I believe Lewis endorsed Clinton.
Even though the bill does not include Transgendered people, this is such a huge achievement. Only being in my early 20's, I owe such a big debt of gratitude to Barney Frank and everyone that has worked so hard to ensure I don't have to worry about the same stuff they had to worry about.
I am truly grateful.
There has indeed been a furor among trans folk over ENDA's exclusion of them. The smart trans people I know, and many non-trans people like myself, think ENDA is a sham because of its exclusion of trans people.
Seattle's law protects trans folks. Washington State's new anti-discrimination law includes transgendered people as a protected category. Many other states' laws protect trans people. It's outrageous to exclude them in the national gay rights bill. Boo to Barney Frank.
I never thought I would live to see this vote.
Note of the day, Dave Reichert from the Eastside voted FOR the bill.
Above, the sour grapes are mis- placed.
You are in some ivory tower of scorn, sad.
I cannot stop the tears of joy.
For a moment I thought Martin Luther King was at the podium. Rep. Lewis was magnificent, just amazing. The moral certitude of the Black movement.
Let us all give joy and praise to this effort and push the neo con bigots into the sea in the next year.
This is a wonderful bill, and I rejoice at its passing. It is also a disappointment. If you want to see about the Transgender issue, you can check out the website from HRC (Human Rights Campaign) or ERW (Equal Rights Washington).
Basically, the bill had included protection for discrimination against Transgender people and others who have an alternative gender presentation. Many feel, and I agree, that it will be harder to go back and get this protection later, and that as an oppressed minority all LGBT people should stand together.
Let us not leave our Trans friends behind, even as we celebrate this victory in the house.
Yeah, it's historic an all that. Let's be clear, no one new is protected until this passes the senate as is signed into law. It's a very long road from here.
And exactly how has John at Americablog moved the bill? I'll grant you that he certainly has driven discussion. I haven't seen so much namecalling and superior smugness in the Americablog comment threads for some time.
While I support his baseline pragmatism, his "who put the T in my LGB" line of argument and belittelment of anyone with the temerity to engage him in debate is getting pretty hard to take.
It's great that ENDA passed, but I just don't feel like celebrating.
Thank you, Dan, for posting the speeches. I love Representative Frank. Just love him. . .
you know, it sucks that it doesn't include trans folks. but sometimes, you have to be pragmatic. if the options are a bill that will pass without protecting trans folks, or a bill that WILL NOT PASS that includes trans folks, sometime you just have to suck it up and get what you can.
Lewis: the time is always right to do right.
i'm getting that tattooed.
I think the bill would pass the Senate if the rest of the language that protected LGB individuals from discrimination were removed.
Bush still might veto it anyway, but it would be a victory for Barney Frank and the entire Democratic Party just to be able to say that they actually produced something of negligible importance.
And bravo to Aravosis who has spent weeks swift boating transgendered people and Lambda Legal in support of a compromised bill that exempts religious institutions, and promises not to allow any LGB person in a civil union or domestic partnership or marriage to sue their employer because they won't extend health insurance to their partner - like they would for a het couple.
This is what we elected the Democrats for right?
With friends like this....we wouldn't identify an enemy if it bit us.
IS it at all possible for there to be a realistic conversation about the other side of compromised ENDA without it turning into a transgendered hate fest?
The past month in the gay internet universe has made me want to be straight.
...and one more thing...it's real easy to be pragmatic when you are a white guy.
Your integrity should be discovered.
Celebrate your victories, build on them for future gains. One step at a time, people.
Its not a victory until it becomes a law.
The Senate won't touch it.
Bush won't sign it.
But it does provide a great opportunity to kick a tranny, don't you think?
...and its an awful lot of fun to act like a conservative columnist (Malkin, Colter, et al) and complain about the ivory tower politically correct crowd trying to impose lofty liberal ideas of equality on the rest of us...we don't often get to assume the role of the privileged in-crowd...might as well enjoy the chance to be a shithead to someone else today, because tomorrow we'll be back in our ivory tower complaining about something that has been done to us by the assholes.
Not including our trans friends in this bill makes it an unfortunate sham and unnecessarily divisive. The people who need protections the most won't get them, and it continues the classic American pattern of turning minorities against each other.
Nice speeches, but the bill itself is fundamentally flawed and unfair.
yeah, aravosis hasn't been driving the debate, but poisoning it with his contempt.
Basically, the bill won't pass is trans people are included. I would love it if trans people could be included, but politics is the art of the possible, and at this time, the votes simply aren't there.
