HRC Refuses To Sign Letter Demanding Trans-Inclusive ENDA
Reflecting the disunity I spoke of in the post below, 12 LGBT rights groups have signed onto a letter decrying the removal of transgenders from ENDA, including the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF), the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Empire State Pride Agenda, Lambda Legal, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, P-FLAG, the National Stonewall Democrats, and Pride At Work, AFL-CIO.
However, the Human Rights Campaign did not sign. HRC spokespeople told the Advocate that they were "deeply disappointed" in the change to the legislation and "did not assent to this position." Then why did they NOT sign?
More from Gay City News:
Matt Foreman, NGLTF's executive director, issued a written statement saying, "It is politically inexplicable and unconscionable that some congressional leaders are rushing to strip protections for transgender people from ENDA - just as the Senate votes overwhelmingly to pass transgender-inclusive hate crimes legislation."Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) has asked to have her named stripped from the new legislation authored by Barney Frank.
Foreman argued that "if the question is shoring up support for the bill as it stands," leaders on Capitol Hill should slow down the process to allow for the education of wavering members of Congress.
Roberta Sklar, an NGLTF spokeswoman, said the number of votes that would need to be turned around is "not that many." The Task Force, she said, would be part of a follow-up letter issued this coming Monday signed by a significantly larger group of organizations than the 12 that stepped up on Thursday.
HRC has not to date been part of that effort, Sklar said. HRC did not return a phone call seeking comment, and neither Frank's office nor Miller's offered any insight into what they had been hearing from HRC about the new version of the bill.
Melissa Sklarz, the director of the New York City chapter of the state Transgender Rights Organization (NYTRO), was harsh in her assessment of the role of both Frank and HRC in this legislative development.
"Barney Frank does not speak for LGBT community at this point," she said in an interview. "Barney Frank speaks for Barney Frank."
Sklarz, who is also on the board of the National Stonewall Democrats, added, "HRC was and is a profound disappointment on this."
And here we go.