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October 1, 2007

Transgender Protection Removed from ENDA

As predicted by William Turner's previous blog on the ENDA, transgender protections have been removed from the Act by the House of Representatives.  This is a strange move, given that trangendered individuals are still included in the Hate Crimes Act, which was passed by the Senate last week.  See  San Francisco Chronicle Article from 9/28/07. 

Regarding the change, Barney Frank, D.-Mass. said:

"Simply protecting, or trying to protect someone against assault is very different from saying you have to hire the person and let them live here and sleep here, etc., etc." Frank said. "Obviously, we didn't think that was persuasive." --San Francisco Chronicle.

It is not "persuasive" to state that transgendered individuals have a right to work free from harassment and discrimination?   According to Frank, they only have a right to live in an environment that is "hate crime" free.   But, arguably, the right to work free from discrimination is even more important.  Without a job, an individual has nowhere to live, cannot afford to eat, etc.

How can you reconcile passing a bill to protect an entire group of individuals from hate induced crimes and a failure to protect the same group from discrimination at work in a subsequent bill (hate manifested in a different manner)?


October 1, 2007 in Employment Discrimination, Sara R. Benson | Permalink


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As a Massachusetts voter & member of the gay community, I am embarassed by Rep. Frank's comment. Of course transgender inclusion in ENDA is persuasive -- for exactly the reasons you say. You'd think that a gay politician of all people would understand that.

Posted by: EBuz | Oct 1, 2007 1:43:48 PM

Progress comes piece meal. Voting rights for example. First only landowning men. Then all white men. Then (officially any way) black men. Then women. Then, for real, people of color. I would imagine that the people working to derail enda because of transgender exclusion would have worked to blacks the right to vote because women were not included.

Politics is the art of the possible. Grow up people.

Posted by: syvanen | Oct 10, 2007 5:23:29 PM

Barney Frank fails to grasp the reality that to be denied empoloyment is to place someone at a distinct economic disadvantage. Since insurance is tied to employment this creates another disadvantage for transpeople.

Mr. Frank holds the position that gay and lesbians deserve greater protections than transpeople deserve. Mr. Frank's position gives gay, lesbian and heterosexual people an economic and medical advantage over transpeople.

The idea that transpeople should be protected from hate crimes, while being denied the fundamental right-to-work is a policy based on prejudice rather than rationality or fairness.

Posted by: Roxie | Oct 22, 2007 6:42:39 AM

Frank, like so many gay men, is transphobic. These people are so eager for their special rights that they don't care who they lie to or step on, just so long as they get theirs.

Their hypocrisy and lies will catch up to them. Already has with the junior Democrats who voted against SPLENDA. They know that gay rights are special rights, and that TLGB rights are just and necessary.

Silly fags, rights are for everyone!

Posted by: Lyssa | Oct 29, 2007 8:19:49 PM

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