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House Passes Job Bias Ban Against Gays

Old 11-08-07, 07:47 AM
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House Passes Job Bias Ban Against Gays

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20071107/D8SP502O0.html

The House on Wednesday approved the first federal ban on job discrimination against gays, lesbians and bisexuals.

Passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act came despite protests from some gay rights supporters that the bill does not protect transgender workers. That term covers transsexuals, cross-dressers and others whose outward appearance does not match their gender at birth.

The measure would make it illegal for employers to make decisions about hiring, firing, promoting or paying an employee based on sexual orientation. It would exempt churches and the military.

After the 235-184 vote, supporters are expecting a tough fight in the narrowly divided Senate, where Massachusetts Democrat Edward Kennedy plans to introduce a similar version.

A veto from President Bush is expected if the proposal does pass the Senate. The White House has cited constitutional concerns and said the proposal could trample religious rights.

Backers of the House bill proclaimed it a major civil rights advance for gays. "Bigotry and homophobia are sentiments that should never be allowed to permeate the American workplace," said House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C.

The decision by Democratic leaders to exclude protections based on gender identity created sharp divisions in the party and among gay rights activists.

Republicans, meanwhile, said the bill could undermine the rights of people who oppose homosexuality for religious reasons and lead to an onslaught of dubious discrimination lawsuits.


"This is, frankly, a trial lawyer's dream," said Rep. John Kline, R-Minn.

Protections for transgender workers were in the original bill. But Democratic leaders found they would lose support from moderate and conservative Democrats by including transgender employees in the final bill.

"That's a bridge too far," said Rep. Rick Boucher, D-Va. "It's better to take it one step at a time."

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, however, said excluding transgender workers was shortsighted.

"As we have seen in many states, the failure to include the transgender community in civil rights legislation from the beginning makes it more difficult to extend protections later," said Nadler, D-N.Y.

Rep. Barney Frank, one of two openly gay members of Congress and an important supporter of the bill, urged colleagues not to let the dispute over transgender workers doom an important gain in civil rights.

Frank, D-Mass., said he hoped the bill would send a message to "millions of Americans who are gay and lesbian that they are not bad people, that it is not legitimate to fire them simply because of who they are."

He also pledged to continue to fight for a bill to protect transgender workers.

Job discrimination based on factors such as race, gender and religion are banned under federal law. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia have laws against sexual-orientation discrimination.

Only nine states specifically protect transgender people from discrimination: New Jersey, Minnesota, Rhode Island, New Mexico, California, Illinois, Maine, Hawaii, Washington. The District of Columbia has a similar law.

By January, laws also will be in effect in Iowa, Vermont, Colorado and Oregon.






I don't see what Bush's problem is with the bill. Maybe I don't understand it. It looks like it makes exemptions for religious organizations. Religious private business owners aren't protected but private businesses lost those kinds of protections long time ago (just not in the gay case).

I'm not a fan of hate crime legislation, but I don't see a problem with non-discrimination legislation.


Anyone opposed to this (other than on libertarian grounds)? Reasons why?
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Old 11-08-07, 07:58 AM
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A veto from President Bush is expected if the proposal does pass the Senate. The White House has cited constitutional concerns and said the proposal could trample religious rights.
So, would the White House be okay with it if a Muslim business owner refused to hire Christians for religious reasons?
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Old 11-08-07, 08:06 AM
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I don't know - would it?
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Old 11-08-07, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Groucho
So, would the White House be okay with it if a Muslim business owner refused to hire Christians for religious reasons?
probably not based on: Job discrimination based on factors such as race, gender and religion are banned under federal law.
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Old 11-08-07, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by AP Story
[...]The decision by Democratic leaders to exclude protections based on gender identity created sharp divisions in the party and among gay rights activists.
I've been fighting for weeks to keep going with this legislation, even tho trans protections had to be dropped.

Trans activists screamed loud enough that most of our major lobbying and/or activist groups reflexivly sided with them and pulled their support from the bill. I've been arguing that gay rights are a good thing in and of themselves, whether or not trans rights can "come along for the ride" on any given legislation. They're two different issues--albiet related. They're not always going to find social or political acceptance at the same time.

The most liberal half of the GLBT-QRSVwhatever movement is furious at Barney Frank and the HRC for getting it passed anyway as a "non-inclusive" bill, meaning "only" gay rights.
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Old 11-08-07, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by adamblast
Trans activists screamed loud enough that most of our major lobbying and/or activist groups reflexivly sided with them and pulled their support from the bill. I've been arguing that gay rights are a good thing in and of themselves, whether or not trans rights can "come along for the ride" on any given legislation. They're two different issues--albiet related. They're not always going to find social or political acceptance at the same time.
I agree. This is not a popular opinion amongst the gays, but I'm not in favor of lumping trans rights in with gay rights. I'm in favor of trans rights, but they need to fight their own battles and not constantly piggyback onto gay rights. I don't really see how the two are even really connected that much.
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Old 11-08-07, 09:29 AM
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Don't try going over to Pam's House Blend and saying that. I'm an enemy of the people.
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Old 11-08-07, 10:54 AM
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Hmmmm, the only reasons I can think about being agains this are on libertarian grounds.

Seems stupid for transgendered people to be more in favor of scrapping the whole deal if they aren't included. But I do like the notion that adamblast and TB have sold out their brothers. Sisters? Sorry, I still don't get the nuances of the transgendered thing. But if it could help me pick up chicks, I'd be using it and learning. it.
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Old 11-08-07, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
[...] But I do like the notion that adamblast and TB have sold out their brothers. Sisters?
You seem to forget I've been selling out the polygamists all along.
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Old 11-08-07, 11:07 AM
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The transgendered issue is much more complex (restrooms, etc), and should not be piggybacked on this bill.
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Old 11-08-07, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
Hmmmm, the only reasons I can think about being agains this are on libertarian grounds.

