Lets start with ENDA. I really don’t see what the big deal is about an employment non-discrimination law. A lot of states have them for LGB and T people. RI is one of them, LGB since 1996 and T since 2001.
And want to know how many discrimination cases there have been regarding RI’s EHCNDA (Employment, Housing and Credit Non-Discrimination Act)? None. Not a single one. People know better than to discriminate openly against LGBT in those areas of life. So why the hell can’t the same thing happen for EVERYONE in the United States?
I know part of it is the perception of the transgender community. Some legislators just can’t wrap their heads around it. But they need to get over it and just pass the bill.
As to Don’ Ask/Don’t Tell – our
Fierce Advocate President Obama was gung-ho to get rid of this ridiculous policy when he was campaigning for office. Now that he’s President the tune has changed. This whole study and approval process is rapidly moving from the sublime to the ridiculous. You ask why? Because Obama is the Commander in Chief, that’s why. He could, with a stroke of the pen eliminate the policy. But he chooses not to do so. I suppose that’s because we LGBT people are the new radioactive in this land.
Now marriage equality. Rhode Island could have had full equality THIS YEAR but for some reason our openly gay Speaker of the House, Gordon Fox decided not to have hearings or even consideration of a bill this year.
I’m scratching my head on that last one. I’m doing so because:
a) Fox is a gay man in a long term relationship
b) I know for a FACT that we had enough of a majority in the house to override a gubernatorial veto. That’s right we did. Now we’re going to have to start all over again because of this uncertain election year. And in the senate, it was just a matter of Sen. Paiva-Weed growing a pair and LEADING that body to a victory for LGBT people in RI. Nothing like being failed by your leadership.
Now I’m going to say it. The ONLY TIME civil rights advance in this country is when the judiciary finally steps in and resolves the matter. Rarely has a legislative body granted the full measure of civil rights without some prompting by a court.