Monday News Roundup


More dogs in Halloween costumes for you this morning.  And here’s the pro-choice links you were actually looking for!

Take Action to Pass ENDA – Bilerico
More Can Be Done to Bring Women’s Health into Health Care Reform – Politico
AZ Sheriff Refuses to Let Inmates Get Abortions – Arizona Republic
Anti-Choice Protesters Sue Police – Ms.
Teenage Oral Sex Panic – RH Reality Check
FDA Approves New HPV Vaccine – CNN

N.O.W joins the ‘Repeal DOMA’ fight

DOMA.JPGIt has been a long, slow 13 years since the Defense of Marriage Act was passed in 1996 under the Clinton administration. Fortunatly, there is some hope in sight for the millions of Americans being ostracized and left behind on the equal rights bandwagon. First off, we should probably discuss what this bill has been doing for over a decade…The bill, most notably eliminates the ‘Full Faith and Credit’ clause from the issue of gay marriages and even, to an extent, civil unions. The text of the bill’s major platform states:

“No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship”

In 1996, this meant that even if any state proposed the idea of civil unions, it still wouldn’t have to be recognized because at that time, it was “treated as a marriage”. The bill further actively defines marriage and a spousal relationship as between a man and a woman, which is where, among other things, a major problem arises. For the last several years, this clause has denied the spousal partners of federal employees from receiving health and insurance benefits if they did not fall under the “man/wife” definition of marriage. [Read more...]

Monday News Roundup

footballThis weekend marked the official kick off of the NFL season. Hope you got your fill of football. And if you’re looking for a feminist fantasy football league to join, we’ve still got room for a few more players in our league. E-mail me for the details today so that we can set our draft.

Here’s your morning round up:

Minorities Disproportionately Affected by DADT –
Scott Roeder Does Not Meet the Definitions of “Justifiable Homicide” – Roeder Watch
Center for Reproductive Rights Debuts Youtube Video About Clinic Violence – Words of Choice
Responding to the Arguments Against ENDA – Bilerico

Thursday News Roundup

mouse-clickA Taste of What’s to Come on ENDA – Right Wing Watch
Condom Commandments – The Frisky
Marriage Changes Us More Than We Change Marriage – Bilerico
Hemp Advocates Want Their Own Beer Summit – Roll Call
Parental Consent Laws Hurt Women – Chicago Sun Times

Your Voice is Needed to Pass ENDA

The House of Representatives will vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) in September. During the August recess, it’s really important that we all keep pushing members of the House to pass a fully inclusive HR 3017. According to Jillian Weiss, we need 218 votes to pass ENDA, and we have 205 confirmed members of the House on record to vote in favor of HR 3017. But that leaves 13 votes that we still need to confirm.

Transgender Americans are three times as likely to be unemployed as cis-gendered folks. We all need jobs to pay our bills and buy the occasional latte. An ENDA that doesn’t include protections for gender presentation doesn’t even really help lesbian and gay folks, because no one is going to be fired for displaying their sexual orientation. Most likely people will be fired for being too effeminate if they’re a guy or too masculine if they’re a woman. That’s gender identity, ya’ll. Sexual orientation is what happens in the bedroom (or in the back seat of your car, or in the walk-in freezer at work . . . HAWT!)

Sign up for Legislator of the Day e-mail alerts so that you can help us get the votes we need. But don’t just sign up for the alerts and then delete them from your inbox – you actually need to send an e-mail every day. It will only take a minute or two. Surely you could send 5 fewer Tweets each day to accommodate one e-mail for an important piece of legislation. The National Center for Transgender Equality has a great toolkit that you can download to get up to speed on the ins and outs of ENDA. Use the toolkit to craft the text of the e-mail that you plan to send out. And don’t forget to contact your own representatives, even if they’re already one of the confirmed yes votes. Remind them that you are counting on their support.

Where Are We on ENDA?

jillygirl-bioGuest blogger Dr. Jillian Weiss has a J.D. and a Ph.D. in Law, Policy & Society. Currently Associate Professor of Law and Society at Ramapo College of New Jersey, she has conducted research involving hundreds of companies and public agencies that have adopted “gender identity” policies. She publishes a popular blog on the subject of Transgender Workplace Diversity, and has numerous research publications on the subject of gender identity.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009, HR 3017, is pending in the House of Representatives, and has the public support of 164 Members of Congress. Another 40 are likely to vote yes, but have not yet made their support of the bill public, as far as we know. This makes a total of 204 in the yes column. 218 are needed for a majority in the House. Passage is likely, but we’re not yet clearly there as of today. You can get the specifics on our spreadsheet. If you’re in one of the swing districts (highlighted in yellow), call your Representative. (There is a link to contact info on the spreadsheet on the top right.)

