Main | Wednesday, November 07, 2007

ENDA Reactions

Matt Foreman - National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
"We are deeply disappointed that House leadership decided to ignore the position of a vast majority of LGBT organizations, ignore the legal assessment that this bill may not even provide adequate protections for gays, lesbians and bisexuals, and ignore the fact that this vote might make it more difficult to persuade members of Congress to support a fully inclusive bill in the future. We are also disappointed that House leadership forced many members of its own caucus to choose between voting for a bill not supported by most in the LGBT community, or voting against a civil rights bill. This entire process has been painful, divisive and unnecessary. And worst of all, we went through all of this on behalf of a bill that the president has already said he would veto.


We are relieved this episode is behind us, and starting right now we are going to pick up where we were six weeks ago — namely, working to pass into law in 2009 the ENDA our entire community wants and deserves."
Joe Solmonese - Human Rights Campaign
"Today, we witnessed the making of civil rights history in the U.S. House of Representatives by the passing of ENDA. Our fight for equality will not be won overnight. It will be won one step at a time, and we will not give up until we reach the finish line. This is a critical piece of legislation and a major step toward the finish line for all Americans."
Mara Keisling - National Center For Transgender Equality
"The staff and board of the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE) are deeply disappointed by today's action in the U.S. House of Representatives in forcing through a flawed, divisive civil rights bill that virtually no civil rights organization wants and that has virtually no chance to pass into law.

NCTE pledges to continue our efforts to educate Congress and the public around issues of both sexual orientation and gender identity.

We praise the efforts of so many who worked tirelessly to protect all LGBT people, including the members of Congress who stood strongly with LGBT people in asking for protections for all LGBT people. We also express deep gratitude to the more than 350 LGBT organizations who are part of the United ENDA coalition. Transgender people should be comforted in their disappointment today knowing that the preponderance of the LGBT movement has stood with us absolutely rock solidly."
Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
"Some people have asked why I insisted on bringing an amendment to the floor, only to withdraw it without a vote. The reason is simple. Those left behind by this bill deserve to hear, on the floor of the House, that they are not forgotten and our job will not be finished until they, too, share fully in the American Dream.

Those who would practice employment discrimination, who permit bullying or ostracism on the job, who hire or fire based on stereotyped notions of what is masculine and what is feminine, rather than on a person’s skills and ability, need to hear, from the floor of the House, that such practices are not acceptable in our society.

Irrational hate or fear have no place in our society. If we truly believe in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, if we truly want to protect the most vulnerable in our society, if we continue to profess that all men are created equal, then we must work toward achieving the American Dream for all…not just for some.

So, I join with my colleagues in celebrating House passage of a bill that bans employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. This is important and necessary legislation. And I remain committed, as we all are, to passing legislation that bans workplace discrimination on the basis of gender identity."

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