Skip to main content

President Obama
Will an executive ENDA order be among the President's "We Can't Wait" initiatives to move change
past an intransigent Congress this year? (White House/Wikicommons)
Dynacorp
A recent $155K settlement brokered by the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) with Virginia-based military contractor DynCorp International over a case of a homophobic hostile work environment has placed renewed focus on President Obama to amend Executive Order 11246 to include employment opportunity and non-discrimination protection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender expression. With the Employment Non-Discrimination act (ENDA) likely hopelessly blocked in Congress this move is seen as an "Executive ENDA" that offers enormous benefit to moving the issue of LGBT workplace discrimination forward.

James Friso was a straight aircraft sheet metal/structural mechanic working in Taji, Iraq when he encountered a homophobic environment working for DynCorp. From his complaint (pdf):

Around November 2006, one of Friso's male co-workers (the "Co-worker") began making derogatory sex-based comments to Friso on a daily basis. The conduct continued until January 2007, when Defendant transferred Friso to Mannheim, Germany.

Specifically, the Co-worker called Friso "faggot," "dick-sucker" and/or "queer" on a daily basis. The Co-worker frequently referenced Friso's size in his insults, for example using terms such as "whiney little bitch," "short little mother fucker" and "short little bitch."

In addition to foregoing conduct, the Co-worker accused Friso of engaging in homosexual acts, and described such acts to Friso. For example, on one occasion, the Co-worker told Friso to "go back to Mannheim and suck [Friso's former supervisor's] dick." The Co-worker made this comment in the presence of Defendant's management, but management took no action in response.


The EEOC became involved and the settlement was brokered on the basis that Friso's harassment violated assurances of non-discrimination on the basis of gender. As satisfying as the win is, the door is left open that purely homophobic-based harassment and discrimination funded by taxpayers is still, technically quite legal. Attorney Tico Almeida, president of Freedom to Work, a national LGBT workplace discrimination advocacy organization told the Washington Blade:
“The company will not have to add sexual orientation or gender identity to its non-discrimination policy,” Almeida said. “Even after this case, DynCorp can discriminate against LGBT employees while getting fat on billions of dollars in taxpayer money.

The members of the civil rights enforcement team at the Department of Labor currently have their hands tied and are not allowed to investigate federal contractors like DynCorp for discrimination and harassment based on sexual orientation because President Obama has not yet signed the ENDA executive order.”

There is currently a petition on Change.org calling on DynCorp to amend their non-discrimination policies to avoid more situations like Friso's in the future.

Safeguarding the use of taxpayer funds against the propagation of disciminatory or hostile work environments for LGBT Americans is not a new call to action. This was suggested back in 2008 to the administration by both the Human Rights Campaign Fund (HRC) and the Center For American Progress (CAP) in their recommendations for adminstration action made during the transition period. In HRC's A Blueprint for Positive Change" they said:

Non-Discrimination by Employers and Service Providers Who Use Federal Dollars

When the federal government hires private companies to perform government functions with public funds, it can and should expect the contractors to adhere to the same civil rights standards as the government would if it were doing the work itself.


CAP's recommendation for LGBT administration actions in "The Road Ahead" (pdf) included:
The executive branch can expand the reach of the nondiscrimination policy by requiring all federal contractors to maintain [LGBT inclusive] nondiscrimination policies for their employees as well.
That the EEOC involved itself in the Frisco case speaks well of Patricia Shui's stewardship of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Shui generally been considered one of the administration's truly "good picks." Not a corporate-lackey seat warmer, Shui was cheered at the time of her appointment with advocates speculating:
Given Shiu’s past focus on family leave and discrimination, it is likely that she will be a strong advocate for gender pay equity issues.

In fact, reports are coming out of D.C. that much of the most onerous red tape that is necessitated by any Executive Order has already been cut. It's said a draft copy of the Executive Order has cleared lawyers at the Labor Department and other bureaucratic agencies. A final version has arrived at the White House and now awaits only the approval of a few senior staff before it lands on the President's desk for his signature.

President Obama should put pen to paper as soon as possible.