Trans people wanted the bill to include them and go down in flames, somehow thinking that it would be a victory for them. To be a bitch, they wanted the rights of tens of millions of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals hostage to their own political progress, which, on a federal level, is pretty low. That makes sense, since there are no lobbyists dedicated entirely to trans issues.
30% of gays apparently agree with that stance, which shows a stunning level of political naivete, a total lack of awareness of how civil rights movements work.
gatai's so right it was posted twice.
GenderPAC is the primary lobbying group for trans rights. http://www.gpac.org/
Actually, there is some chance that it will also pass in the senate. The senate tends to be more moderate than the house, in general. And there are fewer in the senate that are completely blathering right-wingers.
Of course none of this matters because there is no way Bush will sign it, and they certainly don't have the votes to override his veto.
So all this hand wringing over the compromise of transgendered people is for naught. Bush won't sign it wether transgendered people are included or not. By including transgendered people, this bill might have had a few less votes in the house, but it is a symbolic gesture anyway, so why not make a more inclusive symbolic gesture?
Yeah, those selfish trans people--wanting the same rights as everyone else. Next they'll want to get married!!
Seeing that we gays are regularly demonized and excluded from legislation meant to help "real" families, you'd think we'd have more compassion.
But, this being AmeriKKKa and all--where no one ever, ever learns anything from their mistakes or the past--of course this is not the case.
There was no chance this bill would become law this year--period. The Senate won't touch it and the Preznit promised to veto it. All it's done has been to splinter and divide our community, and people fell for it.
oh, and dan, will you stop fucking lying about obama/mclurckin? THERE WAS NO TOUR.
i'm sorry but i just don't agree there, andrew. it's the difference between having ZERO chance of going anywhere, and having a decent chance of making it to the president's desk. and there is a victory in making the president veto the bill. it's a relatively moderate idea, and to be able to make the president veto it is worth something, just like making him veto multiple SCHIP bills.
I don't understand why it's substantively better to have a weak version of the bill die on the president's desk than a strong version die in the House. And why is it worth tossing out a chunk of your movement to get so little benefit in return? Is the contribution of trans people really valued so low?
Speaking as a transgendered law student, I maintain that we're already covered under Title VII and Title IX, because discrimination against the transgendered is necessarily, by definition, discrimination on the basis of sex, which is already illegal.
Now, if only the courts weren't filled with cowards of the highest order.
@22 Guess what: trans people already can get married. I know several who have, and I don't see them holding off on their weddings until we get the freedom to marry.
You display exactly the naivete and ignorance of how civil rights movements work that I wrote about. ENDA has been introduced annually for thirty years. The trans amendment was first introduced five months ago.
And not one, no not a single civil rights movement has ever been able to get a federal law passed without first building a widespread and mature political machine over the course of decades.
@20 mentioned GenderPAC. Number one, it's GenderPAC is less than a decade old, and number two, they're not actually a political action committee. Have you looked at their annual report? They don't list any money spent on lobbying. They don't list a political coordinator.
But that's fine. They're doing the smart thing. They're doing education on a local level and working with corporations. That's the first step. If they rack up more than five states with their own gender inclusive ENDA, and then hire a few full time lobbyists to work the House and Senate, they can make some progress.
30% of LGBT people support ENDA without teeth and without Transgender inclusion and with loopholes the size of Barney Franks ass, according to the Advocate.
The Advocate?? Aren't they kinda like the HRC but with a glossier cover?
package it well, sell it to the people.
I wonder how many Americans support constitutional amendments and DOMA legislation that have been added in 40 states?? Does that make it ok to discriminate against a minority group?
The logic is so easy to apply when someone else is on the cutting room floor.
It all amounts to nothing...except rancor and blaming the victim. A real proud moment...that is repeated yet again in the land of dunces.
Oops...I'm tired...sorry...meant to start that last comment by saying 70%...
I wish you were correct #26, but plenty of existing case law says that's not true. Anyways I'm happy for the gays that this passed, but pissed off that this just put trans people back maybe 30 or 50 years from having something like this passed for us.
I just don't understand this argument that not including trans people in the bill puts them back "30 or 50 years" - I mean, is that the idea that Congress would never pass a bill that only includes trans people, because it's so controversial but it could be snuck into a bill covering different sexualities?
Slightly more controversial and way less common than being gay. Together, these add up to very very little political support, especially in the face of resistance from a Christian controlled government such as ours. On it's own, a bill protecting transsexuals from discrimination has a far less likelihood of passing. Republicans that reluctantly vote for ENDA without inclusion of TS\TG people wouldn't be caught dead supporting such a bill on its own. So yes I believe it will set back the possibility for such a bill by many many years.
