Friday, September 28, 2007

De ja vu - No Trans Protection in ENDA

Yahoo news and others report that Democratic members in the House of Representatives are trying to remove language from ENDA that would protect trans people from employment discrimination, because they say Republicans will use it as an excuse to vote agasint the bill. De ja vu.

Many trans folk are still nursing a grudge against HRC from the last time ENDA was up for a vote, and HRC actually encouraged congresspeople to remove the trans-inclusive language, to make it more likely to pass. Didn't work then. Now HRC has apparently changed its tune, but several of the more progressive (on some issues) congresspeople are about to pull the same old shit.

For those of you who like parallels, this is a "we'll come back for you" moment. Kind of like middle-class white feminists saying, "First we'll get job equality for us, and then we'll work on access for poor women and women of Color." It's a strategy that centralizes the needs of those whose needs are least dire (like these guys who are all about "forging a gay mainstream"), damages coalition, and divides community.

Trans people face legal job discrimination in most of the U.S., and even where it's not legal, it happens all the time. One study reported a 60% unemployment rate. It's not a typo. More than half of trans people in that study could not find legal employment. The rhetoric against ENDA often does focus on trans people, and makes untrue claims about the bill such that it would force everyone to use gender-neutral restrooms.

Below is a message from MTPC listing Barney Frank's number (he introduced the bill this time around). I hope some of you will call calmly explain to the good gay representative why this is a fcked up idea.

FROM MTPC:
This is important, please respond today

Hello everyone

It is vital that everyone call Barney Frank's office and let him know
that dropping transgender people from the bill is unacceptable.
Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) H.R. 2015.
(202) 225-5931.

Please ask friends and family to do the same... if we are dropped on a
public way this may affect our own bill here [in MA].

Please call and tell them your name and that you are a member of Mass
Transgender Political Coalition and that transgender people are fired
for coming out.

-- Gunner

Find out how you can support HB 1722 -
"An Act Relative to Gender-Based Discrimination and Hate Crimes"
visit www.masstpc.org
Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition

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