ENDA and The Gay Media Cabal

According the Washington Blade, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) approved a policy statement that

the group will not support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, if it excludes language protecting persons from discrimination.”

The Advocate followed suit with:

“The Human Rights Campaign adopted a policy statement on Wednesday that says the group will not support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act if it excludes protections for transgender individuals. The statement was approved by the HRC board of directors in Washington, D.C. ‘It’s the policy of HRC that the organization will only support an inclusive ENDA,’ says the statement. It calls the organization’s previous decision to support an ENDA without transgender protections a ‘one-time exception.’ “

Joe My God also reported on this as well:

“We look forward to Congress sending President Obama a fully inclusive ENDA for his signature.”

But none of these sites (nor did Queerty, 365Gay, Bilerico, Good As You), tell the whole story. They don’t reference this comment from Joe Solmonese at the Southern Comfort Conference:

Since getting on board with the idea of gender identity in ENDA in August of 2005, the HRC has continued to support transgender inclusion in any ENDA bill put forward. There hasn’t been a time since when they didn’t support us in ENDA, at least publicly. But the one question that would make this truly a remarkable story, was never asked. Will HRC not only support transgender people in ENDA, but will they oppose any version of ENDA that doesn’t include gender identity? One has to wonder why such an important question hasn’t been asked.

There are one of four possible scenarios that are likely to happen.

  1. A fully inclusive bill like HR. 2015 will be introduced and passed in the House of Representatives, and then fall short of a majority in the Senate.
  2. A fully inclusive bill like HR. 2015 will be introduced in the House and Senate and be signed into law by President Obama.
  3. A fully inclusive bill like HR. 2015 will pass the US House and move to the Senate where gender identity is stripped from the bill and a gay only version is passed.
  4. A fully inclusive bill like HR. 2015 is voted down in the house, gender identity is blamed, and then a gay only version of the bill is voted on and passes the House and Senate and is signed into law.

None of these scenarios put the HRC in a position of weakness. Restating their position from October of 2007 isn’t really news. So why all the the hullabaloo? Either there is a concerted effort to rebrand this old propaganda, or the reporters/bloggers aren’t asking the simplest, most obvious questions.

The whole thing reminds me of how the most obvious questions weren’t asked of the Bush administration by the media in the last eight years. But the silence on Bush was mostly from traditional media sources. The uncomfortable questions on matters of national security were usually asked in the blogosphere. But it seems the gay bloggers aren’t as free to ask the same kind of questions. The elite gay bloggers are the equivalent of the traditional media. Their access is based on relationships with the gay power brokers. I know this because I belonged to one such “skull and bones” group where much of this communication between the elites in gay media and the gay power brokers happened.

I don’t blame the HRC for taking this position, it’s a smart tactical move. What I am disappointed in is the supposed “GLBT” blogosphere who refused to ask questions for fear of losing the teet that feeds them. The only blog that got even close to the truth about the announcement was Autumn Sandeen, over at Pam’s House Blend. Even then she was a bit off the mark. She calls this a half step and calls for Mara Kiesling to work with the Human Rights Campaign. But the truth of the matter is that as a member of the National Policy Roundtable, NCTE never stopped “working with” the Human Rights Campaign and this is certainly not a step forward. It’s more like running in place.

Marti Abernathey is the founder of the Transadvocate and the previous managing editor. Abernathey has worn many different hats, including that of podcaster, activist, and radiologic technologist. She's been a part of various internet radio ventures such as TSR Live!, The T-Party, and The Radical Trannies, TransFM, and Sodium Pentathol Sunday. As an advocate she's previously been involved with the Indiana Transgender Rights Advocacy Alliance, Rock Indiana Campaign for Equality, and the National Transgender Advocacy Coalition. She's taken vital roles as a grass roots community organizer in The Indianapolis Tax Day Protest (2003), The Indy Pride HRC Protest (2004), Transgender Day of Remembrance (2004), Indiana's Witch Hunt (2005), and the Rally At The Statehouse (the largest ever GLBT protest in Indiana - 3/2005). In 2008 she was a delegate from Indiana to the Democratic National Convention and a member of Barack Obama's LGBT Steering and Policy Committee. Abernathey currently hosts the Youtube Channel "The T-Party with Marti Abernathey."