A history of Executive Non-Discrimination Orders



For context, a summary of Executive Order 11246, adapted from Department of Labor website, describes it as "a major safeguard, protecting the rights of workers employed by federal contractors-approximately one-fifth of the entire U.S. labor force-to remain free from discrimination on the basis of their gender, race, religion, color or national origin [...] and opening the doors of opportunity through its affirmative action provisions."
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
(Frank O. Salisbury/Wikicommons)

June 25, 1941
Executive Order 8802


President Franklin Delano Roosevelt responded to leaders, such as A. Philip Randolph and Baynard Rustin, who protested that African-American workers were blocked from taking jobs in segregated war production factories. FDR signed Executive Order 8802, outlawing discrimination based on race, color, creed and national origin in the federal government and defense industries.

May 27, 1943,
Executive Order 9346


In 1943, President Roosevelt broadened the coverage of Executive Order 8802 by making it applicable to all government contractors.

December 3, 1951
Executive Order 10308


President Harry S. Truman’s Executive Order 10308 advanced the achievements initiated during WWII by creating the Committee on Government Contract Compliance. The committee was tasked with overseeing compliance by federal contractors with the non-discrimination provisions of Executive Order 8802.

Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower
(White House/Wikicommons)

August 13, 1953
Executive Order 10479


President Dwight D. Eisenhower took a further step on August 13, 1953, by creating the President’s Committee on Government Contracts under Executive Order 10479. This reorganization furthered the principle that “…it is the obligation of the contracting agencies of the United States Government and government contractors to insure compliance with, and successful execution of, the equal employment opportunity program of the United States Government.” This Executive Order made the head of each contracting agency of the federal government responsible for obtaining compliance by their contractors and subcontractors with the nondiscrimination provisions of the contracts into which they entered.

John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy
(Aaron Shikler/Wikicommons)

March 6, 1961
Executive Order 10925


By the time John F. Kennedy was elected President, it was evident that to advance equal employment opportunity federal involvement needed to be broader and more proactive. Shortly after JFK took office, he signed Executive Order 10925, opening a new chapter in achieving access to good jobs by requiring government contractors to “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color or national origin.”
Executive Order 10925 gave federal contracting agencies authority to institute procedures against federal contractors who violated their EEO obligations-including contract cancellation, debarment from future contracts and other sanctions.

September 24, 1965
Executive Order 11246


EO 11246 charged the Secretary of Labor, a Cabinet-level official with strong enforcement authority, with the responsibility of ensuring  equal opportunity for minorities in federal contractors’ recruitment, hiring, training and other employment practices. EO 11246 continued and reinforced the requirement that federal contractors not discriminate in employment and take affirmative action to ensure equal opportunity based on race, color, religion and national origin.

So while extending an Executive Order of non-discrmination to LGBT Americans would be a historic milestone specifically for that community, it would be entirely consistent with long-standing American principles of expanding opportunity and the government leading the way in ensuring fairness and equal opportunity are the guiding forces driving employment decisions. These are principles President Obama himself has repeatedly expressed his support for, in particular to the gay community. Just this week, asked about the DynCorp situation, White House spokesperson Shin Inouye told Washington Blade's Chris Johnson:

"President Obama has long supported an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity."

Pressed on executive order, Inouye said:
"Regarding your question on a potential Executive Order, I don’t have anything to report."
If we are to take the adminstration and the party at their word that passing ENDA is a goal of the 113th or 114th Congress, then issuing this Executive Order offers a significant long-term tactical advantage. It is a incrementalist approach, offering more, but not complete protection. It can serve a test balloon for public reaction and also as an experimental laboratory providing the EEOC with a wealth of data with which to counter opponents often hyperbolic fear-mongering of what ruin will befall the republic should Congress actually pass ENDA. Critics will even harder-pressed to find any nightmare scenarios of "gays gone wild" once the right to equal opportunity has been affirmed. They will once again predict falling skies, and once again, be wrong.

The EEOC could, in the next few years, serve a parallel function that to the Pentagon's Working Group Study Group did on DADT compiling data and offering a greater chance of success next time they attempt to pass ENDA legislatively.  

The Policy



The symbolic nature of extending federal non-discrimination assurances to the LGBT community cannot be underestimated, of course. There are, however, a great deal of pragmatic benefits that such an act will deliver. 

The scope of the effect is quite enormous. From the Department of Labor's own statistics 22 percent of the American workforce will be affected:

OFCCP’s jurisdiction covers approximately 26 million or nearly 22% of the total civilian workforce (92,500 non-construction establishments and 100,000 construction establishments). The Federal Government awarded more than $179 billion tax-payer dollars in prime contracts in Fiscal Year 1995.
The reason this number is so high is EEOC jurisdication extends not just to the business of the contract, but to the entire company.