@27 - Your characterization of "trans marriage rights" is pretty glib. Pam Spaulding does a good job of debunking Aravosis' eerily similar ignorance of the issue here.
SDA in SEA @21 and Original Andrew @22: Yes, exactly.
Read Aravosis' piece at Salon to see the damage done:
Trans people complaining about this bill need a clue.
What happens is: a few years later the same bill gets passed for trans people with this as precedent. Together it wouldn't pass at all and no progress would be made. Trans people are closer to equal rights than they were yesterday.
Civil rights is all about small steps.
I think the whole thing's a bit silly. It's not gonna get past Bush, it may not even make it through the senate. Why are we using up political capitol pushing a bill with no chance to get anywhere right now? There's a hell of a lot more things going on that probably would be more useful to push on than ENDA at the moment. I'm glad to see it passed, but the huge fights over all of this used up a lot of energy and public good will that could have been used pushing SCHIP or other bills. I just think this was not a strategically good move.
Well, 3685 passed in the House. Barney Frank (D-MA) responded masterfully to a Motion to Recommit, arguing passionately that to send the bill back to committee was to deny countless gay men and women the protections that they desperately deserve. Had I been a member of the House, I would have supported his argument. I would have voted to pass 3685, a historic step for gay rights. So why do i feel like I want to break into sobbing tears? The answer is simple. In an unprecedented strategy in the struggle for human rights, an entire portion of the community that the bill was intended to protect was excluded – and the portion excluded undisputedly needs the protection more so than any other. The House was forced into that choice as a matter of political maneuvering by Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, and Joe Solomnese. After the bill was passed they did not feel the remorse that I did. They were smiling at their victory. They continue to smile. The transgender community was left behind to struggle on their own.
I am glad that the bigots in the minority who would have denied equality to our gay brothers and sisters were defeated, and that the bill was passed. I would not have been able to oppose any legislation that would bring some measure of relief to the GLBT community. I have experienced discrimination as both a gay man and a transgender woman and I know that all discrimination is wrong. It is always the time to do the right thing, but that remains unrecognized even on this day. The exclusion of protection for the transgender community in 3685 was wrong; unjustifiably wrong. As wrong as declaring that a victory was achieved for civil rights or for human rights. The victory experienced was solely for gay rights, and it was accomplished by allowing exclusion of those rights to others within the GLBT community.
I hope that Frank and Pelosi and Solomnese enjoy their hollow victory, because the transgender community will pay for it dearly. Transgender exclusion in 3685 will be used as an example that we do not deserve equality, and that we are bad for election strategy. It will be echoed in decisions made by the judiciary. It will exacerbate what is already intolerably high unemployment and poverty. It will increase and validate bigotry. It will be argued that the transgender community was even rejected by the GLB community whom they supported. The credibility of our very humanity has - once again - been negated.
As a lone voice, it is unlikely that the transgender community will gain equal employment rights for a significant period of time - most probably decades, in the best case scenario - years. Yes, many of the members of the GLB movement will remain faithful in the fight for transgender equality, but transgender trust in those communities has been severely compromised. We were excluded at the eleventh hour, and that will be difficult to put aside. We were the “dumpees”, not the “dumpers”. The GLBT community has been receiving the benefit of a united front up until this time; it is unlikely that this devotion to equality for the entire community will continue. That lack of trust will inevitably be reciprocated. It has already begun. Every faction has been strongly delivered the message – “If expedient, your interests will be sold out.” What might appear to some as incremental progress, can only be perceived as outright betrayal and ten step backwards for those left behind. The GLBT community has been factionalized at what remains a critical time in our struggle to gain equality. We will all suffer setbacks.
Although I don’t possess a violent nature, this betrayal makes me want to throw bricks and break windows. I am sure I am not alone in my frustration with a society that would deny my community the right to exist. It is the same frustration that created the “gay” rights movement at Stonewall and at Comptons. It is the same frustration that initiated the riots in Watts and throughout our nation. It is frustration with a society that refuses to acknowledge our humanity or to allow us simple dignity. Educate congress about our issues? Like Barney Frank was educated? Or Nancy Pelosi? My message to Congress is this. We are mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, and sons and daughters. WE ARE HUMAN. We are human. We are…human. There is nothing more that can be said that could be more relevant. Right now, I am sorely tempted to deliver it with a brick. Instead, I think I am going to have that cry. I cannot help but think about the youngsters yet unborn who will continue to suffer discrimination. They will suffer because we were not strong enough to do the right thing and ensure that transgender protections were included in the legislation that passed in the House, on this historic day. I can still find a brick tomorrow. And maybe I will.
