Barney Frank: 15 more Dem seats = ENDA with transgender

by on August 27, 2008  •  In Congress, ENDA, Transgender

From an interview with Barney Frank at the Democratic National Convention, on congressional races in the coming election:

"It’s most important that we increase [the number of Democrats] in the Senate and I believe we will by at least five, maybe seven or eight and that’s going to be very important because that is where we’ve had blockages.

"Secondly, the House will pick up 10-15 seats. Getting rid of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is important, but I think that the first thing that the new president will have to do is set us on the course to get out of Iraq. There are only so many things we want to test the military with.

"The hate-crimes bill is an easy one. Both houses have passed it. We can get a hate-crimes bill signed. Then we will get to ENDA.

"The question now is whether enough lobbying has been done to include people who are transgender. In my own home state of Massachusetts, I sent testimony in favor. There was a proposal to add transgender discrimination to the [state anti-discrimination law], and it failed. There’s still a political problem there that some of the leadership doesn’t want to confront. We need more lobbying on that. We had a very good hearing on that issue [before the House Education and Labor Committee] and it helped. Previously, we were running into problems getting it out of committee, and I think the hearing [] had a major impact on that. It also depends on if we get more Democrats.

"The more Democrats we have, [although] obviously not every Democrat votes with us, the better we’ll do. If we can pick up 15 Democratic seats, then I think we are in a good position to pass a transgender-inclusive ENDA."


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