In other words, if a major company sells the government widgets, even if the widgets account for only, say, 1 percent of the company's total business, the entire company becomes obliged to follow EEOC guidelines. In this day of super-mega corporations this represents a very big stick (or call it a carrot) the government can use to move this issue forward.

There is a manner that this order would actually be more effective than ENDA. ENDA would require workers to proactively file complaints. But the EEOC can actively investigate companies without anyone filing a formal complaint. Such a situation happened recently with one of largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, AstraZeneca. The settlement announcement from the DOL:

The company is a federal contractor that receives more than $2 billion to supply drugs and medical equipment to VA hospitals and centers across the country.

The Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs found in its investigation that the company was discriminating against women by paying some of their female sales associates, on average, $1,700 less per year than men doing the same job. One hundred and twenty four AZ saleswomen will share in the $250,000 settlement.

Many of the women had no idea they were experiencing discrimination.  That’s not surprising.  How would they know what their male counterparts were making?


Indeed, how would one know that? The EEOC spotted the pay discrepancy in a routine examination of the companies' records. This is the power of proactive investigations.

Tico Almeida
Tico Almeida (Freedom To Work)
Such an order would also provide employment protection to many LGBT individuals in states where there is none. Tico Almeida of Freedom to Work explained to Towleroad the advantages of an "Executive ENDA":
"Let’s say a federal contractor in Texas or Florida fires an employee with a perfect performance record as soon as he comes out of the closet as gay. Under current law, that fired employee can’t file a complaint with any state agency, because neither Texas nor Florida has its own ENDA. He can’t file a complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission because Congress has not yet passed the federal ENDA.

However, after President Obama signs the ENDA Executive Order, the fired gay worker will be able to file a complaint with a the civil rights office at the U.S. Department of Labor. The Labor Department has 800 inspectors across the country that deal specifically with discrimination complaints against federal contractors. After an investigation, the Labor Department can litigate against the discriminatory company and win back-wages and reinstatement for the fired worker. So this ENDA Executive Order will provide real change for actual LGBT individuals who otherwise would have been denied justice."

And the politics



Any suggestion this would be a dangerous move in an election year cannot be seen as driven by any rational look at any available data. In fact, one of the more frustrating aspects is a recent poll (pdf) confirmed nearly 90% of people already believe this is the law. It is a sad irony that hardcore anti-gay bigots can enjoy the unfettered legality of firing and harrassing LGBT people in the workplace free of consequences in most of the country, and still nurse a grudge they are victims of the radical homosexual agenda that requires them to respect some fantasy quota of having to hire and promote homosexuals.

The issue of LGBT employment discrimination does not divide the electorate. The Human Right Campaign released the latest polling on the topic of LGBT employment discrimination in December, concluding: "Support for anti-discrimination laws crosses party lines, ideological boundaries, religious differences, and age groups."

Overall, 77 percent of voters support protecting gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination in employment.  Over half (51 percent) support anti-discrimination laws strongly. To put the numbers to a graph:

"Do you favor or oppose protecting gay, lesbian and transgender from discrimination employment?"


ENDA Poll
Green mean GO! (HRC)
Opposition to such laws doesn't even remotely approach a majority view among Republican respondents. These numbers are entirely inline with other pollsters' findings.

It isn't even clear major players in the GOP will have an appetite to make hay. Even running in a GOP primary, Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney don't want to be seen as "discriminating" people. At a debate in January they said:

Romney:

"At the same time, from the very beginning in 1994, I said to the gay community, I do not favor same-sex marriage. I oppose same-sex marriage and that has been my view," he added. "If people are looking for someone who will discriminate against gays or will in any way try and suggest that people -- that have different sexual orientation don't have full rights in this country, they won't find that in me."

Rick Santorum:

"I would be a voice in speaking out for making sure that every person in America, gay or straight, is treated with respect and dignity and has the equality of opportunity.

GOP certainly enjoys their own definition of what constitutes "discrimination," but it seems they are becoming sensitive to the label "discriminatory" being hung upon them, even when pandering to the GOP primary voters.

