Looking at the political facts makes it very obvious why gender was dropped from the bill.
Fact #1 – Gay and lesbians makes up about 5 – 10 percent of the general population.
Fact #2 – Transgender persons makes about 5 – 10 percent of the population also, but I feel that those who are politically active and are lobbying for the bill is probability a tenth of that number (0.5 – 1.0 percent)
Fact #3 – We are coming up to an election year.
Fact #4 – The Democrats are looking for the GLBT vote and needed a victory.
Given those facts it is easy to see why we were thrown overboard. The Democrats wanted a win that they could brag about it in the election; they had a choice pass a non-inclusive ENDA or not pass the inclusive ENDA. So they threw us overboard. They can now hold up all the Democrats that voted for the bill and say see we are in favor of GLBT rights. If they had the gender inclusive bill there would be some Democrats who would have voted against the bill and the Democrats would have had egg on their face.
I do not feel this was the right track that they should have risen above politics and taken the high road; instead of politic as usual.
What did we learn from this?
- We learned who are friends are and who are our enemies.
- We learned which Representatives have a problem with gender identity and we can work to educate them.
- We learned what our opponents arguments are against the bill and plan a defense against it.
- In March 2000 the HRC added Gender to its Mission Statement.
- In May I was down in Washington DC at the HRC offices and they said that they would only back a gender inclusive ENDA
- At the Southern Comfort Conference on September 14, Joe Solmonese said the same thing.
- The end of September after Barney Franks introduces a non-inclusive ENDA; the HRC said they would remain neutral on the bill. That they would neither support the bill nor opposing the bill and they would not score the Representatives if they voted on the bill.
- Last week they said that they will only support the bill and oppose any amendments. That they will score the Representatives who voted against the bill.
- That they had a secret poll done in October 26 that they did not make it public until November 6th. The poll asked: "This proposal would make it illegal to fire gay, lesbian and bisexual workers because of their sexual orientation. This proposal does not include people who are transgender. Would you favor or oppose this proposal moving forward?”