I must admit that I was a little teary eyed when I posted about ENDA passing the U. S. House of Representatives last night. Nearly no week goes by when I do not get an inquiry from someone who has been fired or fears being fired in Virginia due to their sexual orientation. Job discrimination and Don't Ask, Don't Tell are all part of the Far Right's agenda to keep LGBT individuals stigmatized and marginalized. This type of legalized discrimination certainly has helped hurt me in my divorce case. I greatly believe that had I left the marriage for another women, my treatment would be FAR different. Instead, I am faced with an atmosphere where the "faggot" should be punished - because the law says they are not equal.
I believe that it is because of the impact that equal employment protection will in time have on the public mindset towards gays that has motivated the Christianist and GOP opposition. Once it is no longer legally possible to discriminate against gays, a gradual change in overall attitude will follow. Our enemies know this. Hence the hysteria to stop ENDA. I like this comment that Andrew Sullivan noted on his blog which sums it up (http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2007/11/enda-passes-the.html):
The Republicans - exempting 35 of them - did their best to link employment non-discrimination to marriage rights, expressing their usual spite toward those gay couples who have dared to commit to one another in law and love, by a legislative distraction. But they failed in the end. And most of us are used to the abuse by now. We do not need their affirmation to love one another. But some do still need some framework of protection in order to work without fear - especially in those states where gay couples have been targeted as public threats to the family.
It is truly sad when citizens find themselves "used to abuse" in a society that claims to stand for freedom and equality.