Roll Call vote on ENDA 11/07/07
House passes historic ENDA vote 11/07/07
Basile: The long road to equality 11/02/07
Rosendall: Red October 10/25/07
Carpenter: Bush to veto ENDA? 10/23/07
ENDAgate (Rosendall, Metro Weekly) 10/18/07
Barney Frank on ENDA 10/09/07
Rep. Barney Frank on ENDA 09/28/07
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Fighting for Equal Rights Since 1971
P. O. Box 75265
Washington, D.C. 20013
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
GLAA Celebrates House Passage of ENDA
Washington, DC— The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C. (GLAA) celebrated passage today by the U.S. House of Representatives of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2007, H.R. 3685, by a vote of 235 to 184. GLAA, which endorsed the bill on October 21, congratulates Rep. Barney Frank, who introduced and successfully pushed for this version of the legislation. GLAA also thanks all members of Congress who voted for the bill, including the 35 Republicans who made the victory a bipartisan one.
While the bill did not include a gender identity clause because there were insufficient votes for such a provision, the House passage of H.R. 3685 represents an historic victory that sets the stage for further victories. GLAA supports continued advocacy and educational efforts on behalf of protections for transgender citizens, while maintaining that the best course is the tried-and-true incremental approach of pushing for the best achievable bill and continuing to work toward the goal of full equality for all—not rejecting out of hand anything that falls short of perfection.
GLAA commends and thanks the civil rights groups that signed a letter this week endorsing H.R. 3685, including the Human Rights Campaign, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the National Education Association, the National Employment Lawyers Association, the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and the American Federation of State, County, Municipal Employees. As the joint letter stated:
“As civil rights organizations ... we are no strangers to painful compromise in the quest for equal protection of the law for all Americans. From the Civil Rights Act of 1957 through the almost-passed District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2007, legislative progress in the area of civil and human rights has almost always been incremental in nature. With each significant step toward progress, the civil rights community has also faced difficult and sometimes even agonizing tradeoffs. We have always recognized, however, that each legislative breakthrough has paved the way for additional progress in the future.
“With respect to ENDA, we take the same view.”
GLAA agrees with H. Alexander Robinson, Chief Executive Officer of the National Black Justice Coalition, who said, “We applaud the efforts of LCCR, the NAACP and Members of Congress who worked diligently to pass the most inclusive bill possible and we look forward to working with them and our lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender colleagues to achieve our goal of federal civil rights protection for all LGBT Americans.”
As GLAA President Barrett L. Brick said on October 21 in announcing GLAA’s support for H.R. 3685, “No legislation is perfect. No single bill’s passage ends our work of advocacy for full equality. We will not abandon our transgender sisters and brothers, and we object to those who claim that differences over strategy are signs of bigotry or moral failing. We believe that it is irresponsible and counterproductive not to take ‘yes’ for an answer from a House of Representatives about to pass a long-awaited gay-rights bill.”
GLAA also thanks its colleagues and allies in the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club for their October 16 message to D.C. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton urging her “to work with your colleagues in the House of Representatives to strive for the best possible legislation.” That is what the House of Representatives has just done. Our work toward equality now continues.
The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC, is a local, all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit political organization, founded in 1971. GLAA is the nation’s oldest continuously active organization fighting for the civil rights of gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgenders. More information is available at http://www.glaa.org.