Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Vote on non-inclusive ENDA coming this week

The House Rules Committee voted late last night to advance the non-transgender inclusive version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to the floor for a full House vote. Many believed that a vote would happen today, but it now looks like it will come either tomorrow or Thursday.

HRC, which had previously been neutral on the revised bill, came out in full support of the version that was advanced to the floor last night. HRC's position was released in a letter today put out by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, which was sent to all House members and explicitly stated an endorsement of the non-inclusive bill. The letter noted that the decision to move forward without protections for the trans community was "extremely difficult." In the end, HRC's Joe Solmonese told Gay City News Editor Paul Schindler, "we felt that in the long term interest of the community and the movement it should not be defeated."

Along with HRC, a vast array of progressive organizations, unions and religious groups signed the letter endorsing the bill, including: the NAACP, AFSCME, National Education Association and the Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism.

The Advocate also announced the findings of an HRC-financed poll released today, which said that 70% of LGBT Americans (I'm not sure how many "T"s were asked) support passing a non-inclusive ENDA over passing no bill at all.

***UPDATE: Gay City News gets NGLTF Executive Director Matt Foreman's reaction to the advancement of the non-inclusive ENDA: "At no time during the African-American Civil Rights movement were light-skinned African Americans or dark-skinned African Americans left behind. What is being lost is that we need to be working for the best law, not a bill that can be passed today."

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