mara12

Is one of the key players in the United ENDA movement, Mara Keisling, signaling its death? Recently Keisling said:

‘We have to show Barney Frank 220 votes,’ she said. ‘If we show him 220 votes, nobody is going to work harder on this. The same with HRC… It’s going to happen again next year. ‘- After ENDA, the Fighter’s Resilient

According to Donna Rose’s blog :

3/1/2008 – They’re currently planning to hold hearings in Congress specifically about transgender workplace issues in April. Whereas original plans were to tightly control those hearings, Rep. Frank has largely turned over control of gathering the stories to NCTE/Mara Keisling (who’s home in DC with pneumonia). Mara has been diligently working with many of us to identify potential speakers who can come to Washington DC to speak and I expect she’ll be finalizing that to give to Barney shortly.

“These vagabond shoes
Are longing to stray
And make a brand new start of it
New York, New York!” — New York, New York, Frank Sinatra

You gotta love New York!

Seriously, these folks know how to speak out against what is wrong, organize and create a disturbance that’s worthy of the biggest city in the nation. I’m writing in response to the Gay City News.com report coming from the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Banquet in the Big Apple. They organized not just street protests, but even support from their political friends to boycott the chi-chi event in solidarity with the trans community over HRC’s support for a non-inclusive ENDA bill pushed by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA).

Yes, Sylvia Rivera and Bob Kohler would be duly proud of their community’s progeny.

Most of the article dealt with the notable absentees from the banquet, most especially the politicos (one of which was to present an award at the event). A few did offer the ENDA and HRC’s threats of keeping score of those voting against a gay-only ENDA in principle (due to it’s incomplete coverage).

One statement from Marriage Equality New York (MENY) about its award noted that “HRC’s stance on ENDA is clearly not in-line with our inclusive mission and disappoints those who believe we cannot leave anyone behind” and that the group “has ALWAYS been trans-inclusive and has always stood on the right side of this civil rights fight.”

In accepting their award at the HRC banquet, the group’s deputy executive director, Ron Zacchi, said, “MENY feels for our transgender brothers and sisters protesting outside, as we have often been the people protesting outside because incremental changes were accepted on our road to marriage equality.”

That’s a very powerful statement, and I applaud MENY for taking such a bold stance.

Then I got to thinking about who the statement was from. When you think about it, there’s not much of a limb they have to go out on with that beyond risk of possible funding from HRC. It would be pretty hard to push through any legislation for marriage equality for gays and lesbians without have it being inclusive of transgenders – or anyone else. On the inclusive part, I don’t know about their staff or board of directors but I wonder how many of them are transgender?