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That pesky ENDA bill

That pesky ENDA bill

(Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)


While everybody with a gay website (that’s just two of a ton of them) is busy lauding Barney Frank’s decision to reintroduce ENDA, maybe they ought to take a quick second to realize that he actually didn’t:

Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) announced on Wednesday that he’s prepared to unveil the Employment Non-Discrimination Act for the 112th Congress but is still in the process of obtaining additional co-sponsors before formally introducing the bill.

During a news conference on Capitol Hill, Frank said the upcoming introduction of ENDA would help educate lawmakers and the public about the bill as he continued to express skepticism that it would advance with Republicans in control of the House.

“This is a chance to continue — not begin, but continue — a lobbying effort that I am convinced will be successful, frankly, next time the Democrats take back the House of Representatives,” Frank said.

As it was introduced in the 111th Congress, ENDA would bar job discrimination against LGBT people in most situations in the public and private workforce. According to Frank’s office, job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is legal in 29 states and legal in 38 states on the basis of gender identity.

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), a planned original co-sponsor of ENDA, called for continued lobbying and education on ENDA for at least two years under GOP control to ensure its passage in later years.

So, good ol’ Barney is looking for more sponsors BEFORE he introduces a bill that has no chance of passing so long as there is a Republican majority.  Once again he’s jumped the gun, and forgotten to look for supporters, but what the hell:  let’s introduce it under the guise of “we need to educate people“, right?  Yeah, let’s spend what little political capital we have left on that, educating people about a bill they already know they don’t want to get behind.  And why won’t it go anywhere?

**-The gay community, and it’s 35 gay rights groups can’t get their heads out of their asses and come up with a unified message of support on it.  DADT was easy, it had to go – period.

**-ENDA suffers from a serious case of bad PR.  Far too many legislators think that it’s nothing more than a transgendered rights bill, and there’s no intelligent person at the microphone telling them the real story (it’s not).  None of these gay rights groups have been smart enough to hire a professional lobbyist to push on ENDA until it start moving.

**-The last time the Republicans had the majority, they kept it for what?  12 years?  Just saying.

I almost hate myself for saying it (again, as I did 10 months ago – see related posts below) but ENDA is going to die fast and quiet unless it gets a serious revamping.  There is absolutely nothing in the tea leaves that says the Republicans are going to lose their majority hold anytime soon, so if you think that this PR attempt from Frank has any chance at all of succeeding I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Maybe next time, the uber-bloggers should take their heads out of each other’s RSS feed to post news that’s not only old, it’s inaccurate.




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