Judy Shepard: Back Up HRC On Press “Misinformation” About Leaving Transgender Behind!
April 22, 2008
uh-oh.
May 5, 2008

Starting From Scratch:The Death of United ENDA Part II

In March I said:

“Essentially it’s business as usual for HRC. Nothing has substantially changed in their lobbying efforts. They’ve had no “’rehabilitative”’ moment or change of heart. If you take Keisling’s words to heart, the only other conclusion that seems logical is that United ENDA is dead.”

Recently Matt Foreman said:

” ‘Congress is a creature of history,’ Foreman said. ‘If lightning strikes and it passes the Senate, it will more than likely be the broken ENDA that is introduced next year because it will have passed both houses. That was the tragedy of the broken ENDA passing the House in the first place.’

Even if the Frank version of ENDA does not go into 2009 with the wind at its back, Foreman is not 100 percent confident that the situation can be righted. Asked whether HRC and the 300-plus dissident groups have come to a meeting of the minds, he said flatly, ‘No. Not that I’m aware of.’‘ ”

If you take these words to heart, the future for a fully inclusive LGBT Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is bleak. With that in mind, some really tough questions need to be asked and debated. Will organizations like the Equality Federation, National Black Justice Coalition, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, National Stonewall Democrats, BiNet USA, COLAGE, DignityUSA, Freedom to Marry, Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, GLSEN, Lambda Legal, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, Pride At Work, Empire State Pride Agenda, Equal Rights Colorado, Equal Rights Washington, Equality Advocates Pennsylvania, Equality Alabama, Equality Arizona, Equality California, Equality Florida, Equality Illinois, Equality Maine, Equality Maryland, Equality New Mexico, Equality North Carolina, Equality Ohio, Equality South Dakota, Equality Texas, Equality Utah, Equality Virginia, Fair Wisconsin, Indiana Equality, Indiana Fairness Alliance, Michigan Equality, Triangle Foundation, or Wyoming Equality stand AGAINST a bill that will surely pass both houses and be signed by the president? Should they be expected to?

The fight for an inclusive ENDA in October and November of 2007 had a lot of support in the community because most people realized that this the bill would never make it to the president’s desk. Will these organizations stand firm in their commitment, even though gays and lesbians will be denied protections? Will gays and lesbian communities support opposing workplace protections until gender identity is included?

I ask these questions because I see on the horizon a brewing battle that could look something like Sherman’s scorched earth policy during the Civil War. There is a potential for the coming storm to rip through the community and cause irreparable damage. I hope that this is talked about long before it happens (unlike the removal of gender identity from ENDA).

For myself, I plan on moving towards allies that are more focused on gender equality and away from GLB organizations. I’ll still fight for marriage equality with these organizations (and as a member of some of them), but I believe that our most natural allies lie more with social justice organizations who are fighting for gender equality.

Many people in the transgender community are making great strides in political and business circles. With the death of an inclusive ENDA (and with it United ENDA), it would be perfect time to retool, reevaluate, and refocus our direction and our movement.

  • Pingback: Top Secret: The Transgender Workplace Discrimination Hearings()

  • Marti Abernathey

    [quote comment=””]to each respectively:

    1 – The problem is that we are not large enough a group to defeat it. Even were we unified around this one goal, in all the transglory possible there wouldn’t be enough.

    Like you, I was furious. Even now, if something awful were to happen to frank, I would likely cheer. I called on the Board of Directors to fire solomonese and resign themselves.

    I knew when I did so, they wouldn’t. Simply put, they don’t give a rats ass about us. And they have the political clout. They went against every other organization out there. And shrugged it off.

    You think if all those organizations demonstrating the idiocy of their actions didn’t change their mind, that a tiny fraction of *maybe* 5% could?

    I certainly don’t. And they’ve buckled since.

    2 – Yes, we do need them.

    We need them to stay the hell out of our way. We need them to see that we can do things by ourselves for our trans brothers and sisters who are gay that they’ve opted to just toss aside because of their discomfort, ignorance, and bigotry.

