May 14, 2010 at 10:14 am EDT | by Kevin Naff
Is ENDA off the table?

There’s an ominous story in today’s Politico about the House, its shrinking work week (down to 42 hours and dropping) and the increasing reluctance of moderate Democrats to tackle “controversial” issues this year.

“There’s little appetite among Democrats to have a fight on any more controversial issues before they face the voters,” Politico reports.

That doesn’t bode well for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which the right-wing has effectively turned into a debate over letting men use women’s restrooms. Even the Washington Post is shamelessly parroting the right’s anti-trans propaganda, describing ENDA as a transgender rights bill.

In a story Thursday, the Post quotes the Traditional Values Coalition’s web site, which warns, “your children will be trapped in classes taught by drag queens and transgender activists” and they will be “forced to learn about bizarre sexual fetishes.”

According to the Post, Andrea Lafferty, executive director of Traditional Values Coalition, claims members of Congress are “freaked out” by the bill. She’s apparently been telling members they’ll be allowing “she-males” with “serious mental disorders” into classrooms.

The only “freaked out” member of Congress who’s quoted in the story is Heath Schuler, a closet Republican who says he “can’t imagine” ENDA will make it to the floor.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is under growing pressure to shield vulnerable Democrats from any further “controversial” votes in 2010, especially if the Senate isn’t going to take action on them. The writing is on the proverbial wall: ENDA is on the ropes.

Kevin Naff is the editor and a co-owner of the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest and most acclaimed LGBT news publication, founded in 1969.

  • The most important thing we can do to make it as likely as possible that ENDA is voted on in the House AND Senate, and passes this year, is to call our senators and representatives at 202-224-3121.

    Urge your Senators and Representative to support and co-sponsor the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (spell it out for them) and get it passed this year. Then spread the word to all your pro-equality friends. Our opponents are focusing their energies on lobbying against equality; we need to focus on advocating for equality. We can whine, or we can win. After advocating for this for 16 years, I’d rather we win — and we can if we call Congress.

  • Email Speaker Nancy Pelosi for ENDA here

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