Homosexual-Transgender Alliance Tested as ‘Trans’-Inclusive ENDA Falters on Capitol Hill

“There are workplace situations — communal showers, for example — when the demands of the transgender community fly in the face of conventional norms and therefore would not pass in any Congress. I’ve talked with transgender activists and what they want — and what we will be forced to defend — is for people with penises who identify as women to be able to shower with other women.” –– Homosexual Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.), back when he opposed including “transgenders” in the Employment NonDiscrimination Act (ENDA). Frank later relented but since has signed on to a watered-down version of ENDA (H.R. 3685) that dropped the “trans” language.

The “gay” activist movement’s partnership with the “transgender” cause is costing it votes for the expansive version of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), H.R. 2015, on Capitol Hill, so a new version of the bill (H.R. 3685) was floated that throws out the “gender equity” provisions. (H.S. 3685 also simplifies the bill’s religious exemption.) Now that version is being rejected by major homosexual and transsexual groups, led by the Human Rights Campaign (see letter below).

Over the years, homosexual activists including Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) (see quote above) have chafed at their alliance with a transsexual movement — knowing that it only makes their cause look even more radical to the general public. Yet the two movements have been intertwined and their partnership, as symbolized by the “GLBT” acronym (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender), has only strengthened in recent years. 

Transgender activists lobbied HRC to back a “trans”-positive ENDA and the leading homsoexual lobby organization eventually embraced it.

For the moment, the leading pro-homosexual groups are sticking with the  “transgenders,” but word on the Hill is that ENDA’s “trans” language — which AFTAH, CWA and other conservative groups have highlighted (we called ENDA the “Transgender Bathrooms for Business Bill”) — has cost H.R. 2015 key support, including among moderate Democrats.

The following letter (emphasis added) was sent yesterday by the liberal coalition Leadership Conference to Rep. George Miller (D-Cal.), Chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor. Miller’s committee was scheduled to consider the watered-down ENDA (H.R. 3685) this morning until the hearing was cancelled following the “gay”-led coalition effort against it. — Peter LaBarbera

Leadership Conference on Civil Rights

1629 K Street, NW
10th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20006
Phone: 202-466-3311
Fax: 202-466-3435
http://www.civilrights.org/

October 1, 2007

The Honorable George Miller, Chairman
Committee on Education and Labor
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Miller:

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we write to express our opposition to the strategy and process by which the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (HR 3685) is to be considered in the House of Representatives. We ask that the markup in the House Education and Labor Committee, scheduled for less than 24 hours from now, be canceled.

For many years, we have worked to develop an employment non-discrimination bill that protects the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Our organizations support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act as introduced (H.R. 2015).

Although we believe that the bill’s sponsor, Congressman Barney Frank (D-MA), and the House Democratic Leadership have a sincere desire to protect the LGBT community from
discrimination, we believe the process and strategy that has been adopted is a mistake. That mistake is compounded by moving forward with a markup tomorrow.

If you have any questions or need further information, please contact Nancy Zirkin, LCCR Vice President, at (202) 263-2880 or Rob Randhava, LCCR Counsel, at (202) 466-6058.

Sincerely,

American Civil Liberties Union
American Friends Service Committee
Gender Public Advocacy Coalition
Human Rights Campaign
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
Legal Momentum
National Association of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Centers
National Center for Lesbian Rights
National Center for Transgender Equality
National Council of Jewish Women
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG National)
People For the American Way
Pride At Work, AFL-CIO
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
GLSEN – the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network
United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society
The Woodhull Freedom Foundation
Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker
Representative Barney Frank
Representative Tammy Baldwin


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