    We need them to remind us that to many out there, we are worthless, and without any value — better off in the alleys and gutters. Because that’s what their actions tell us they believe, regardless of the horsehockey falling from their lips.

    We need them to keep using us as the convenient throw away they *need* to make their deals, because as we move forward, we will take that away from them. tiny bis and we will be fighting them each moment, but we will get it, because, in the end, they have become what they fought: purveyors of bigotry through action and inaction.

    We need them to show the young ones, on the street and the others invested in substance abuse that as they come clean, there is more out there to battle.

    We need them to point to and say “hey, I only hire transfolk now, because you never worked hard enough, and you can’t do anything about it because we cover *everything* and you only thought a little bit was important”.

    And when our companies, which we build with out sweat and blood, take the time to donate, we will need them to see we give to anyone but them.

    But hey, I’m just one pissed off transgal. And I need them to remind me that Im no longer going to be involved in LGB politics until they really start to include the T.[/quote]

    I’m not a dreamer, I’m a realist. I never said we should go it alone. I only suggest that we advocate with someone that’s a better match. Those groups that fight for gender equality aren’t tiny. Women make up more than half the US… and their quest for equality is much more suited to ours.

  • Marti Abernathey

    [quote comment=””]to each respectively:

    1 – The problem is that we are not large enough a group to defeat it. Even were we unified around this one goal, in all the transglory possible there wouldn’t be enough.

    Like you, I was furious. Even now, if something awful were to happen to frank, I would likely cheer. I called on the Board of Directors to fire solomonese and resign themselves.

    I knew when I did so, they wouldn’t. Simply put, they don’t give a rats ass about us. And they have the political clout. They went against every other organization out there. And shrugged it off.

    You think if all those organizations demonstrating the idiocy of their actions didn’t change their mind, that a tiny fraction of *maybe* 5% could?

    I certainly don’t. And they’ve buckled since.

    2 – Yes, we do need them.

    We need them to stay the hell out of our way. We need them to see that we can do things by ourselves for our trans brothers and sisters who are gay that they’ve opted to just toss aside because of their discomfort, ignorance, and bigotry.

    We need them to remind us that to many out there, we are worthless, and without any value — better off in the alleys and gutters. Because that’s what their actions tell us they believe, regardless of the horsehockey falling from their lips.

    We need them to keep using us as the convenient throw away they *need* to make their deals, because as we move forward, we will take that away from them. tiny bis and we will be fighting them each moment, but we will get it, because, in the end, they have become what they fought: purveyors of bigotry through action and inaction.

    We need them to show the young ones, on the street and the others invested in substance abuse that as they come clean, there is more out there to battle.

    We need them to point to and say “hey, I only hire transfolk now, because you never worked hard enough, and you can’t do anything about it because we cover *everything* and you only thought a little bit was important”.

    And when our companies, which we build with out sweat and blood, take the time to donate, we will need them to see we give to anyone but them.

    But hey, I’m just one pissed off transgal. And I need them to remind me that Im no longer going to be involved in LGB politics until they really start to include the T.[/quote]

    I’m not a dreamer, I’m a realist. I never said we should go it alone. I only suggest that we advocate with someone that’s a better match. Those groups that fight for gender equality aren’t tiny. Women make up more than half the US… and their quest for equality is much more suited to ours.

  • to each respectively:

    1 – The problem is that we are not large enough a group to defeat it. Even were we unified around this one goal, in all the transglory possible there wouldn’t be enough.

    Like you, I was furious. Even now, if something awful were to happen to frank, I would likely cheer. I called on the Board of Directors to fire solomonese and resign themselves.

    I knew when I did so, they wouldn’t. Simply put, they don’t give a rats ass about us. And they have the political clout. They went against every other organization out there. And shrugged it off.