The bill has not yet been introduced in the Senate. Our estimates suggest there are currently 58 likely yes votes, and there are a few Democrats whose support is unclear, and a few fair-minded Republicans who may be willing to cross party lines in favor of job equality. You can get the specifics on our Senate spreadsheet.

Legislation will probably be introduced in the Senate soon, and we will want to ask our Senators to co-sponsor the legislation when that happens. Hearings will probably held in the House in early fall, featuring testimony for and against the bill, followed by a vote in the House, if party leaders determine there are enough “yes” votes for passage. If and when passed in the House, the bill will hopefully go to the Senate for a vote shortly thereafter. Whether or not it gets to a floor vote depends again on party leaders determining that there are enough yes votes for passage. If and when passed in the Senate, it will go to President Obama for signature. [Read more...]

Let’s Pass ENDA: US Legislator of the Day

Guest blogger Jillian Weiss will be posting, from time to time, a link to the U.S. Legislator of the Day.

This link will allow you to email a legislator who is undecided on ENDA, and tell him or her of your support for HR 3017, an inclusive ENDA that protects both sexual orientation and gender identity from job discrimination.

225px-Brad_Ellsworth,_official_110th_Congress_photo-thumb-100x132-6676So without further ado, here is TODAY’S LEGISLATOR OF THE DAY: * * * drum roll please * * *

Rep. Brad Ellsworth of Indiana

Rep. Ellsworth is a Blue Dog Democrat, but he voted for ENDA in 07. He’s undecided on this year’s ENDA bill, HR 3017. Please let him know why an inclusive ENDA, protecting both sexual orientation and gender identity, is important to you and yours.


Tel: 202-225-4636

I’m not going to give you a script, because otherwise these letters will be disregarded as astroturf. You just tell ‘em in your own words why HR 3017 (ENDA) is important to you and yours, if it is. [Read more...]

What is the Status of ENDA?

jillygirl-bioGuest blogger Dr. Jillian Weiss has a J.D. and a Ph.D. in Law, Policy & Society. Currently Associate Professor of Law and Society at Ramapo College of New Jersey, she has conducted research involving hundreds of companies and public agencies that have adopted “gender identity” policies. She publishes a popular blog on the subject of Transgender Workplace Diversity, and has numerous research publications on the subject of gender identity. She is the coordinator of the Inclusive ENDA group on Facebook. These are her words. . .

ENDA has an excellent chance of becoming US law this year, if the grassroots gets smart and gets targeted. The House is almost there, with 200 Representatives having taken a public position in favor, and 60 more likely yeses out there, bringing us well over the 218 needed for passage. The Senate is going to be more of a firefight because of the larger and more split constituencies that they represent, but there are probably (I emphasize probably) more than the 60 needed to preclude a filibuster. ENDA is also the greatest good for the most people, for it will have a direct impact on a larger segment of the LGBT community than any of the issues on our plate. Most of us work, and far fewer are hate crime victims, serve in the military, or want to get married.

The right to discriminate against us is the right to keep us unemployed and underemployed and marginalize both our economic and personal lives. Furthermore, the House is very, very close to a clear and public majority on ENDA, and the Senate now has the power to shut down any filibuster after the seating of Senator Franken, with probably enough votes to do it. [Read more...]

Get Involved to Ensure an Inclusive ENDA

The version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act that was introduced to Congress this week includes gender identity . . . for now. But if last year’s battle to include gender identity in the bill is instructive, it’s going to be a long, hard fight to make sure that transpeople are included in the final version of the bill that gets sent to the president. Here’s how you can help.

1. Join the Inclusive ENDA group on Facebook. Then sign up to talk to your Congresspeople and urge them to support the inclusive version of the bill.

2. Call your Representative to request their support of an inclusive ENDA that protects sexual orientation and gender identity from job discrimination. Contact your Rep by calling the U.S. Capitol at 202-224-3121. [Read more...]

ENDA Bill Introduced . . . Last Week?

marti-bioGuest blogger Marti Abernathy spent the bulk of last year campaigning for Obama. Marti was on Obama’s LGBT steering and policy committee and founded the transgender subcommittee. She regularly blogs at The Transadvocate. She’s also a podcaster, activist, and radiologic technologist in Madison, Wisconsin. This is her hot scoop . . .

Today at 1pm today (6-24-09) Barney Frank is set to officially introduce the HR 2981, The Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

This week, Congressman Barney Frank will introduce the Employee Non-Discrimination Act. The legislation would extend federal employment laws, which currently prevent job discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, national origin, age, and disability, to also cover sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill covers both the public and private sectors. [Read more...]