Tuesday, September 01, 2009

ENDA: Liberals' Hope to Regenerate Base

With polls showing President Obama's approval dropping among all Americans, and a liberal mutiny over the jettison of single-payer health care, Democrats turn to pro-homosexual legislation being led by Rep. Barney Frank and his transgender staffer.

Photo: Female-to-male transsexual, Diego Sanchez, senior congressional staff

-- From "New impetus for bill banning anti-gay bias at work" by David Crary, Associated Press 8/27/09

Momentum is building for Congress to pass the first major civil rights act protecting gays and transsexuals, supporters say, and one of the stars in the debate is a barrier-breaking transgender staffer on Capitol Hill.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, would prohibit workplace discrimination — including decisions about hiring, firing and wages — based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It would exempt religious organizations, the military and businesses with less than 15 workers. [The religious exemption is purposely very narrow; click here to read details.]

[Unlike the failure of ENDA in 2007] This time around, several factors have changed:

* Barack Obama is now president, and is on record supporting ENDA. A veto was considered possible if the 2007 bill had reached then-President George W. Bush.

* The bill has picked up key support in the Senate, where it was introduced earlier this month by Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley and Maine Republicans Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe. Even without other GOP senators, Merkley believes it has a good chance of obtaining the 60 votes that likely will be needed to pass the Senate.

The main Senate champion of ENDA in the past had been Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, who died [recently]. That role was passed on to Merkley earlier this year.To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.