Some have perhaps thought me harsh for wanting an non-inclusive version of ENDA passed as opposed to no version at all. From my past political involvement, the reality is that you get what you can when you can and keep pushing for the long term goal This new poll being reported by The Advocate (http://www.advocate.com/news_detail_ektid50267.asp) would seem to indicate that I am hardly alone. I by no means want transgendered thrown under the bus, but some of the LGBT rights organizations would that have demanded an inclusive version or none at all apparently need to get better in touch with those they claim to speak for. Here are some story highlights:
According to a new poll, 70% of LGBT Americans prefer passing an Employment Non-Discrimination Act that does not cover transgender people over not passing the bill at all. The poll, commissioned by the Human Rights Campaign and conducted on October 26, surveyed 500 members of the LGBT community across the country.
HRC president Joe Solmonese said the poll numbers weren’t immediately obvious to him or the organization before they conducted the polling. There were so many people out there speaking so emphatically about where the entire community was that I thought maybe we should get a sense of it, and that’s why we did the poll,” he said. “So it was surprising to me, but I think it really speaks to the fact that there’s a big diverse community of GLBT Americans all across the country.”
The poll also asked people if they agreed that “national gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender organizations should oppose this proposal because it excludes transgender people.” Only about 20% of the people agreed with that statement. However, about 70% of people polled still believe that protections for transgender people should be included in the ENDA proposal, as they did in a poll conducted in 2004 -- but they also favor passing a noninclusive ENDA as a path to gaining those protections for transgender workers.
The version of ENDA sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank, which does not include job protections for transgender Americans, was voted out of the House of Representatives rules committee Monday night and is very likely to be voted on Wednesday. Rep. Tammy Baldwin may offer her amendment to add transgender protections to H.R. 3685. If she does, it will be debated but will likely pulled from the floor without a vote as soon as the debate ends.