Of course, the social conservatives will rend their garments. Do they ever miss an opportunity? Recall when Obama's first day of school address was declared "socialist indoctrination of children"? Recall that Rick Perry rallied social conservatives to unite behind him to stop Obama's "war on religion"? Poor Rick, that didn't resonate with many folks. Recall that Fox News called the president "Mubarak Obama"for dropping the Defense of Marriage defense? Recall that repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is decried as having turned the military into a “massive pro-gay propaganda machine"?

No, you don't recall? Well, regular observers of right-wing nut jobs know they never stop beating that drum. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council has been telling followers for a year that re-election of Barack Obama can only lead to the apocalypse.

And yet, the president's personal popularity remains high, particularly in light of the difficult economic conditions his administration is facing, relative to other presidents who have presided over harsh economic times (Carter, Bush 1).

President Obama's ability to withstand even thrive in the face of such hyperbolic attacks is seriously underestimated, by his own staff, and many of his supporters.

The reality is, that we have a gay-friendly president is a cat that is already well out of the bag. The venn diagram of voters who consider LGBT advancement a deal-breaker and those who might vote for President Obama in 2012 probably looks something like this:

Venn Diagram
Voter universes: this may be a generous estimate of overlap.

The effect on employers



This will be minimal, likely just forcing a few recalcitrant companies to get onboard with what is now a standard practice. Any order is very likely to include a standard grace period for existing contractors to come into compliance. If they do not, they will have made their own bed. It's highly likely the overwhelming majority enjoy their government largess more then they do discrimination.

HRC's most recent Corporate Equality Index showed yet again this year, record numbers of companies receiving perfect scores. Of the Fortune 500: 86 percent include sexual orientation in non-discrimination policies; 76 percent offer same-sex partner benefits; gender identity inclusion has soared to 50 percent in 2012 from just 5 percent in 2002.

In fact, this won't even be a radical shock to majority of military contractors. The Williams Institute recently studied the top 50 contractors (pdf) and found that the top five—25 percent of the contracts—would be in compliance already.

Ken Disken, senior vice president of the number one military contractor, Lockheed Martin, says of their inclusive policy:

"Lockheed Martin is committed to providing the most supportive and inclusive environment for all employees. Ensuring a positive, respectful workplace and robust set of  benefits for everyone is critical to retaining employees and helping them develop to their fullest potential. Our efforts to provide the best environment possible for all employees support the corporation's business objectives and the professional aspiration

The second largest contrator, Boeing Corporation, added "gender identity" to existing non-discrimination policies back in 2006. Connie Jack of Boeing said:
"That was a major celebration for us.  Diversity is itself a core business strategy of the company.  It is our intent to create an inclusive environment that provides for a fully engaged workforce."

The fifth largest contractor, General Dynamics, says:
Appreciating differences involves respecting the underlying characteristics that make each of us unique. These differences include personal points of view, beliefs and ways of thinking, as well as tangible differences such as age, gender, ethnicity, national origin, physical ability, military experience and sexual orientation, among others. General Dynamics recognizes that the best ideas and solutions are developed by gathering input from people who have these different perspectives as well as these tangible differences.
The opportunities to make political hay out of this become rather awkward for opponents when they find themselves arguing that the leaders of the very industry they purport to defend have policies that undermine the creditability of their objections. If the top five contractors can command the lion's share of business, and also speak proudly of their inclusive environments, there really is no reality-based argument for objecting.  

There is only win here for the President.


This is the second in a two-part series on LGBT employment discrimination. Part one is here: Putting a face to LGBT employment discrimination.
EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  nicely done although it did seem more like (8+ / 0-)

    sexual harassment of a different sort in that the "co-worker" was projecting his closeted desires reminiscent of the hate mail-apalooza

    In addition to foregoing conduct, the Co-worker accused Friso of engaging in homosexual acts, and described such acts to Friso. For example, on one occasion, the Co-worker told Friso to "go back to Mannheim and suck [Friso's former supervisor's] dick." The Co-worker made this comment in the presence of Defendant's management, but management took no action in response.

    dangerous voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare."

    by annieli on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 01:34:17 PM PST

  •  Another question: why are we giving... (13+ / 0-)

    ...taxpayer money to mercenaries like DynCorp, Xe/BLACKWATER, and Triple Canopy?