This doesn't set transgendered rights back 30 years. Transgendered rights are already 30 years behind gay rights. The debate over transgenderism (is that a word?) is only beginning. It took decades for gays and lesbians to get where they are today. It's going to take as long for transgendered people to achieve the same level of acceptance. It's sad but true, and gays and lesbians shouldn't have to wait an additional 30 years for federal protection from discrimination just to stand in solidarity with the transgendered.
keshmeshi, transgenderism isn't a word. it took decades for gays and lesbians to get where they are today, yes, but that progress also relied on transgender support - financial and at the polls. steve goldstein from garden state equality stated "Transgender people have been there selflessly for the rest of the LGBT community time and time again. How could the rest of us not be there for them?
Friends, when the fight began for marriage equality in New Jersey years ago, when no one thought we had a prayer -- unlike today, when New Jersey is so well-positioned to enact marriage equality through legislation -- who were the vast majority of our volunteers? Transgender people. At our initial town meetings and rallies for marriage equality years ago, when all the volunteers gathered on site a couple of hours beforehand, I was often the only non-transgender person there." steven is not transgender. his statement was not made in his own self interest.
likewise, transgender rights are not 30 years behind. we WERE almost equal. unity PAYS! transgender equality is a reality where i live in DC. there are laws that exist NOW that protect me personally from employment discrimination. ENDA (3685)is not yet law, and isn't likely to become law in the near future. that would signify that transgender rights are ahead of gay rights here in DC. the worse thing, the really bad thing about 3685 is that it was openly EXCLUSIONARY. if two bills (one representing GLB and the other T) had been formulated at the same time and argued and put on the House floor their would be no argument here. a bill was formulated GLBT and at the eleventh hour the T was excluded. this sends a powerful message to congress and to society - trans people are not ready for equal rights. this tactic used to pass 3685 was unforgivable. trans people were the "sacrificial lambs" offered to the members of congress in exchange for their vote to pass gay rights legislation.
Time for some heart to heart. I am an intersexed person.
I resent all the trannies whining and complaining.
This was some smart politics. I am delighted and impressed. WE did it. Finally.
And by the way, FOOLS, nobody got any rights so far. This bill must pass the Senate and then get signed by a president to be a law before it gives any rights to anyone, anywhere.
And that will be long way off - get over yourself. Once the GLBT communities have established real federal political power, much more is possible.
Pretend for a minute you live in Alabama, Mississippi or a dozen other states where horrid homophobia is still real. This political victory should give hope to millions and millions of folks for a much better life.
Geez, all the whining and complaining is so short sighted, bad politics as well and off the mark completely.
stop parsing the fucking definitions! It's GBLT.
not GBLTIFRYUXCSDEI PPL WHO USE POGOSTICKS.
God, #40, you are a rude and stupid asshole.
I have always considered myself gay - and prefer and screw and get fucked by men.
Get it, idiot.
Of course, your vanilla theory of the world is so damned important.
My point is not the alphabet, but that I support the bill that just passed and will work for total inclusion and getting it into law in the next few years.
And you, fool? Just trying for the next crack hit?
To all the people celebrating and telling the "trannies" to stick it (the rest of you can ignore this if you want, I appreciate that not everyone is in that camp):
I've put almost two decades into working for GBLT rights, mostly in the trenches. Thousands or maybe tens of thousands of hours. I sacrificed time, labor, money, career advancement, all because I thought this was right and necessary and good.
Yesterday, I got my reward: a knife in my back, and pious sentimentality about how good and necessary that knifing was, intermixed with people telling me to shut the hell up and like it, I'm ruining their party, and maybe I'll get included later. Probably right after OJ brings in Nichole's real killer.
This is not incrementalism. Incrementalism is, for example, civil unions - for everyone - on the way to marriage rights. Incrementalism on this bill would have been, oh, workplace protections, but not lending, or something like that, that again included everyone. That's incrementalism. I'm a practical person; I support that.
Incrementalism, on the other hand, is not saying "eh, some of you don't count so much, off you go." Incrementalism is not "thanks for your decades of work and blood and money" as you shove us off the train. Incrementalism is not saying "how dare you be angry?" after you've stabbed us in the back.
