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Barney Frank: ENDA Vote May Come In April

Jim Burroway

March 24th, 2010

That’s what Lisa Keen says:

Frank said passage of the health care reform package by the House now clears the way for that chamber to take up ENDA. He said the vote could come as early as this week but would more likely come right after the spring recess, March 29-April 9.

That sounds like an impossibly fast track for what is likely to be a contentious vote, if you ask me.

Comments

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Sparky
March 24th, 2010 | LINK

But it’s a great way to get people to shut up about it. Didn’t they do the same with DADT all last year? And this year for that matter with the “hearing”

Promise action – so people wait for it. Then promise again. Then promise another date. Then promise a vaguely unspecified date. Then when anyone gets angry you can say “look we’ve already said X”

Maybe I’m being cynical and Barney is just very hopeful on this – but it does seem to be a pattern

Scott P.
March 24th, 2010 | LINK

I, for one, am not going to hold my breath.

Ray
March 24th, 2010 | LINK

You mean no one wants to study this for a couple more decades before they vote on it?

tavdy79
March 24th, 2010 | LINK

Give them a few weeks, then take to the streets and start chaining yourselves to things. You really do not want ENDA to have as much trouble in the US as it has had and continues to have in the UK.

The original legislation was a half-arsed piece of dross that didn’t do the job, so attempt two was introduced in the Equality Bill last year – only to be stymied by Baronness O’Cathain and several of the Lords Spiritual earlier this year. How they were allowed to do this I don’t really know, since it’s really nothing more than a rubber stamping of EU legislation dating back to 2003, yet somehow it happened.

Fred in the UK
March 24th, 2010 | LINK

I am afraid that I must disagree with tavdy79. He / she is quite correct that the Equality Bill is having a difficult parliamentary course. However I think the comparison to ENDA needs to be qualified, the Equality Bill is far more expansive, it is an attempt to unify equality legislation with regards to gender, age, race, disability and sexual orientation covering employment, provision of goods and services, statutory requirements for public bodies, etc. However it is much less of an innovation when compared to existing legislation than ENDA. Much of what would be illegal under the Equality Bill is already illegal, the Bill reforms and unifies a patchwork raft of existing legislation. ENDA creates protections which are genuinely new in federal law.

I am unsure which legislation tavdy79 is referring to as ‘half-arsed’. I am aware that the European Commission were of the opinion the UK employment law did not comply with EU law because it believed the religious exemption to the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 was too broad. The regulations exempted cases where:-

a) the employment is for purposes of an organised religion;

(b) the employer applies a requirement related to sexual orientation—

(i) so as to comply with the doctrines of the religion, or

(ii) because of the nature of the employment and the context in which it is carried out, so as to avoid conflicting with the strongly held religious convictions of a significant number of the religion’s followers;

While I would agree that that exemption was too broad, given the small number of employees in the UK to whom it might apply I would not go as far as to call it half-arsed.

Tony P
March 24th, 2010 | LINK

Tammy Baldwin thinks they have the votes necessary for both ENDA and to repeal DADT. Let us hope she is correct.

John
March 25th, 2010 | LINK

I agree with Scott P: they can promise all they like but I don’t believe them anymore. Show me that my cynicism is misplaced by passing the damn bill already.

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