    If you want to support the troops, give them jobs on military missions in the rear, and have active-duty military protect diplomatic personnel, not companies led by Bond Villains like Erik Prince.

    9-11 changed everything? Well, Katrina changed it back.

    by varro on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 01:52:24 PM PST

  •  I especially liked (14+ / 0-)

    your point that an EO wouldn't be a radical departure from what presidents normally do. The idea that being pro-LGBT is terrifying in the employment context seems to exist on the left and the right.

    There's this whole theme that we can't push too hard yet  because it's just not time yet and the president would really be taking the biggest risk of his presidency in order to put his name on an administrative order (rather than signing a Congressional bill) and there is just nothing to back it up. Since presidents have historically done this, it isn't a new and revolutionary concept.

    Read my stuff at burn after writing and The Huffington Post @indiemcemopants on Twitter

    by indiemcemopants on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 01:59:38 PM PST

  •  I'm having a hard time imagining what it means to (6+ / 0-)

    "somewhat" support or "somewhat" oppose anti-discrimination protections. What the fuck? Either you are FOR being for workplace protections or AGAINST it. How would a person act out their "somewhat" support or "somewhat" opposition? Maybe kinda it's OK to discriminate against LGBT people? It's only OK on Wednesdays and Saturdays??

    :P

    Still, I should STFU and be more than somewhat grateful for all the "somewhat" supporters.

  •  Not a radical departure, no real opposition (11+ / 0-)

    I honestly don't understand what the administration is waiting for.  The only thing I can come up with is that they're waiting until the general election so they can trash any knee-jerk complaining the Republican opponent does as a result, but that doesn't make real sense to me either.

    Draft it and sign it, Mr. President, and let the next Congress expand it to the entire population.

    All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 02:05:20 PM PST

    •  The Administration Isn't Waiting For Anything (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, pwr2thepeople
      In fact, reports are coming out of D.C.  that much of the most onerous red tape that is necessitated by any Executive Order has already been cut. It's said a draft copy of the Executive Order has cleared lawyers at the Labor Department and other bureaucratic agencies. A final version has arrived at the White House and now awaits only the approval of a few senior staff before it lands on the President's desk for his signature.

      You're right, however, that your explanation for your supposed delay doesn't make sense:

      The only thing I can come up with is that they're waiting until the general election so they can trash any knee-jerk complaining the Republican opponent does as a result, but that doesn't make real sense to me either.

      POTUS is not a dictator. For this EO to have real impact, it must be beyond reproach. By taking this step-by-step, any day now the EO will be signed, and the cause of forming a more perfect union will advance another step.

      Step 1: the most onerous red tape that is necessitated by any Executive Order has already been cut

      Step 2: a draft copy of the Executive Order has cleared lawyers at the Labor Department and other bureaucratic agencies

      Step 3: A final version has arrived at the White House and now awaits only the approval of a few senior staff

      Step 4: it lands on the President's desk for his signature.

      And when that signature gets penned long before Primaries are over, will you then complain that it didn't happen soon enough?

      DADT - Gone
      DOMA - Moribund

      Maybe a PaleIn ticket would have addressed these issues in a more expeditious manner, but I doubt it.

      I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the Republican Party.

      by OnlyWords on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 03:05:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I normally wouldn't bother, but (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Tommy Allen, LuvSet

        When someone says "fierce advocate" I get impatient, and he said it during the 2008 campaign, so it's taking me a while to get over it.  DOMA may be moribund, but considering that you can't in over 40 states, it's not dead, is it.

        I'm sorry my glass is half empty on this one, but my half-empty is just as valid as your running over.  I'll be VERY happy if it's signed before primaries are over, so don't get snotty about it.

        All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

        by Dave in Northridge on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 04:42:54 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  a "fierce advocate" who "leads from behind" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LuvSet

          Note that he's still against same-sex marriage -- but his position is "evolving" --  exactly how seems to be a trick question, though.   Why, it's almost as though he's trying to please all the people all the time.  I wonder how that will work out.  :-(

          A new year, a time for many changes. Some we will like, some we won't.

          by Tommy Allen on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 04:57:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  I hope you were anti-Bill Clinton then (0+ / 0-)

            Since he was firmly behind and signed DADT and DOMA in the first place.

            But somehow everyone longs for the days when Clinton said "I feel your pain" and stabbed LGBT people in the back, as well as poor people with his welfare reform and everyone else with financial deregulation.