Bitter? Hell yea. I'm bitter. None of that bullshit would be spread if any of the other letters had been dropped - you know, those representing real people and not freaks. Not if, say, ENDA had been passed as lesbian and gay only, bisexual people need not apply. That wouldn't get called "incrementalism," because it wouldn't be incrementalism and nobody would feel justified pretending it was. Unlike here.
So. You've got your victory, and that's great. Enjoy it. Congratulate yourselves on having the good sense to know when to throw someone overboard, and go ahead and keep complaining about our "whining" and our "sour grapes" and how much we deserve it. Congratulations; you've reached the point in American society where you can join the legions who can say, "fuck you, I got mine," and you've done just that. I'm actually genuinely kinda happy you got yours - or that at least you've gotten a step closer to yours.
Me, on the other hand - I feel like a fool. I didn't need to do this work; I am, I think the word is, invisible. And now I know when push comes to shove what the HRC and, if their polling is accurate, 70% of LBG people think that's worth: I am, I think the word is, expendable. "Thanks for your decades of work and blood and money - now get out and let us have our victory party." Even though you haven't actually won yet, you're confident enough now in victory that you can start the undesirables cull.
So good luck with that. Jeri (#37) talks above about how maybe she'll be able to put all this aside, though for now she mostly wants to throw a brick. I understand that feeling. But me? I think I'm just done.
Have fun at the veto party, guys. Maybe you'll have more luck in 2009. Or maybe the Democrats will spin back around again and screw you, too, once they'd actually have to risk having a Democratic president sign it into law.
It certainly wouldn't be a first.
i understand your anger and your frustration. i am not sure i can just put it aside, either, but there are a lot of good men and women in the GLB movement who appreciate our efforts and stood by us through this. steven goldstein, jody huckaby, tammy baldwin and many, many more. i want to quote steven goldstein from garden state equality:
"Transgender people have been there selflessly for the rest of the LGBT community time and time again. How could the rest of us not be there for them?
Friends, when the fight began for marriage equality in New Jersey years ago, when no one thought we had a prayer -- unlike today, when New Jersey is so well-positioned to enact marriage equality through legislation -- who were the vast majority of our volunteers? Transgender people. At our initial town meetings and rallies for marriage equality years ago, when all the volunteers gathered on site a couple of hours beforehand, I was often the only non-transgender person there.
In 2003, when politicians cut transgender protections from a domestic partnership bill (before Garden State Equality existed), the transgender community still helped to lead the way in fighting for the bill. That was as selfless an act as many of us have ever seen in politics.
And today, with LGBT activism in New Jersey having grown beyond what we ever dreamed, who are still among the most devoted activists in fighting for the rest of us? Who are still among our most reliable volunteers for every LGBT cause under the sun? Our transgender sisters and brothers.
For too many years, the transgender community nationally has been told to wait, be patient, your turn will come. How could we ever live with ourselves, considering how much the transgender community has given to the rest of the LGBT community, by telling our transgender sisters and brothers to wait any longer?
The fact is, our transgender sisters and brothers have been waiting and waiting and waiting since the Stonewall Rebellion of 1969, a rebellion they led for us all."
i am never going to turn my back on my GLB friends. and I thank God that my friends didn't turn their backs on me. forget about the bigots claiming we should wait our turn or earn it. they are most probably closet cases, and they certainly aren't activists. if they were, they would not show their ignorance by making statements that transgender people haven't done their share. we have always been leaders in the fight for civil rights, and we will continue to be. like the gentleman from georgia said, "the time is always right to do right."
we were betrayed. we are hurt. we are not defeated. we will prevail.
So much hate from so many gays who want rights for themselves at our expense. Gays cannot be trusted. transpeople who do not face facts are in serious denial. Gays hate us worse than straights.
Sad, but true.
They have demonstrated so many times that we are expendable. They appropriate our dead to make it seem that they face more violence than they do. They steal our sweat and effort for their causes. They publically bash us, spread lies and intolerance about us, hurt us, out us, and expect us to just "suck it up," cuz they got theirs and that's all that matters.
Gay people are morally bankrupt. And they are unnecessarily so. That is the sad part.
Jeri, wake up. You're not a gay man anymore. They don't give two sh!ts whether you live or die. You're just a "man who cut his dick off" to them. A sick person. A gay who transitioned cuz you had internalized homophobia. And so am I. So many gays have said so.
These people DID turn their back on you. They may be nice to your face, but trust me, they WILL turn on you. Just like they have for the past 30 years since the GLF told Sylvia to FO.
But, hey, it's your life.
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