    You think if all those organizations demonstrating the idiocy of their actions didn’t change their mind, that a tiny fraction of *maybe* 5% could?

    I certainly don’t. And they’ve buckled since.

    2 – Yes, we do need them.

    We need them to stay the hell out of our way. We need them to see that we can do things by ourselves for our trans brothers and sisters who are gay that they’ve opted to just toss aside because of their discomfort, ignorance, and bigotry.

    We need them to remind us that to many out there, we are worthless, and without any value — better off in the alleys and gutters. Because that’s what their actions tell us they believe, regardless of the horsehockey falling from their lips.

    We need them to keep using us as the convenient throw away they *need* to make their deals, because as we move forward, we will take that away from them. tiny bis and we will be fighting them each moment, but we will get it, because, in the end, they have become what they fought: purveyors of bigotry through action and inaction.

    We need them to show the young ones, on the street and the others invested in substance abuse that as they come clean, there is more out there to battle.

    We need them to point to and say “hey, I only hire transfolk now, because you never worked hard enough, and you can’t do anything about it because we cover *everything* and you only thought a little bit was important”.

    And when our companies, which we build with out sweat and blood, take the time to donate, we will need them to see we give to anyone but them.

    But hey, I’m just one pissed off transgal. And I need them to remind me that Im no longer going to be involved in LGB politics until they really start to include the T.

  • to each respectively:

    1 – The problem is that we are not large enough a group to defeat it. Even were we unified around this one goal, in all the transglory possible there wouldn’t be enough.

    Like you, I was furious. Even now, if something awful were to happen to frank, I would likely cheer. I called on the Board of Directors to fire solomonese and resign themselves.

    I knew when I did so, they wouldn’t. Simply put, they don’t give a rats ass about us. And they have the political clout. They went against every other organization out there. And shrugged it off.

    You think if all those organizations demonstrating the idiocy of their actions didn’t change their mind, that a tiny fraction of *maybe* 5% could?

    I certainly don’t. And they’ve buckled since.

    2 – Yes, we do need them.

    We need them to stay the hell out of our way. We need them to see that we can do things by ourselves for our trans brothers and sisters who are gay that they’ve opted to just toss aside because of their discomfort, ignorance, and bigotry.

    We need them to remind us that to many out there, we are worthless, and without any value — better off in the alleys and gutters. Because that’s what their actions tell us they believe, regardless of the horsehockey falling from their lips.

    We need them to keep using us as the convenient throw away they *need* to make their deals, because as we move forward, we will take that away from them. tiny bis and we will be fighting them each moment, but we will get it, because, in the end, they have become what they fought: purveyors of bigotry through action and inaction.

    We need them to show the young ones, on the street and the others invested in substance abuse that as they come clean, there is more out there to battle.

    We need them to point to and say “hey, I only hire transfolk now, because you never worked hard enough, and you can’t do anything about it because we cover *everything* and you only thought a little bit was important”.

    And when our companies, which we build with out sweat and blood, take the time to donate, we will need them to see we give to anyone but them.

    But hey, I’m just one pissed off transgal. And I need them to remind me that Im no longer going to be involved in LGB politics until they really start to include the T.

  • to each respectively:

    1 – The problem is that we are not large enough a group to defeat it. Even were we unified around this one goal, in all the transglory possible there wouldn’t be enough.

    Like you, I was furious. Even now, if something awful were to happen to frank, I would likely cheer. I called on the Board of Directors to fire solomonese and resign themselves.

    I knew when I did so, they wouldn’t. Simply put, they don’t give a rats ass about us. And they have the political clout. They went against every other organization out there. And shrugged it off.

    You think if all those organizations demonstrating the idiocy of their actions didn’t change their mind, that a tiny fraction of *maybe* 5% could?

    I certainly don’t. And they’ve buckled since.

    2 – Yes, we do need them.

    We need them to stay the hell out of our way. We need them to see that we can do things by ourselves for our trans brothers and sisters who are gay that they’ve opted to just toss aside because of their discomfort, ignorance, and bigotry.