            When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

            by PhillyJeff on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 12:00:59 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  The GOP response will be interesting. (8+ / 0-)

    If it happens during the primaries, the Talibangelicals will go crazy and they'll expect their GOP tools to do the same.

    •  I can hear it all now: (0+ / 0-)

      More regulation.  While Republicans in congress are trying to cut through regulations, here the president is adding more rules for small businesses to conform with, which will cost them more money, which could cost jobs, etc., etc.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 05:20:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  What's sad... (6+ / 0-)

    ...is that these companies could just do the right thing on their own.

    From Fortune:

    More than 80 percent of companies in the Fortune 500 now ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Some 249 of the Fortune 500 offer health and other benefits to the same-sex partners of their employees. That's up from just 28 a decade ago.

    But, until then, please sign the EO now Mr. President. Thank you!

    A Santorum a day..
    C.U.M. (Conservatives United Moneybomb), R.I.M. Jobs (Republican Idealism Makes Jobs)

    by cooper888 on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 02:13:03 PM PST

  •  Mitt keeps parroting (7+ / 0-)

    that it's DOMA he loves, but he doesn't discriminate - I wish someone like ... I dunno ... Anderson Cooper would try to pin him down on ENDA.

  •  I beg the diarist to add summary at top (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, commonmass

    of diary, definition, action link or donate button if needed.
    I started to read the diary but no time to get  far enough to understand.
    In haste here.
    Thanks.

    Quickie Google search for definition. My notes:

    ENDA. A Civil Rights Issue.
    to ensure workplace equality by protecting LGBT workers

    Example of helpful intro:

    The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission secured a $155,000 settlement against a federal contractor in a workplace discrimination case last week, triggering a call from one LGBT advocacy group for action from the Obama administration to address the issue further.

    http://www.washingtonblade.com/...

    What I don't know is the whether any particular effort is needed to pave the way toward making it stick when Obama signs it.....

  •  I tried to explain this before the last election. (0+ / 0-)

    There are some things that can be done with more political-effectiveness before an election, and some things that can be done with more political-effectiveness after an election. Although this should have already been done, this is one of those after-the-election deals. If we’re going to give the talibangelicals an afterlife-affecting issue to unite about, it need to happen after we win the election.  

    •  After the election... (4+ / 0-)

      we endlessly hear there are "more important" things to be done: we have to fix the economy, extend healthcare, end the wars, rebuild our infrastructure, secure the border, get money out of politics, save the climate, rebuild the middle, save the world from terrorism, fix the energy crisis, make Israelis and Palestinians love each other, end poverty and hunger, cure cancer, and fend off the attack from the aliens from Zarvox 7. We'll get to gay rights after all that. But we promise we'll take up the issue by the year 3012. We promise. You fags only have to wait another thousand years. Now please send that check to the DNC at 403 S Capitol St SE, Washington DC.

      "Lesbian and gay people are a permanent part of the American workforce, who currently have no protection from the arbitrary abuse of their rights on the job." --Coretta Scott King

      by craigkg on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 02:56:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Fag" is not a nice word. n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        annieli, craigkg

        Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

        by commonmass on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 03:10:59 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  The writer (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          commonmass, craigkg

          is speaking from the point of view of a pol who sees gays as a group to be appeased more than respected, although I agree the term is rather jarring and harsh, probably not one most Dem pols would think, let alone use.

          •  I get it. It's not a term I care to use. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            annieli, craigkg

            As a faggot myself.

            Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

            by commonmass on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 03:40:56 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  The pols, maybe not... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass

            ...but it is the sort of attitude expressed here and elsewhere when we press for LGBT rights. Before the election is the best and only time we get to hold Obama and many other elected pols accountable. We got had from Jan 2009- Jan 2011. ENDA was always "two weeks away" and we're "holding hearings soon." After the election, they get to do the same thing again, stringing the LGBT community along. Dem Pols don't want to solve the problems of LGBT people. They want the issue so they can continue to raise large sums of money from us. Now is precisely the time to hold them accountable. Now is the time to stop accepting mere words and get real action from them or we're taking our money, our time and our votes and withholding it from them.

