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Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:05 PM

The lead sponsor of ENDA in the Senate opposes Obama's decision not to sign the limited EO

Just to make sure we all understand the FACTS of the situation:

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The lead Senate sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act has expressed disapproval over recent news the White House won’t take administrative action to prohibit job discrimination against LGBT people.

In a statement Thursday, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said he’s “deeply disappointed” the administration decided not issue an executive order requiring companies doing business with the federal government to have LGBT-inclusive non-discrimination policies.

“I am deeply disappointed that the Administration will allow companies that accept federal contracts to discriminate against workers on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Merkley said. “Such discrimination in the workplace is unacceptable. There is no way that equal opportunity exists for all Americans when such discrimination is tolerated.”

The senator continued he appreciates the president’s support for ENDA, which would prohibit job bias against LGBT people in the workplace, but that issuing the directive would have an “constructive step” in the effort to pass the legislation.

“I appreciate the president’s support for ENDA and will keep pushing for legislative action,” Merkley said. “However, an executive order would be a very constructive step forward and help build momentum to pass the bill. It’s disappointing that the White House is passing on an opportunity to make immediate gains for equal opportunity in America.”

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply The lead sponsor of ENDA in the Senate opposes Obama's decision not to sign the limited EO (Original post)
ruggerson Apr 2012 OP
ruggerson Apr 2012 #1
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #2
ruggerson Apr 2012 #3
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #5
ruggerson Apr 2012 #11
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #12
johnnypneumatic Apr 2012 #7
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #13
FreeState Apr 2012 #4
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #6
johnnypneumatic Apr 2012 #9
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #15
kenny blankenship Apr 2012 #18
FreeState Apr 2012 #10
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #14
FreeState Apr 2012 #16
Bolo Boffin Apr 2012 #17
Bluenorthwest Apr 2012 #8

Response to ruggerson (Original post)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:37 PM

1. And, additionally, 72 House members (including Barney Frank) have written Obama a letter

asking him to sign the Executive Order.

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A group of 72 U.S. House members is calling on President Obama to take administrative action to institute federal non-discrimination protections for LGBT people in the workplace.

In a letter dated April 2, the lawmakers ask Obama to issue an executive order requiring companies doing business with the U.S. government to have non-discrimination policies inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity.

“This order would extend important workplace protections to millions of Americans, while at the same time laying the groundwork for Congressional passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a goal that we share with you,” the lawmakers write.

The executive order is similar in its goal to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, legislation that would bar job bias. The directive has sometimes been referred to as the “ENDA” executive order, although the order would be more limited in scope because it only affects federal contractors.

FULL STORY

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Response to ruggerson (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:42 PM

2. But other prominent names aren't on that letter, known sponsors of ENDA.

But prominent members of House Democratic leadership aren’t among the signers. The names of both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) aren’t on the letter.

...Another notable absence is Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), chair of the Democratic National Committee. Her office didn’t immediately respond to the Blade’s request for comment on the letter.


Hoyer's office says he's still reviewing it. We know Pelosi and Wasserman Schultz are supporters of the bill. Why didn't they sign it?

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:50 PM

3. Just because they didin't put their name on the letter

does not mean they are against the EO. They might have myriad reasons not to.

And, yes, there are conservative Democrats who don't have your best interests at heart.

What we know is that ENDA has no chance whatsoever of passing while the Republicans hold the House and we know that Obama could sign the EO and keep momentum building. We also know that the lead sponsor of ENDA in each house wants Obama to sign the Executive order. We also kknow that poll after poll oover the last few years show 70%+ support for banning workplace discrimination against LGBT Americans.

This is not rocket science. It's about political courage.

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Response to ruggerson (Reply #3)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:55 PM

5. "They might have myriad reasons not to." Fine. What are those reasons?

What do they say the reasons are?

I expect "ENDA has no chance whatsoever of passing while the Republicans hold the House" has a great deal to do with it, but I will wait for statements from them on the subject.

ETA: I know that Pelosi and Wasserman Schultz are great friends of our community. And Hoyer's a sponsor of ENDA.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 06:08 PM

11. Read post #7

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Response to ruggerson (Reply #11)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 06:44 PM

12. I am, but you don't know how many responses are getting eaten by the server issues.

We'll continue the discussion there.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #2)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:57 PM

7. because of their positions as leaders

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi didn't sign it because she never signs these kinds of letters.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz is chair of the Democratic National Committee.
Steny Hoyer is House Minority Whip (and is also the slimy back-stabber who helped sabotage the DADT repeal law by taking out the non-discrimination language)

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Response to johnnypneumatic (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 06:46 PM

13. A couple of responses here.

1) President Obama is a leader, too. Why doesn't he get the benefit of the doubt you're giving Pelosi, Wasserman Schultz, and Hoyer?

2) Pelosi has signed these types of petitions before, as ruggerson's Blade article documents. Why not this one?

3) Why precisely does their position as leaders keep them from signing this? It's their responsibility to their members, correct? All of their members.

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Response to FreeState (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 05:55 PM

6. "those that think the presidents actions are okay" = not me.

But explainable?

That's what I'm trying to get at.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #6)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 06:05 PM

9. there is no explanation, it is just political cowardice

Within hours of the White House announcement, the “We Can’t Wait!” campaign received a $100,000 cash infusion from liberal donor Jonathan Lewis, the son of major Democratic philanthropist Peter Lewis.

Quotes from Jonathan Lewis:

“This isn’t a broken promise President Obama can blame on Congress. He has not been able to provide a single valid reason for why he is now refusing to sign the executive order protecting LGBT workers. It has become increasingly clear that this decision is based on cowardice rather than principled leadership.

“Over the past several years the LGBT advocacy groups have jumped through hoops for this administration, conducting extensive research and polling — more than has been done for any similar executive order — and now the only impediment is President Obama.”

“This is nothing short of craven election-year politics, a game Obama told us he would not play.”

http://pamshouseblend.firedoglake.com/2012/04/12/wh-press-secretary-bellyflops-when-questioned-about-thumbs-down-on-enda-exec-order/

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Response to johnnypneumatic (Reply #9)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 06:51 PM

15. "there is no explanation, here is my explanation"

Come on, johnny.

I agree that political cowardice is in the mix. Whose cowardice is being accommodated?

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Response to johnnypneumatic (Reply #9)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 07:35 PM

18. So that is what they mean by "pragmatism"

Finally I see -cowardice- that's so much more clear and concise.

I don't think I would have voted for and donated to him if someone had explained what pragmatism was really about. It's only a practical -ism if you're happy with having more of the same old shit.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #6)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 06:07 PM

10. My fear is that an explanation of the indefensible will be

used as an excuse to look the other way will my community is still treated as 2nd class citizens by our own government. GLBT people are fired every day because they are gay - every day. Every day something isn't done someones livelihood is destroyed, and in many case their lives thrown in disarray. There is really no excuse in my opinion.

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Response to FreeState (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 06:48 PM

14. An explanation gets us focusing our efforts on the most effective place, in my book.

And there is no excuse here. There is only finding the right place to apply pressure (and Obama is rightfully one of those places) and doing so. Applying pressure in just one spot and not all the others won't solve the problem.

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Response to Bolo Boffin (Reply #14)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 06:54 PM

16. Thats been going on for 20 years n/t

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Response to FreeState (Reply #16)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 06:58 PM

17. Now's not the time to give up. n/t

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Response to FreeState (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 14, 2012, 06:02 PM

8. the defenders of delay are out of excuses and lacking in standing,

Far too many people are far too sick of the same old song and dance.

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