October 16, 2007

ENDA: Call Today

QueerToday has a good set of
talking points
for calling your legislator regarding ENDA. Today is the day you need to call as the committee hearing is today. If you can't call today, you can try calling tomorrow as the committee may not make a decision today.

In addition, I wanted to point out some good press. The American Constitutional Society (think the progressive version of "The Federalist Society" if you've heard of them) has a guest blogger right now who wrote about it. The guest blogger is Kate Kendell, a lawyer who is the director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Kendell explains some of the loopholes introduced under which non-trans or stealth trans gay, lesbian, and bisexual people could be discriminated against without the gender identity protections. For example, butch women or femme men could be told that it's not their sexual orientation but their gender presentation which is a problem for the employer. In addition, Kendell cites other discrimination legislation where loopholes like this hurt the substance of the law.

For example, although statutes prevent employers from discriminating based on national origin, courts have nevertheless interpreted those statutes to permit employers to discriminate against workers who speak with an accent associated with a particular country or region. Similarly, courts have interpreted race discrimination statutes narrowly to permit employers to discriminate against workers who wear hairstyles (such as braided hair) associated with a particular race. The basis for these decisions is that not all persons from other countries speak with an accent and that not all persons of a particular race wear a particular hairstyle. While we strongly disagree with the reasoning in these decisions, it, unfortunately, does not take a stretch of imagination to envision a court holding that a statute prohibiting only sexual orientation discrimination does not protect a butch lesbian or a feminine gay man because not all lesbians and gay men are gender non-conforming.


Check out the ACS's blog for the full post. I find it interesting to read about a few of the cases that caused the leading LGBT legal organizations to join the UnitedENDA coalition.

1 comment:

icarus said...

i just watched this YouTube video made by a transwoman who shared her thoughts on ENDA. it is very interesting.