October 11th, 2007


More ENDA ramblings

Last week, I posted a not-particularly-interesting post (one in an infinite series) in which (in comments) I lamely argued with sailingcub, a FTM transsexual living in Massachusetts, a state where same sex marriage is legal and GLBT people have legal protections in place. The point I was trying to make was that a limited ENDA would still have real protections for GLB folk, especially those of us in flyover country; his point was that it could not possibly have any protections because it didn't cover gender identity (see comments for details).

Sadly, the argument devolved to the level of a Vicky Pollard-esque "yes, but no, but yes, but no" so I gave up.

Today, I was delighted to read an article by Dale Carpenter, a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School, who teaches courses such as Sexual Orientation and the Law. It's a syndicated column, so I can't republish it here, but here's a brief snippet:

The opposition to ENDA is coming mostly from a cadre of articulate, politically aware, and protected gay activists living in cocoons on the coasts and in large cities. They are imposing gender and queer theory on the lives of millions of gay Americans throughout the South, Midwest, and West.

I couldn't agree more. I think there's a real disconnect between what's taught in progressive universities (my alma mater being among them, home of Judith Butler et al) and the way life really is for folks living in rural communities. I'm disappointed at the knee-jerk reaction of many in the GLBT community who are demanding no ENDA at all rather than an ENDA that "only" covers the vast majority of "us" - I understand it's got to be frustrating as a transsexual that there aren't enough votes to pass a fully inclusive ENDA, but I am disappointed that they're using highfalutin' queer and gender theory to argue that the ENDA Barney Frank et al have been trying to pass for 30 years could simply not possibly be of any use to any GLB person anywhere because it doesn't cover gender identity.