Wal-Mart is to America What Leprosy is to the Human Body

October 19, 2010

As if one needed any more examples of why this is an unchallengeable fact, here is one from Gawker:

“They got on my ass later for being a Transsexual. To the point of nearly firing me for being ‘too womanly’. (Which drove me to tears) I looked into it and sadly there was nothing I could do about it. This was before the GBLT crowd was a protected status in the state of Oregon. I couldn’t up and leave, because well, the job market was shite. And the supervisors and the store manager always highlighted it as a major problem despite my excellent work ethic. I also nearly got sent home for editing my name tag to suit my feminine appearance and mannerisms. For a place that has a long ass mission statement about diversity, they sure do hate the gays and trannys with a passion.”

Link Round-Up: The Vote and Its Aftermath

November 7, 2007

Here are a few to get us started:

Not Forgettin’

October 24, 2007

Monica Roberts over at TransGriot:

One of the things that will make me go straight the hell off is when people utter the statement “I got my rights. I don’t need to lobby nationally”. I hear this far too often from many GLBT people who live in areas that have local or state protective laws. When you ask them to help us lobby on a national level, they’ll look at you disdainfully and say, “Why?”

Why? Let me break it down to you why you peeps who are fortunate enough to live in areas where your rights are covered need to get off your asses and help the folks that don’t.

There is more.

I recommend it.

Wasco County, Oregon does what Barney Frank and HRC could not do

October 24, 2007

This isn’t directly about ENDA, but it’s related, and it’s a neat story. At DailyKos, diarist jgilhousen tells about the little rural county that could (emphasis mine):

Early this Summer, after holding public hearings which included several hours of sometimes very heated testimony, the three members of the Wasco County, Oregon Court sitting as its legislative body unanimously passed an ordinance outlawing discrimination on the basis of real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.  Two Republicans and One Democrat — Unanimously!

This occurred in the heart of rural Eastern Oregon, within Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District which Democrats have long ceded as “safe” Republican territory.

The religious right went ballistic almost immediately, and began beating the drums of fear and hatred.  Recall petitions were taken out for circulation against the two Republican commissioners… apparently their sin was greater, since as Republicans, they should have known better.

That the measure passed, and unanimously, is astounding.  What followed, even more so, as you can see after the fold.

Go read the whole thing — the short story is not that the judges survived the recall, but rather that the right-wing recall pushers couldn’t even get the 1,373 votes they needed to make the ballot.

As jgilhousen — one of the activists who fought the recall attempt — writes:

The moral(s) of the story:  Stereotype (and write off) rural America at your peril.  There is no place in this country where we cannot or should not stand up against bigotry.

Remember, it was my own red state — Arizona — that became the first in the nation to defeat an amendment outlawing recognition of same-sex relationships.

Link Roundup for Tuesday

October 23, 2007

Here are some ENDA links for you:

The ENDA-lite (3685) vote may happen tomorrow; the Baldwin amendment vote may happen today. I’m hoping to speak with Rep. Raul Grijalva, my congressman and a supporter of gender identity protections in ENDA, soon.

It was nice while it lasted…

October 18, 2007

…but yeah, John Aravosis is back to being a dick. And once again, his readers — who agree with him, because he’s alienated everyone else — are telling him to stop being such an asshole even when his side has won.

I’ll have more on the real news soon — you can read some of it at AmericaBlog, I guess. Basically the trans-free ENDA-lite got passed out of committee.  Kellyanon at Pam’s asks where ENDA goes from here.

A few links

October 17, 2007

Dr. Jillian Todd Weiss has started a Twitter-based campaign for educating Congress:

The plan is this: you join Twitter, a free text messaging service, and then set it to follow our Inclusive_ENDA campaign. You can sign up here, and input “follow inclusive_enda” to follow the progress of our campaign. You will not receive any text messages other than the ones you request, and you can set it to follow only via web if you like.

What you should do:

Step 1 — After you sign up, input “follow inclusive_enda” which will notify us that you’re on board

Step 2 — Call Congress at 202-224-3121, tell them you want to speak to your Congressmember’s office, give them your zip code, and voila! you’re connected.

Step 3 — Tell the receptionist you support the inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, HR 2015, the one that includes gender identity and expression.

Step 4 — Text message Twitter at 40404, and tell us who you called!

Step 5 — Bask in the knowledge that not only you, but thousands of people know that you supported a fairer world for everyone! (And, if we get enough people, we’ll tell Congress, too!)

United ENDA is endorsing The Tammy Baldwin Plan:

Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) announced today that she has secured an agreement from the Democratic leadership to introduce an amendment to H.R. 3685 that would restore gender identity protections to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The amendment would be considered on the House floor next week, after the bill moves through the House Education and Labor Committee this Thursday. After her announcement, the United ENDA coalition released the following statement:

Two weeks ago, our community was told that gender identity would not be included in any version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Congressional Leadership expected our community to acquiesce. However, United ENDA effectively communicated the strong opposition of hundreds of organizations and millions of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to leadership’s efforts to advance a stripped down version of the bill.

It is because of our unprecedented efforts that new options, such as the proposed amendment by Congresswoman Baldwin, are able to come before Congress. Members of Congress responded to the successful strategy of our coalition and many expressed their strong desire to vote for an inclusive bill that protects all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Clearly, our preferred strategy is to pass the original ENDA (H.R. 2015) out of committee. However, if we are faced with a non-inclusive bill following the committee vote, we will work with Congresswoman Baldwin to repair ENDA to include protections on the basis of gender identity. We appreciate that Congressional leaders like Congresswoman Baldwin continue to share our commitment to pass an inclusive bill, and we expect Speaker Pelosi and the House leadership will actively support the Baldwin amendment.

And it looks like John Aravosis has finally started to listen to his site commenters, and has STFU about ENDA. It was embarrassing earlier this week watching people who agreed with Aravosis (we don’t) asking him to please stop picking fights with the trans-inclusive folks, but then, everything Aravosis has said or done on this issue has been uniformly embarrassing.

Washington insiders and ENDA

October 15, 2007

Not everyone who has worked on ENDA for years sees throwing the transfolk overboard as a good idea. Here is Chai Feldblum, guest-blogging at QueerSighted:

I was one of the main lawyers responsible for drafting and negotiating the provisions of ENDA from 1992 until 2002, first as a consultant to the Human Rights Campaign and then as a consultant to the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force. I believed, for many years, that it was fine for ENDA to protect only LGB people and for transgender people to be protected under a separate law.

I changed my mind in 2002. It was not that I suddenly believed that civil rights are not achieved through incremental gains if that’s what the political realities of the time require. (God, my whole political career has been based on that truism!) But I came to believe that protecting LGB people, but not T people, in ENDA, was akin to having the Americans with Disabilities Act cover all people with disabilities, but not some with HIV and AIDS, or like having a hate crimes bill cover crimes based on race and religion, but not those on sexual orientation or gender identity. It became different for me from other forms of incrementalism that I have endorsed – such as covering only employment in ENDA and then moving to housing and public accommodations in a later bill, or covering people with disabilities in housing first and then moving to greater coverage in the ADA.

She wraps up with:

I believe we can pass a bill that covers both sexual orientation and gender identity, and that we have the time to make that happen before a new President takes office. It will take work; it will take education; it will take perseverance. But let’s not short-circuit our efforts by moving precipitously to limit our efforts to a bill that gives up the battle before we have even begun to fight – a bill that will not become law, whatever its scope.

Read the whole thing. 

Barney Frank response round-up

October 12, 2007

Here’s a sure-to-grow list of responses to Barney Frank’s house speech and press conference earlier this week: