Monday, October 8, 2007

ENDA Debate Continues

The movement for LGBT rights remains divided over the future of a transgender-inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Human Rights Campaign board member Donna Rose resigned last week with a scathing criticism of the organization's apparently neutral stance on the controversy despite their pledge to only support an inclusive bill. Former Washington Blade editor Chris Crain and others have supported U.S. Rep. Barney Frank [D-Mass] in his decision to introduce two versions of ENDA which separate sexual orientation from gender identity and expression.

The current debate remains a classic liberal vs. conservative ideological battle within the movement for LGBT rights. The addition of transgender or 'T' to the ubiquitous LGBT acronym in the late 1990s remains a rather politically charged development in the broader movement. National organizations remain committed, at least in their public statements, sound bites and talking points, to advance transgender equality as part of their overall missions. Some of their actions (or inactions) may arguable indicate their actual intentions but the reality remains: Transgender activists (vis-a-vis transgender Americans) continue to gain more visibility. The ENDA debate only confirms it.

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