            "Lesbian and gay people are a permanent part of the American workforce, who currently have no protection from the arbitrary abuse of their rights on the job." --Coretta Scott King

            by craigkg on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 03:42:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Yet these same people probably loved Clinton (0+ / 0-)

              who signed the damn DADT and DOMA in the first place.

              I wish LGBT people in this country had more rights than they do, but lets not pretend that any of our previous civil rights fights happened in a day, by executive order, and then everything was fine.

              When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

              by PhillyJeff on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 12:02:58 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  After the election... (8+ / 0-)

      To echo what a previous poster said, we can't constantly place politics before doing the right thing. Every day that goes by more people are subject to discrimination. It is a simple issue, equal rights for all, not equal rights for most, and then some more after we get re-elected. That is political gamesmanship at the expense of real people. It is also cowardice and despicable behavior yet we seemingly tolerate it because it makes for "good politics".

       It's the same reason no one so much as acknowledges the homeless problem. Because there is no political will to try and solve it, besides most people don't care about homeless folks anyway, they must have wanted to live that way ect...

       Ignoring our deepest problems just to get elected or re-elected is cowardly at best, if not criminal.

    •  And we've tried to explain this before (5+ / 0-)

      NOW is somehow always a bad time. LATER somehow is always the preferred time frame. Funny that.

      Thank god we didn't accept that when they tried to sell us on it regarding DADT repeal in 2009 and 2010.

      Some things just don't sink in no how many times we go over them.

    •  Wait (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scott Wooledge
      For years now I have heard the word "Wait!" It rings in the ear of every Negro with a piercing familiarity. This "wait" has almost always meant "never." We must come to see with the distinguished jurist of yesterday that "justice too long delayed is justice denied."

      Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  •  36 Kossacks like (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli, Meteor Blades, GrumpyOldGeek

    Discrimination against homosexuals. Let's start there.

    Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

    by commonmass on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 02:49:33 PM PST

  •  Mothers, even Liberal mothers have to (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, cocinero, SueDe

    teach their children and especially their sons not to be homophobic or derogatory towards especially male homosexuals.  You can not imagine how pervasive it is.  I have to admonish the boys regularly.  A homosexual boy still, at the middle school level would never dare to "come out".
    It's ridiculous.

    •  What? Give me a mutterfreaking break. n /t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      annieli

      Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

      by commonmass on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 03:09:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You have got to be kidding me. (0+ / 0-)

      I guess I came out at the "wrong" age.

      Santorum: Man on Dog; Romney: Dog on Car. equalitymaine.org

      by commonmass on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 03:13:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  We had one of the boys display (0+ / 0-)

        "questionable" behavior that could have been construed in a way.  I suspected that he was a victim of abuse but, it came out as him being inappropriate with the other boys.  The boys came to loathe him although they moderated their tone around me.  I still invited the boy over and told the boys to be compassionate if not trusting of him.  I told the boy if he did not act appropriately, I would ban him from the house.  There was no protecting him from his disturbing situation.

    •  The Trevor Project deals with the issue (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      psychodrew

      that kids are increasing wanting to own their orientation at ages that they may not fully comprehend the consequences that might entail.

      I'm concerned that "admonishing" kids they are being "ridiculous" is a very insensitive approach to what should be a very sensitive conversation.

      How that conversation proceeds can resonate on a person's self esteem for life. The child will remember it forever.

      Hopefully they'll look back on it fondly as having been supportive and kind, not dismissive and shaming.

      •  No, I don't admonish that they are being (0+ / 0-)

        ridiculous.  I just feel like it is ridiculous because I have to keep repeating myself.  It keeps coming back.
        The typical admonishments are brief.
        "I will not have homophobia in my house, or you will be banned from visiting/having visitors."
        "There will be no homophobia in this house and you are responsible for not letting each other be homophobic."
        "There is nothing wrong with being Gay.  Your Uncle/cousin/friend is Gay and we all love him."
        "Stop it!  I don't want to hear you being hurtful."
        They all briefly agree with me and get on with the stuff boys do.

  •  LGB ENDA had support. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, GrumpyOldGeek

    LGBT ENDA is what did not have support.  This comment serves to identify the "delay" in passing an ENDA bill, something I didn't read in this FP diary.  
    I agree that an Executive Order would solve the issue for  as long as Obama is president.  But let's be clear, there's not only an issue with right-wing framing in an election year, but many LGB people would have been satisfied with a "go slow" approach that didn't include Transgender people, arguing arguing the "T" in LGBT is a whole other issue that complicates ENDA.

