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Posts for June, 2009

LGBT State Org Betrays ENDA, Carries Anti-Gay Talking Points

Jim Burroway

June 17th, 2009

In a stunning backstabbing move, the egregiously misnamed group “Indiana Equality” has issued a statement carrying the talking points of anti-gay groups and have decided to oppose the Employment Non-Discrimination Act: Here’s a statement from IE’s chair, Jon Keep:

Indiana Equality believes that the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities should be engaged in a national dialog about the need for full inclusion in the federal Civil Rights code. There is a window of opportunity now that may not come for another generation. If we push for less than full inclusion, it may be more difficult to motivate public support for full civil right protections. We should not ask for less than we need.

Anything less than full inclusion is unacceptable. Accordingly, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (END) as currently proposed, cannot be accepted, supported or promoted by Indiana Equality.

It has become evident that adding LGBT persons to local and state civil rights laws is not only possible but crucial. Adding only the right to employment at the Federal level will do little to protect the civil rights of all citizens.

Adding LGBT persons to local and state civil rights laws is crucial. But that doesn’t preclude going ahead with laws that address employment issues on a national level. ENDA does not — as Indiana Equality and other anti-gay groups claim — produces a new level of segregation. The act simply bans employment based on sexual orientation, and gender identity and expression regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. Which means that straight people are protected from discrimination by their gay employers.

If that’s not inclusion, then I don’t know what is.

This is extremely important legislation. People really are being fired and encountering other forms of employment discrimination solely because of their sexual orientation. Transgender people are believed to need these protections more than anyone else. This is real legislation aimed at solving a real problem.

IE says they are doing this because they want a more comprehensive civil rights bill. Fine. Let’s begin laying the groundwork for a more comprehensive bill now and maybe we’ll get one in the next five or ten years. But let’s not, in the meantime, cap the knees on an important piece of legislation that lawmakers are prepared to vote on this year!

But Indiana Equality has put itself fully in league with Focus On the Family, Family Research Councils, and all other anti-gay groups who will latch onto IE’s statement and run with it. See? Even gay groups don’t want this. IE’s game is a complete betrayal on one of the more important pieces of pro-equality legislation to enter Congress.

[Hat tip: Bil Browning]

Update: IE’s link appears to have moved. I’ve updated the post to re-link to IE’s statement again. It does not, however appear to be a permanent link. Therefore I’m copying the statement below.

Click here to read Indiana Equality’s statement