Homosexual Activists Hopeful That New Congress Will Pass ENDA & Hate Crime, Repeal Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell

Excerpted from Liberals Aim to Push Ideas Through Congress, published Nov 16, 2006, by Associated Press:

…The president of the largest national gay-rights group, Joe Solmonese of the Human Rights Campaign, said he has high hopes for two long-pending proposals that failed to get through the GOP-controlled Congress. One would outlaw employment discrimination [ENDA] against gays, lesbians and transgender people; another would include them among the groups protected in federal hate-crimes legislation.

Gay activists also would like to see Congress repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that prohibits gay members of the military from being open about their sexual orientation – but a push for this may come somewhere down the road.

“Everyone remembers the fight President Clinton had when he made this his first major political issue in 1993,” said Aaron Belkin, director of a University of California, Santa Barbara think tank that studies gays and the military.

“While opinion on letting gays serve has moved leaps and bounds since then, the new Democratic Congress is not likely to come out strongly on this one from the get-go,” Belkin said.

Solmonese indicated that leading gay-rights groups will be patient with the new Democratic leadership, not pushing to have their issues be at the very top of the 2007 agenda.

“What we’ve got is a new and respectful Congress that’s open to our community, to learning the specifics of our issues,” he said. “To stress right now – ‘This is what we want and this is when we want it’ – would be premature.”

Continue reading at MSN…

This article was posted on Monday, November 20th, 2006 at 12:04 pm and is filed under HRC, Military, News, Pending Legislation. You can follow any updates to this article through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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