ENDA and LGBT Progress

To use a favorite opening of the president I’m about to mention, “Let me be clear”: LGBT individuals are still not fully equal citizens of the United States of America. We’re still discriminated against in the workplace, federally, state-wise and locally. There are places (like, say, the second-most populous state in the country) where the governing political party thinks “conversion therapy” is legitimate (despite its universal condemnation from qualified medical professionals). As many as forty percent of homeless youth are LGBT, largely because their families have disowned them just for being who they are. A dear friend of mine (who shall remain nameless, obviously) spent most of last year without a home while transitioning from female to male; thankfully, he’s successfully transitioned and moved forward. Many of his LGBT colleagues do not

This post isn’t about (legitimate) LGBT grievances, many of which are life-threatening. Rather, I’m writing this to praise a president who’s done more for the LGBT community than any of his forty-three predecessors. I’m referring here specifically to The Bilerico Project‘s coverage of President Obama’s speech at an LGBT fundraiser in New York last night and his historic executive order banning discrimination against LGBT employees in federal agencies. Now, it’s up to Congress to make ENDA a national requirement; whether that will happen is a matter for debate, but I remain optimistic that the changing national climate will push legislators (as it already has) toward doing what’s right. 

I don’t agree with President Obama on many issues; I could go into the ones on which I don’t, I suppose, but I’ll save that for another time. If you know me, you can probably guess. I will say, however, that Barack Obama is the champion of LGBT rights in this century. He has accomplished more than was imaginable even ten years ago for our community, and I thank him for it. That in no way means the fight is even close to over. But hey, I’ll just let Jon Stewart tell it.



~ by Benji on June 18, 2014.

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