Skip to main content

Congressman Paul Ryan after being introduced by Mitt Romney as vice presidential choice, 11 August 2012
Well, Paul?

The Senate is set to hold a first vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act late Monday afternoon, and is ultimately expected to pass the bill with several Republican votes. But in the House, Republicans seem dead set against the bill prohibiting workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. No surprise, right? Except it kind of is: Back in 2007, both Rep. Paul Ryan and the chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, Rep. Greg Walden, voted for ENDA.

What’s more, as late as 2010, when the measure was being debated again, both Ryan and Walden were sticking up for the basic principle at the heart of ENDA. Said Ryan: “I think ENDA’s the right thing to do.” Said Walden: “I don’t believe in discrimination in the workplace.”

In fairness, in those same interviews, both Ryan and Walden opposed the inclusion of protections for transgendered Americans. And that protection is in the current version set to pass the Senate. But Boehner’s statement grounds House GOP opposition to today’s version of ENDA in the notion that it will lead to frivolous lawsuits and kill jobs, not in transgender protections.

Let's face it, if you "don't believe in discrimination in the workplace," allowing it to continue for gay people because you actually do believe in discrimination in the workplace when it comes to transgender people is a position that will make very few people happy. But, as noted, transgender protections aren't what Republicans are talking about. They're talking about religious liberty, despite a very broad religious exemption in the current version of ENDA. They're talking about all those frivolous lawsuits that might happen, even though they haven't happened in the states that already have ENDA-like laws. (To say nothing of the idea that it's somehow frivolous to sue because you lost your job not because of how well you did your job but because of sexual or gender identity.) But transgender protections? Many Republicans oppose them, just as some congressional Republicans doubtless do think it's just fine to fire someone for being gay, but they're notably not running around bragging about it.

So will Ryan and Walden pressure Boehner to allow a House vote on ENDA? Or will they confirm once again that their party has become ever more extremist in recent years?

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 12:51 PM PST.

Also republished by LGBT Kos Community, Badger State Progressive, and Daily Kos.

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

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site