Thursday, November 8, 2007

House Passes Flawed ENDA

House of Representatives Passes Flawed ENDA

Yesterday, after many delays, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R.3685, the non-inclusive Employment Non Discrimination Act, by a vote of 235 to 184.We believe this vote sends the wrong message that flawed civil rights legislation, that is opposed by the community it is supposed to protect, should be approved. Nobody will receive any protection from this bill since it has no chance of passage in the Senate and the President has already pledged to veto it.

Incrementalism cannot mean leaving some in the community without any protections at all. While many have claimed that the strategy of moving the weak, non-inclusive bill is similar to previous incremental civil rights advances, those advances never singled out a part of the community to be exempt from protections, but rather tackled areas of discrimination one at time, such as housing or voting. Anyone who claims that leaving transgender individuals out of ENDA is incremental is saying that they are separate from the rest of the community.

A bill that does not include gender identity may not fully protect even lesbians and gays. According to every pro-LGBT legal groups' analysis, without inclusion of "gender identity," this bill may not provide adequate protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and heterosexual employees who do not conform to gender stereotypes.

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition wishes to thank the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality in taking the lead in opposing this flawed bill and organizing the United ENDA Coalition, which numbered nearly 360 national, state, and local groups who stood together for fully inclusive legislation.

We remain committed to working with Members of Congress, and the new President, to getting a fully inclusive ENDA passed in 2009, which will provide real protections for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans.

Marisa Richmond

The Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC) is an organization designed to educate and advocate on behalf of transgender related legislation at the Federal, State and local levels. TTPC is dedicated to raising public awareness and building alliances with other organizations concerned with equal rights legislation.

For more information, or to make a donation, contact:

Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC)
P.O. Box 92335
Nashville, TN 37209
(615)353-1834 fax


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