    We need them to remind us that to many out there, we are worthless, and without any value — better off in the alleys and gutters. Because that’s what their actions tell us they believe, regardless of the horsehockey falling from their lips.

    We need them to keep using us as the convenient throw away they *need* to make their deals, because as we move forward, we will take that away from them. tiny bis and we will be fighting them each moment, but we will get it, because, in the end, they have become what they fought: purveyors of bigotry through action and inaction.

    We need them to show the young ones, on the street and the others invested in substance abuse that as they come clean, there is more out there to battle.

    We need them to point to and say “hey, I only hire transfolk now, because you never worked hard enough, and you can’t do anything about it because we cover *everything* and you only thought a little bit was important”.

    And when our companies, which we build with out sweat and blood, take the time to donate, we will need them to see we give to anyone but them.

    But hey, I’m just one pissed off transgal. And I need them to remind me that Im no longer going to be involved in LGB politics until they really start to include the T.

  • Marti Abernathey

    See, that’s where we differ. I can’t deny my own son rights because I’m pissed of at HRC. The path you’re pointing to is scorched earth, and i won’t go down that road. There is nothing to gain and so much to lose. I have gay and lesbian friends that need workplace protections. I cannot and will not deny them that. It’s not all about me.

    My focus will be moving the bar. We don’t need HRC to obtain our rights.

  • Marti Abernathey

    See, that’s where we differ. I can’t deny my own son rights because I’m pissed of at HRC. The path you’re pointing to is scorched earth, and i won’t go down that road. There is nothing to gain and so much to lose. I have gay and lesbian friends that need workplace protections. I cannot and will not deny them that. It’s not all about me.

    My focus will be moving the bar. We don’t need HRC to obtain our rights.

  • Marti Abernathey

    See, that’s where we differ. I can’t deny my own son rights because I’m pissed of at HRC. The path you’re pointing to is scorched earth, and i won’t go down that road. There is nothing to gain and so much to lose. I have gay and lesbian friends that need workplace protections. I cannot and will not deny them that. It’s not all about me.

    My focus will be moving the bar. We don’t need HRC to obtain our rights.

  • I will fight for an inclusive ENDA. If it is not inclusive, I will fight for the defeat of the non-inclusive ENDA. Period. And I will continue to call out those who stood in our way. I owe nothing to anyone, and don’t care what the gay community or the bald-faced liar that runs HRC thinks of me or anyone else. Like it or not, if ENDA passes without T, no bill will pass with T inclusion for decades. Expect to stand and fight, or face the consequences of no Federal protection for decades to come.

    I refuse to bend or negotiate on this issue. The T community should be in ENDA all the way, or we should work to defeat it as a community. I would willingly give information and testimony to the GOP to help do so. I think Frank and HRC would be better served by having us under the umbrella, rather than having us acting as counterterrorists.

    If the gay community expects the T communtiy to work for gay marriage, which I would like to see pass, they’d better stand up for T rights. Otherwise, we have no reason to care. My marriage is legal.

  • I will fight for an inclusive ENDA. If it is not inclusive, I will fight for the defeat of the non-inclusive ENDA. Period. And I will continue to call out those who stood in our way. I owe nothing to anyone, and don’t care what the gay community or the bald-faced liar that runs HRC thinks of me or anyone else. Like it or not, if ENDA passes without T, no bill will pass with T inclusion for decades. Expect to stand and fight, or face the consequences of no Federal protection for decades to come.

    I refuse to bend or negotiate on this issue. The T community should be in ENDA all the way, or we should work to defeat it as a community. I would willingly give information and testimony to the GOP to help do so. I think Frank and HRC would be better served by having us under the umbrella, rather than having us acting as counterterrorists.

    If the gay community expects the T communtiy to work for gay marriage, which I would like to see pass, they’d better stand up for T rights. Otherwise, we have no reason to care. My marriage is legal.