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Catching up from the holidays | Hunter of Justice

Catching up from the holidays

by on January 1, 2011  •  In Uncategorized

So, what's new from the last two weeks?

First (I'll admit some bias here), the Senate confirmed Chai Feldblum as an EEOC Commissioner. How absurd did the debate get over Chai's nomination?  You can choose whether to laugh or cry about this February exchange during a press briefing by White House Press Chief Robert Gibbs:

Q    Robert, just two — just two questions. There have been news reports that the President's nominee for EEOC commissioner, Chai Feldblum, and the ACLU support the acceptance of polygamy.  Does the President believe our armed forces should begin recruiting polygamists?

Q    Say yes.  (Laughter.)

MR. GIBBS:  I'm happy to look at the information in the news reports you cite, but I don't have anything on that.

Second place goes to Ireland. On December 23, Irish Justice Minister Dermot Ahern signed the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act of 2010, legislation recognizing gay couples and allowing civil unions in the Irish Republic. The law, which secures a range of rights over shared homes, maintenance payments and pensions, goes into effect today. Because Irish law requires all couples to give three months’ notice to their local registrar, the first ceremony is expected to be in early April.  

Coming in third: VP Joe Biden, who provided quite a teaser during an interview with ABC

The vice president agreed with Obama’s comments that his position on gay marriage is “evolving.”  Biden said there is an “inevitability for a national consensus on gay marriage.”

“I think the country's evolving.  And I think you're going to see, you know, the next effort is probably going to be to deal with so called DOMA [Defense of Marriage Act],” he said.

This response seems like the classic trial balloon, and my bet is that the Obama/Biden mantra of <gay marriage is inevitable, let's all evolve> will become the new Democratic Party line on gay marriage.

My question:  if DoMA is the administration's "next effort," what happened to ENDA?

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2 Responses to Catching up from the holidays

  1. caprice bellefleur January 1, 2011 at 2:41 PM

    ENDA, since it will have the largest real effect on the general population, will be the last of the three federal laws to be enacted. DADT repeal only affects the military. DOMA repeal is just symbolic. It doesn’t really affect straight people at all. But ENDA will require changes at the large majority of the workplaces in those jurisdictions where there is no current anti-discrimination law.

    If the LGBT rights groups had figured this out earlier an awful lot of wasted effort could have been avoided.

  2. Jay January 4, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    I disagree with the assertion that “ENDA will require changes at the large majority of the workplaces in those jurisdictions where there is no current anti-discrimination law.” Most large employers, even in states and counties and cities that do not have sexual orientation protections in place, have their own policies prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. Moreover, while there are only 20 or so states that prohibit sexual orientation discrimination in employment, most large cities in the country prohibit employment discrimination.

    I do not disagree that there is a problem, especially in aggressively anti-gay states such as Oklahoma, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas. I know that a lot of discrimination occurs. However, the blogosphere is such now that even in those states when blatant discrimination occurs, there is an immediate reaction, often involving boycotts, etc. and usually the injustice is remedied.

    One reason DADT repeal was so important was that the military is the nation’s largest employer. It would have been very strange to have ENDA in place with an exemption for the military. Now when DADT is implemented, that will serve as an impetus for action on ENDA, which has the support of a majority of Americans, though the Republicans will no doubt prevent its enactment any time soon.

    DOMA repeal will be more difficult.

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