    Koch Industries, Inc: Quilted Northern, Angel Soft, Brawny, Sparkle, Soft 'n Gentle, Mardi Gras, Vanity Fair, Dixie

    by ChiTownDenny on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 02:54:50 PM PST

    •  not really a "whole other issue", however (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      commonmass, Tommy Allen

      since it is more definitionally inclusive than exclusive in terms of the community, having seen on more than one occasion the transphobic behavior of otherwise liberal LGB'ers

      But let's be clear, there's not only an issue with right-wing framing in an election year, but many LGB people would have been satisfied with a "go slow" approach that didn't include Transgender people, arguing arguing the "T" in LGBT is a whole other issue that complicates ENDA.

      dangerous voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare."

      by annieli on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 03:08:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, I didn't mention it becuase (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Forest Deva, Tommy Allen, FogCityJohn

      The topic of the diary is the Executive Order, not what is holding up ENDA in the Comgress.

      The problem I see with the "pass LGB protections leave the Ts behind" is Ts will then never get Federal protections. The same LGBs that were happy to leave them behind certainly aren't going to trouble themselves later to go back and work for an T exclusive ENDA.

      Maybe you think the Ts can manage that all by themselves later. I really don't. That population is too small, IMO.

      •  A FP diary on the need for an EO on ENDA (0+ / 0-)

        that doesn't include the discussion about overwhelming support for passage of LGB ENDA is your prerogative to post.  Your readers now have information you didn't supply.    

        Koch Industries, Inc: Quilted Northern, Angel Soft, Brawny, Sparkle, Soft 'n Gentle, Mardi Gras, Vanity Fair, Dixie

        by ChiTownDenny on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 04:14:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is my second week on the topic. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FogCityJohn

          So long as we'll never get a bill to the floor I don't see much point to advocating for rewriting the one that is currently introduced to the 112th Comgress.

          Actually, I am not inclined to suggest rewriting it if it were likely to come to a vote.

          I am not sure anyone of any import would care about my recommendations anyway. Rep. Frank and HRC don't exactly hang on my words.

          You're welcome to write a diary with your own recommendations at anytime if you think my coverage of the topic is lacking.

          •  LOL! (0+ / 0-)
            I am not sure anyone of any import would care about my recommendations anyway.

            Personally, I would support an EO.  But I think legislation would be [more] permanent.

            Koch Industries, Inc: Quilted Northern, Angel Soft, Brawny, Sparkle, Soft 'n Gentle, Mardi Gras, Vanity Fair, Dixie

            by ChiTownDenny on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 04:41:40 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  30 years ago, wisconsin became the first state... (5+ / 0-)

      ...to protect LGB people.  Since then, they have not gone back to include transgender people.  Three decades of being left behind...

  •  I want to be wrong about ENDA (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, Scott Wooledge

    The consensus is, as you say, ".. the Employment Non-Discrimination act (ENDA) likely hopelessly blocked in Congress"

    I don't think that ENDA is likely to pass anytime soon. A supermajority in the Senate is probably the only way this could happen quickly. This is the kind of bill that is ripe for a Republican poison pill or extortion amendment. I am not optimistic.

    I really want to be wrong about this.

    With this in mind, I think that issuing an Executive Order is an appropriate tactic. There's no doubt that the Republic Party (whatever that is)  will throw another tantrum. It's their strategery.

    So I think that President Obama is doing his 13-dimentional "vampire squid slayer" video game chess move again. And he has a good chance of winning this one. I'm going to watch the SOTU on the WH site. There's a way to get a two-panel edition of the broadcast. Obama has gone all streaming video and transparency with charts and graphs.

    His latest chess move was a pin maneuver. It's when you give them a choice between ENDA or admitting they like to kill puppies and kittens.

    A fundamental type of a chess move. Setting up a series of chess moves that force your opponent to sacrifice a chesspiece. When  you pin their King, their King is in "check". When there's no escape, that's checkmate. Winner!!!

    So I hope my pessimism about ENDA is imaginary.

    Checkmate in 2 or 4 moves. Obama's got this one.

    I hope. Hope is important. When it happens, that's a good thing.

    "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

    by GrumpyOldGeek on Sun Jan 22, 2012 at 03:52:44 PM PST

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site