"It's (ENDA) a disaster for Christian bookstores!" - Rep. Souder, Indiana
"I share the concern that this legislation does not protect transgender people. They are particularly subject to workplace discrimination. My home state of California is one of a dozen states that already protects people based on gender identity. We recognize that they like all people deserve protection. This bill is not perfect. " - Rep. Woolsley, California
"This legislation would undermine the institution of marriage which determines the strength of our entire society. It has the potential to impact the importance of families in our culture." - Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio
"The private sector is way ahead of the federal law. It makes financial sense. The fundamental American right to earn a living should be a principle everyone in this chamber regardless of ideology should embrace." Republican, Deborah Pryce, Ohio
"It will serve as a way for trial lawyers to make a quick buck. I am standing for the principle of religious freedom and non discrimination. Vote no." Walberg, Michigan
"Having spent all of my professional life fighting to eradicate discrimination... and based on my study and understanding of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ I cannot condone discrimination based on sexual orientation." Sanford Bishop, Georgia
"We can expect more litigation against the Boy Scouts!" Gohmert, Texas
"I urge you to protect traditional marriage!" Unknown
"If this bill passes, can your coworkers display bible passages in your cubicle? There's no reason to create a new protected class." Blunt, Missouri
"I don't condone discrimination against any people whatsoever. The problem is that by extending the reach of federal law...in effect can wage war on the exercise of free religion. It sets up a conflict between right to religious freedom in workplace, and a person's newly created right to sue you. If an employee keeps a bible at their cubicle... it could be claimed by a homosexual that it creates a hostile work environment. " Pence, Indiana
"Passing ENDA affirms traditional values of tolerance, freedom... traditional values is what this ENDA bill is all about. It has nothing to do with marriage. Ellison, Minnesota
"Perceived gayness is when people claim to have some sort of gaydar! It means people like me with a deep voice might be perceived as being gay." Gween Moore
"Transgender Americans face the most discrimination. I urge you to support the original inclusive legislation." Davis, California
The Human Rights Campaign and a few other groups have signed a letter to affirmatively support the non-inclusive version of ENDA. The vote is expected to be tomorrow.
United ENDA remains committed to fighting for the Baldwin Amendment, and one ENDA.
Unfortunately the idea that gender and identity were important protections for all people was lost in the lingo that both United ENDA and HRC have used throughout. Most gay media reports on ENDA frame it has the gays and lesbians verses the transgenders/transsexuals, completely missing the point.
I believe that had HRC loudly and clearly explained the importance of these protections for everyone from day one, things might be a little different.
HRC's president called the move "pragmatic," and emphasized the support of the HRC board. He forgot to mention that their one trans board member resigned over this issue a few weeks ago.
HRC's previous president, Cheryl Jacques, had this today at campuspride.org:
"As you may know, I served for over a decade as a State Senator in Massachusetts. There are two schools of thought when it comes to passing legislation, work incrementally to get the kinds of protections or laws that you want passed - or push for the full law you want to see enacted. In my experience, incrementalism is sometimes expedient but it almost always creates a less than perfect result. Even in Massachusetts, where there is a non-discrimination law - it only protects sexual orientation. At the time it was passed, advocates said we would go back later and deal with gender identity and expression - but it was never done. And the political reality of ENDA today is that even if the were to pass a non-inclusive bill through both branches of Congress the President has said he will veto the bill and we don't have enough votes to override that veto. So - we will leave behind an important part of our community; create incredible heartache and ill will - all for a shallow political gain."