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9 of 10 Americans Think ENDA is Law

12:07 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

Kevin Durant face-palm. #gomavs #mffl 23 pt lead.

Kevin Durant face-palm. #gomavs #mffl 23 pt lead. by rondostar

This may explain why the Democrats got away with not passing the Employee Non-Discrimination Act when they controlled both houses of Congress, and why there’s no dull roar in the land for its passage. Supported by the same percentage of voters, across all categories, as repeal of DADT was at the height of the campaign, here’s the problem:

9 of out 10 voters erroneously think that a federal law is already in place protecting gay and transgender people from workplace discrimination. A similar number of voters also did not know whether their state had a gay and transgender workplace discrimination law. These numbers show the huge disconnect between voter perceptions about workplace protections and the realities that gay and transgender people face on the job.

No matter how high up in the stratosphere support for enacting workplace non-discrimination laws is, if almost all Americans think those protections already exist, then there will be no pressure — at all! — on legislators to enact such provisions.

Seventy- five percent of likely voters say they favor “protecting gay and lesbian people from discrimination in employment,” while 73 percent say they favor these protections for “gay, lesbian, and transgender people.” The responses are essentially identical.

Why bother taking a tough vote, or subjecting members of the Democratic caucus to a tough vote, as long as voters think it’s illegal to discriminate against LGBT people in hiring and the workplace?

This is one place our national organizations have badly failed, with their laser focus on DADT repeal, DOMA repeal, and marriage equality: Americans already think it’s illegal to discriminate in the workplace. And yet, look at how many people experience discrimination at work:

As CAP recently reported, studies show that anywhere from 15 percent to 43 percent of gay people have experienced some form of discrimination and harassment at the workplace. An astonishing 90 percent of transgender people report some form of harassment or mistreatment on the job. Nearly half of transgender people also report experiencing an adverse job outcome because of their gender identity. This includes being passed over for a job (44 percent), getting fired (26 percent), and being denied a promotion (23 percent).

It’s impossible to get Congress to pass a law the American people almost unanimously already believe exists. This is a profound failure on the part of national organizations, and they should be held accountable for it. Americans don’t care about passing ENDA: they already favor it very strongly and they almost all think it’s already law.

How can we move forward in that political environment? Nothing will happen when almost all Americans say, “Sure, that’s why I am glad it is law.”

Aravosis: “Who Died and Made CAP Queen?”

1:09 pm in Uncategorized by Teddy Partridge

This is disturbing. Center for American Progress is not only taking credit for what I call the sham ‘repeal’ compromise, they are also crowing about circulating the legislative language two months ago on Capitol Hill — while our primary LGBT national organizations on repeal were still fighting to end discharges right now under a full repeal.

Aravosis, at AmericaBlogGay:

For the past 24 hours, the liberal Center for American Progress has been on a rather public campaign to take credit for the entire Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell compromise that has much of the gay community in an uproar.

CAP’s effort to claim the mantle of glory for the amendment is odd for a number of reasons. Perhaps most importantly, it’s not entirely clear who invited CAP, a non-gay think tank, to the table in the first place – let alone who anointed them the head of the lgbt civil rights movement, granting them the authority to cave on our demand for the full repeal of DADT. Just as odd is the extent to which CAP has repeatedly tried to take credit for the deal in the past 48 hours. Even by the standards of our actual national gay groups, who have raised taking credit for things they didn’t do to an art, CAP’s repeated efforts to hog the limelight, when our actual gay representatives have been rather quiet about just how we came up with this compromise, are unusual to the say the least.

He cites GayCityNews, which has this tidbit:

The amendment, put forward formally the same day by Senator Joseph Lieberman, had been drafted by CAP and circulated among legislators starting roughly two months ago, Stachelberg said.

Winnie Stachelberg is a former HRC employee now senior official at CAP. Who apparently caved two months ago, undercutting HRC and SLDN and SU in their work for real, actual, full repeal of DADT.

Two months ago. While SLDN and Servicemembers United were still lobbying the Hill for the votes for full repeal, CAP was apparently telling legislators not to worry about full repeal this year – at least that’s what CAP is now claiming, in an effort to get credit.

I’m not so sure Winnie wants to be seen taking full credit for undermining the work of organizations much more understood by the LGBT community to be working hard on repeal, especially as this sham starts to blow up, with Robert Byrd’s 60-day additional post-Pentagon-report review that might take things right into Speaker Boehner’s House as well as Admiral Mullen’s statement to troops yesterday that it’s still up to him ‘whether’ to implement open service.