Christopher Pratt (cpratt) wrote,
Christopher Pratt
cpratt

Update from Lambda Legal

In his latest rant, Dale Carpenter writes that "The relevant choice, if Barney Frank is right about the temperature of Congress on this issue, is not between a limited ENDA and a comprehensive ENDA. It's a choice between a limited ENDA and no ENDA." Simply put, this assertion is false.

Congressman Frank clearly has stated that he does not think that President Bush will sign even a "sexual orientation only" version of ENDA. Congressman Frank likewise has not asserted that there are the 60 votes in the Senate that would be necessary to defeat a cloture vote. As a result, this absolutely is NOT "a choice between a limited ENDA and no ENDA." Indeed, even Congressman Frank does not say we will have a limited ENDA this year. What instead is being demanded by those like Dale Carpenter is that people give in to efforts to obtain a symbolic statement by a majority of the House of Representatives that they support banning employment discrimination based on sexual orientation at the cost -- and we believe it is a huge and unacceptable cost -- of a House majority making the equally symbolic statement that they do not care about transgender and gender-nonconforming people, at least with respect to them keeping their jobs.

Dale Carpenter errs in suggesting that the fly-over gays are being sold down the river. Instead, we are witnessing a twisted version of the Boston Tea Party, with some blogmeisters, pundits and law professors all too willing to help throw the "T" overboard when the T is Transgender people. Moreover, even were a "sexual orientation only" bill to pass the House, there would be no paddle for those stuck up the river in states without protective statutes. Any bill that has not been enacted into law provides no protection at all -- to anyone.

While Congressman Frank has argued that we need the momentum of a bill that at least has passed the House, the lawyers who actually represent LGBT people in the courts are worried that the momentum that will be there will be for a law that does not protect transgender people and that inadequately protects lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals.

And you can quote me.

============================================

Jon W. Davidson
Legal Director
Lambda Legal
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