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Where's ENDA?

Posted by libhom Friday, January 01, 2010

The Democrats performance on queer issues in 2009 wasn't that great. The one really good thing they did was to finally pass hate crimes legislation that included sexual orientation, gender, and disability. The rest was not so good. No other LGBT civil rights issue has even reached Obama's desk.

President Obama's record, aside from signing the hate crimes statute, was not too great either. His involvement of Rick Warren in the inauguration was viciously homphobic and misogynist and showed a lack of interest in dealing with the threat of Christian religious extremism to this country. Aside from minor things here and there, Obama tended to avoid the subject of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans whenever he thought he could get away with it.

Casting a huge shadow over all of this is ENDA, the Employment Non Discrimination Act. ENDA is, by far, the most important queer civil rights issue, and it is long overdue. We've been trying to get Congress to pass legislation banning employment discrimination against us literally for decades. We should have gotten that from the Democrats when they had the White House and both houses of Congress in 1993 and 1994.

The 2009 National Equality March and restiveness in the blogs got the Democrats to take action on hate crimes, but all we've gotten on ENDA is talk. I'm getting sick and tired of this crap. Here's text from a 12/3/09 email Sen. Schumer's office sent me in response to my email last year trying to get action taken.

Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon introduced ENDA in August and I proudly joined him as an original cosponsor. The legislation has attracted broad bipartisan support in both chambers of Congress, and I am hopeful that it will be brought to the Senate Floor for a vote by the end of the year. Senator Tom Harkin, the new Chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee, has expressed his intention to hold a hearing on ENDA in the near future, which would be an important step towards passing this much-needed bill.

It's 2010, and it hasn't even passed the House yet, which is supposedly easier. The Senate has held hearings on ENDA, but they still haven't voted on it.

What really worries me is that the Democrats will try to use the fact that 2010 is an election year to put off our basic rights as human beings even longer. If they don't stop screwing with us, we will lose interest in the Democrats in 2010 they same way we did in 1994. Remember what happened to the Democrats in 1994?

 

8 comments

  1. Suzan Says:
  2. Thanks for your wisdom and informed commentary.

    I think Obama missed his window for real "change" this year as he chased phantoms of compromise and fairness.

    It's all downhill from here I fear.

    Thanks again for all you do to inform us.

    S

     
  3. ENDA is urgently needed.

    Meanwhile, Happy New Year, Libhom!

     
  4. C Woods Says:
  5. I have never understood why people are so concerned with who loves each other or why it would make one iota of difference in how anyone would be treated by the law or by individuals.

    Maybe if everyone spent more time worrying about who hates each other, and try to remedy those hates without attempting to use force, this would be a better country/world.

     
  6. Pagan Sphinx Says:
  7. I completely see this happening to me - a lack of interest in helping out the Dems. And for many of the same reasons you mention: lukewarm, if that, attitude toward GLBTQ people. Obama is a complete disappointment in regard to queer issues but I expected that. Still, it's further eroded my enthusiasm for Obama and the Dems. And then there are the wars...

     
  8. Pagan Sphinx Says:
  9. P.S. Let me know when you visit NE, if you go to Mass MoCA. :-)

     
  10. Christopher Says:
  11. ENDA
    Don't Ask, Don't Tell
    DOMA
    U.S. troops still in Iraq
    Expansion of Afghanistan

    And now, rumblings percolating up from the neocon community that Obama needs to send troops to Yemen.

    Meanwhile, where are the jobs? 10% national unemployment and numbers in California, Nevada, Oregon, and in Michigan are higher.

    The Dems need to get back to work and get busy or the American people will punish them beginning with the midterm election next November and the GE in 2012.

     
  12. Mauigirl Says:
  13. I hope the administration doesn't back off from LGBT issues just because it's midterm election year. They're going to lose seats anyway, they should get things done while they can. Fingers crossed.

     
  14. Off topic, but I read this article and thought you might like her points: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marianne-williamson/where-does-a-democrat-go_b_408557.html

     

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