Seems stupid for transgendered people to be more in favor of scrapping the whole deal if they aren't included. But I do like the notion that adamblast and TB have sold out their brothers. Sisters? Sorry, I still don't get the nuances of the transgendered thing. But if it could help me pick up chicks, I'd be using it and learning. it.
Was it selling out for black civil rights workers to also not fight for the rights of Asians?
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Old 11-08-07, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Was it selling out for black civil rights workers to also not fight for the rights of Asians?
Was discrimination against Asian-Americans as prevalent or pernicious as discrimination against African-Americans? Were Asian-Americans perceived as a subset of African-Americans?
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Old 11-08-07, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by adamblast
You seem to forget I've been selling out the polygamists all along.
I know.
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Old 11-08-07, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
Was it selling out for black civil rights workers to also not fight for the rights of Asians?
Were Asians considered part of the same community or did they stay to themselves, for the most part?
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Old 11-08-07, 11:18 AM
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I thought the whole Asians vs. Blacks issue was already settled:

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Old 11-08-07, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
Was discrimination against Asian-Americans as prevalent or pernicious as discrimination against African-Americans?
No. But that's not the point I was making.

Were Asian-Americans perceived as a subset of African-Americans?
No. But I also don't believe transgenderism should be viewed as a subset of homosexuality. They really have nothing to do with one another.
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Old 11-08-07, 11:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
but I also don't believe transgenderism should be viewed as a subset of homosexuality. They really have nothing to do with one another.
I agree. And I'm pretty miffed about the T*s trying to kill this bill. To be honest, I'm not even sure I agree with them being included in the bill. When it comes down to it, they want to be able to randomly dress as the opposite sex at work whenever they want, and use whichever bathroom they feel most akin to that day. You have to realize that's going to cause some kind of disruptions at work.
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Old 11-08-07, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
No. But that's not the point I was making.
OK.
Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
No. But I also don't believe transgenderism should be viewed as a subset of homosexuality. They really have nothing to do with one another.
Not that I disagree with you, but it seems as if, at the very least, the TG community is trying to piggyback itself onto yours for greater political clout. Therefore, the public, if even aware of the TG community, sees it as a subset of the LGB community.
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Old 11-08-07, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by wendersfan
Not that I disagree with you, but it seems as if, at the very least, the TG community is trying to piggyback itself onto yours for greater political clout. Therefore, the public, if even aware of the TG community, sees it as a subset of the LGB community.
That's certainly true, and it's a problem. It's more a problem for the trans community than for the gay community, however. They just lost a big fight. Let them figure out how to win it themselves.
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Old 11-08-07, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
That's certainly true, and it's a problem. It's more a problem for the trans community than for the gay community, however. They just lost a big fight. Let them figure out how to win it themselves.
I'm struggling to be more inclusive than that, but it isn't easy. It is heresy among trans activists and their supporters to say that trans rights and gay rights are not always politically accomplishable at the same time. And they don't seem to give a shit that they were fighting alongside Dobson, Focus on the Family, etc to demean and defeat this bill.
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Old 11-08-07, 11:58 AM
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Originally Posted by joeblow69
I agree. And I'm pretty miffed about the T*s trying to kill this bill. To be honest, I'm not even sure I agree with them being included in the bill. When it comes down to it, they want to be able to randomly dress as the opposite sex at work whenever they want, and use whichever bathroom they feel most akin to that day. You have to realize that's going to cause some kind of disruptions at work.
I think it would end up being a mess as well, for host of reasons.

But as the hetro watching form the outside, it does seem odd because whether you like it or not, the Ts and the Gays have always moved in the same circle socially, politically, parade wise, etc., haven't they? That is at least my impression.
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Old 11-08-07, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Tracer Bullet
It's more a problem for the trans community than for the gay community, however.
Actually, it's a bigger problem for the LGB community, because you have more to lose. The TG community didn't get included in this bill anyway, so they had nothing to lose if it was defeated, which it still might be.
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Old 11-08-07, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
But as the hetro watching form the outside, it does seem odd because whether you like it or not, the Ts and the Gays have always moved in the same circle socially, politically, parade wise, etc., haven't they? That is at least my impression.
I think the face of the political gay agenda has us all marching hand in hand down the yellow brick road singing showtunes.

In reality, I don't think there is much solidarity between gays and Ts. One good reason for that is that Ts don't really want to be "out", so most gays don't know many (unless you're in a big city like New York or something). I've read from a T that the best thing imaginable for them is to get their operation, and then move to another city where no one knows their past.

Then there is the notion that once they get their operation, then they are no longer T. They are that new sex. I don't buy that, but that's what they think. It's completely different from being gay. I don't have a temporary condition that can be solved by plastic surgery.
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Old 11-08-07, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by kvrdave
Hmmmm, the only reasons I can think about being agains this are on libertarian grounds.

Seems stupid for transgendered people to be more in favor of scrapping the whole deal if they aren't included. But I do like the notion that adamblast and TB have sold out their brothers. Sisters? Sorry, I still don't get the nuances of the transgendered thing. But if it could help me pick up chicks, I'd be using it and learning. it.



In all seriousness, I've defended minorities who "leave behind" others in civil rights struggles. You can't expect them to take an all-or-nothing attitude. I think it is even more ridiculous for white straight Christians to use this argument in a feeble attempt to point out hypocrisy.
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Old 11-08-07, 01:07 PM
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Well, I can certainly understand the plight. If there was some big Christian movement, but it was decided to leave out the snake handlers in NC, I'd be fine with it.
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