Fair. Balanced. American.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

This is what you get

When you elect Republicans:
Gay and lesbian state workers in Virginia are no longer specifically protected against discrimination, thanks to a little-noticed change made by new Gov. Bob McDonnell.

McDonnell (R) on Feb. 5 signed an executive order that prohibits discrimination "on the basis of race, sex, color, national origin, religion, age, political affiliation, or against otherwise qualified persons with disabilities," as well as veterans.

It rescinds the order that Gov. Tim Kaine signed Jan. 14, 2006 as one of his first actions. After promising a "fair and inclusive" administration in his inaugural address, Kaine (D) added veterans to the non-discrimination policy - and sexual orientation.
The most important gay rights battle right now, as we have written repeatedly, is neither the battle over marriage or don't ask don't tell. It's passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. The useless Human Rights Campaign should have pushed hard for that bill, rather than ending discrimination in the military, which would have been covered by ENDA in the first place. It might have been a bigger battle, but Republicans would have been hard pressed to oppose it before the glare of the national media. Even a filibuster would have been a pyrrhic victory, since it would kill the GOP's hopes of winning independent voters under 35. Not just in 2010 or 2012, but probably forever.

Ending DADT is an incremental reform that affects a handful of people, however deserving they may be. ENDA could pass the House easily and would have decent prospects in the Senate(it got 49 votes in the upper chamber 15 years ago, when national attitudes towards gay rights were far more bigoted). Once again, as we have seen too often over the last year, an achievable victory has been thrown away. And in the meantime, in most states it continues to be perfectly legal to fire American citizens because they're gay.

1 comment :

omen said...

i blame the white house, not only for lack of support but for intentionally sabotaging even incremental gains.