ENDA Passes House Without Trans Protections
On the one hand, it's encouraging to see sexual orientation framed as a human rights issue. No-one should be fired or passed over for promotion or not hired because they're gay. Gayness freaks you out? Get over it. Or don't. Either way, you don't get to punish anyone for things that have nothing to do with their work performance.
But wait, why can't we include transgender as a protected category? Is anyone more likely to be persecuted, mocked or stomped than someone with obvious physical characteristics of the other sex? Why exclude those who need protection the most?
Because there's an election coming up, that's why. And the GOP, the party of intolerance and conformity, would just love to be able to point at Democrats and sneer "Freaky freak lovers! Ewwwwwww!" And Democrats can't have that.
Republicans will not be able to use transgender rights as an election issue in 2008.
Whew - that was a close one! Even though the bill, if it ever passes the Senate, will surely be vetoed. Thank goodness we won't have to talk about human rights for people who seem different than us.
Now before anyone says, "See, this just proves it doesn't matter which party you vote for," let me point this out:
Republicans opposed ENDA in any form.
Got that? That's a clear difference. Yes, most Democrats are infuriatingly cautious when doing the right thing. But there's an impulse there. Democrats, however timidly, stand for inclusion and protection of minorities. Republicans stand for the opposite.
Once again, with my harangue about the importance of choosing the lesser of two evils. Failure to protect everyone equally is an evil, but actively seeking to persecute all those who are different is a greater evil. Given that reality, I have to make a choice. I'll take the wussy do-gooders every time. Even when I want to strangle them.