Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin introduced an amendment to re-add gender identity to the legislation, but that effort failed.”? This is simply not true. Rep. Baldwin was given the opportunity to introduce the “T” Amendment after weeks of a “United ENDA” campaign and SHE DECIDED at the last minute to not introduce it. It was not voted on. Why is this written in such a way as to make her look like a hero whose good intentions were “defeated’ when she basically, in the end, acknowledged the very same reality Barney Frank was talking about when this thing first blew up: they didn’t have the votes.
What’s most disappointing is that we just had a Congressional body, for the first time in the nation’s history, assert that gays and lesbians deserve to live free from discrimination. Because of these last weeks of lobbying from “our” national and state organizations with a message of “Inclusive ENDA or no ENDA at all” we can’t even celebrate that fact. Look at this message from Outfront. Does it sound even just a tiny bit celebratory? Does it even acknowledge the fact that the fight is not over, that the Senate could still introduce a bill and attach it to a spending bill?
This is just insane.
Tammy Baldwin withdrew the amendment. Listen for yourself.