This weekend, there are new developments in the fight on Capitol Hill over how to proceed with the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Late Friday afternoon, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi met with representatives of several gay groups and vowed to send the stripped down version of bill—without protections for transsexuals or gender identity—to a committee vote next week and a House floor vote to follow. The Speaker vows the original, trans-"inclusive" bill, H.R. 2015, will be presented when there are sufficient votes for passage.
The meeting with Pelosi and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)—the bill's chief sponsor and one of two openly gay members in Congress—and several organizations apparently has not healed the wounds of the last two weeks after. This after Frank removed the protections for transsexuals from the original bill, saying it was the only way to get any portion of the bill passed.
Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, which has not joined the many other national and state LGBT groups to oppose the bill, "pledged to continue the group's 'ramped up' efforts to secure congressional support for employment protections that include the transgender community."
However, the Pelosi "bargain" drew the immediate ire of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, which has launched a nationwide campaign to pass the orignal, trans "inclusive" bill. "We completely disagree with this proposed strategy—it simply makes no sense," says executive director Matt Foreman. "If the goal is moving an ENDA that protects all of us, passing a flawed, gay-only bill utterly undermines that objective."
Much more analysis at Pam's House Blend, including some valuable comments from the trans community. "Depending on your perspective you'll see this news as the glass half full or half empty," Pam Spaulding notes, adding that advocates both for and against the trans inclusion did not lay the groundwork for either side of the issue. "None of the advocacy groups [seemed] prepared to deal with the level of educational foundation that needed to be laid for politicians to advocate for the original ENDA."
More Nancy Pelosi HERE.