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House Passes Employment Non-Discrimination Act 235-184

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PalJoey
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It may not pass the Senate and it may not survive a presidential veto, but 200 Democrats and 35 Republicans made history: One house of Congress PASSED the very first federal gay civil rights bill.

Barney Frank's closing statement before the vote:

“I want to address the motion to delay. Mr. Speaker, we say here that we don't take things personally, and usually that’s true. Members, Mr. Speaker, will have to forgive me — I take it personally. 35 years ago, I filed a bill that tried to get rid of discrimination based on sexual orientation. As we sit here today, there are millions of Americans in states where this is not the law. ... But here’s the deal: I used to be someone subject to this prejudice. And through luck, circumstance, I got to be a big shot. I’m now above that prejudice. But I feel an obligation, to 15-year-olds dreading to go to school because of the torments, to people they’ll lose their job in a gas station if someone finds out who they love. I feel an obligation to use the status I have been lucky enough to get, to help them. And I want to ask my colleagues here, Mr. Speaker, on a personal basis... Don’t send me out of here having failed to help those people.”

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AP: House Passes Job Bias Ban Against Gays
Updated On: 11/7/07 at 10:20 PM
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Woo!
I am a firm believer in serendipity- all the random pieces coming together in one wonderful moment, when suddenly you see what their purpose was all along.
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What a beautiful speech.

It's a step. Even if the Senate fails to do the right thing and if Congress can't do the right thing after Bush does the wrong thing--which we know he will.
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How is that Amendment to ban gay marriage coming along?

PEACE.
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it's great that they passed it, but this is the non trans-inclusive bill.
and that doesn't mean that people who are truly transgendered are the only ones effected by it... we were talking about this at PRIDE the other night.
basically, it doesn't cover any form of discrimination against say... a female who dressed very masculine or discrimination against a very feminine man, even if neither of them identify as trans.
it works that way because anyone can say they were not discriminating against the person for being gay, because trans and gay are two different things, and one is protected and one is not.

dont get me wrong... it's totally a step in the right direction, but this bill only really helps the straightest looking of gay people... and the straightest looking of straight people as well!

Less is more
Ugly is beautiful
"My brother plays a drag queen... and I'm surprised he looks as good as he does in drag." - Adam Rapp

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"Yeah Abba. All the filthy crap you spew out there on those boards. I for one, am equally shocked. :-P" - AnnaK
Updated On: 11/8/07 at 09:53 AM
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Nice article in the Associated Press:

===

House Passes Job Bias Ban Against Gays

By ANDREW MIGA – 15 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Wednesday approved the first federal ban on job discrimination against gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

Passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act came despite protests from some gay rights supporters that the bill does not protect transgender workers. That term covers transsexuals, cross-dressers and others whose outward appearance does not match their gender at birth.

The measure would make it illegal for employers to make decisions about hiring, firing, promoting or paying an employee based on sexual orientation. It would exempt churches and the military.

After the 235-184 vote, supporters are expecting a tough fight in the narrowly divided Senate, where Massachusetts Democrat Edward Kennedy plans to introduce a similar version.

A veto from President Bush is expected if the proposal does pass the Senate. The White House has cited constitutional concerns and said the proposal could trample religious rights.

Backers of the House bill proclaimed it a major civil rights advance for gays. "Bigotry and homophobia are sentiments that should never be allowed to permeate the American workplace," said House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C.

The decision by Democratic leaders to exclude protections based on gender identity created sharp divisions in the party and among gay rights activists.

Republicans, meanwhile, said the bill could undermine the rights of people who oppose homosexuality for religious reasons and lead to an onslaught of dubious discrimination lawsuits.

"This is, frankly, a trial lawyer's dream," said Rep. John Kline, R-Minn.

Protections for transgender workers were in the original bill. But Democratic leaders found they would lose support from moderate and conservative Democrats by including transgender employees in the final bill.

"That's a bridge too far," said Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va. "It's better to take it one step at a time."

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, however, said excluding transgender workers was shortsighted.

"As we have seen in many states, the failure to include the transgender community in civil rights legislation from the beginning makes it more difficult to extend protections later," said Nadler, D-N.Y.

Rep. Barney Frank, one of two openly gay members of Congress and an important supporter of the bill, urged colleagues not to let the dispute over transgender workers doom an important gain in civil rights.

Frank, D-Mass., said he hoped the bill would send a message to "millions of Americans who are gay and lesbian that they are not bad people, that it is not legitimate to fire them simply because of who they are."

He also pledged to continue to fight for a bill to protect transgender workers.

Job discrimination based on factors such as race, gender and religion are banned under federal law. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have laws against sexual-orientation discrimination.

Only nine states specifically protect transgender people from discrimination: New Jersey, Minnesota, Rhode Island, New Mexico, California, Illinois, Maine, Hawaii, Washington. The District of Columbia has a similar law.

By January, laws also will be in effect in Iowa, Vermont, Colorado and Oregon.
House Passes Job Bias Ban Against Gays
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An AOL online poll shows 60% support for this legislation.
"It does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are 20 gods or no god. It neither picks my pocket, nor breaks my leg." -- Thomas Jefferson
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Republicans, meanwhile, said the bill could undermine the rights of people who oppose homosexuality for religious reasons and lead to an onslaught of dubious discrimination lawsuits.

What rights are being trampled for the religious here? This bill has nothing to do with religion or the military, so I don't see how this bill passing for interfere with anyone's right to hate and discriminate with impunity and hide behind their religion.

Seriously. It's 2007. Why the f*ck are religious reasons even considered?
Updated On: 11/8/07 at 10:52 AM