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I don't know how much most of you know about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), but it's recently been the subject of a shitstorm in Congress's Democratic caucus and the world of GLBT activism.

As originally written, the bill would have made it "illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote an employee simply based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity." More details are here.

It's a tremendous piece of legislation, and when it passes (as it will someday; the only question is when), homosexuals and transsexuals will be protected at the federal level, just as minorities and the disabled are already.

It was being shepherded through Congress by Barney Frank, who, a few weeks ago (and with the approval of Speaker Pelosi), dropped the "gender identity" provisions of the bill, saying ENDA didn't have the votes to pass if that were included.

Dozens of activist groups, mostly GLB and only a handful T, reacted with strong disapproval of a version of ENDA that did not protect gender identity as well as sexual orientation. The backlash to the change in language was so strong that Pelosi and Frank agreed to delay introduction of the bill for two weeks.
much more below the fold )

July 2010

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