Congress Apt to Yank Trans Rights From ENDA

Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act may exclude transgender issues.

Many leading LGBT rights organizations, notably absent the Human Rights Campaign, opposed indications on Sept 27 that the House of Representatives would remove references to transgender individuals in the Federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act, known as ENDA. Proponents of the maneuver, such as openly gay Representative Barney Frank (D-MA), who sponsors ENDA, argue that it would give the legislation a better chance of passing when a vote comes as expected in the next few weeks.

Originally, ENDA would have made it illegal to fire, refuse to hire or refuse to promote an employee on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. A spokesman for Frank told The Advocate that the legislator now plans to offer a separate bill on transgender workplace rights, called GENDA.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released a statement late on Sept 28 that said, “ENDA is an historic advancement for gays and lesbians.” The legislator from San Francisco added, “While I personally favor legislation that would include gender identity, the new ENDA legislation proposed by Congressman Frank has the best prospects for success on the House floor.”