Thursday, November 08, 2007



I don't know what's in Lipinski's heart, but I know how he votes

I had very mixed emotions about the passage of the Employment Nondiscrimination Act yesterday. The fact that it left transgendered people out is intolerable. The fact that it protects millions of American men and women from job discrimination is glorious.

It gets kind of mucked up when you look at the motivations of some of the people who voted for it and against it. Well, basically everyone who voted for it was well-motivated on one level or another, even if they were kind of participating in throwing transgendered persons under the bus. But there are two types of people who voted against it: all the Republicans and a small handful of bigoted, reactionary Democrats over in the hate corner and then an even smaller handful of Democrats in the equality corner who don't believe categories of people should be discriminated against. The link at the top of this post includes an excellent rationale from Congressman Jerry Nadler about why couldn't vote for the bill unless it included transgendered people.

One of the Democrats in the hate corner with the Republicans is reactionary Bush Dog Dan Lipinski-- who also opposes women's right to choice and stem cell research but LOVES that war in Iraq. As usual-- being Tennessee's 10th Congressman-- he voted alongside the Southern reactionaries he usually votes with.

Fortunately a real Democrat, one who stands by progressive values and principles-- Mark Pera-- is challenging Lipinski in the Illinois primary. Like most people in Illinois, Pera does support women's choice and stem cell research and equal protection under the law in the workplace. This morning he sent me his point of view on the passage of ENDA.
As an assistant Cook County State's Attorney, I have spent the last 10 years ensuring that people are equally protected under the law.

I believe it is one of the bedrock principles of our country that every American is entitled to be treated fairly regardless of their age, gender, race, national origin or religion. The Employee Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, simply makes it illegal to discriminate against any American in the workplace because of his or her sexual orientation.

No American should be subject to employment discrimination or have their right to work revoked because of sexual orientation.

Congress has a responsibility to ban any form of discrimination in the workplace in order to protect the rights of all workers against the biases of their employers.

Given the opportunity, I would have proudly voted in favor of ENDA as the House approved it yesterday.

ENDA is a landmark piece of civil rights legislation. Its approval tells millions of gay and lesbian Americans that they are entitled to the same employment protections as everyone else and that they do not need to live in fear of losing their jobs due to their sexual orientation.

Unfortunately, the Congressman from Illinois' 3rd District doesn't believe all Americans are entitled to the rights already granted to them by our state government.

As he has many times in the past, Congressman Dan Lipinski sided with President Bush and the Republicans again yesterday and voted against ENDA. He was the only Democrat in the Illinois delegation to vote against the proposal.

In fact-- other than the seven representatives who voted against ENDA on the grounds that it didn't go far enough-- Lipinski was the only northern Democrat, and just one of 18 Democrats overall, to oppose the bill.

While Illinois is one of 30 states that already has an "ENDA" law in place at the state level, Lipinski demonstrated that he does not believe that all Americans are entitled to equal protection under the law and that employment discrimination has no place in our society.

Every American has the right to expect to be treated equally. It is appalling that a Democratic representative from Illinois fails to uphold that fundamental principle.

Congress will be a better place with one less Dan Lipinski. And it will be a much better place with Mark Pera. If you'd like to experience what a great candidate Mark is, take a look at his live blog session at Firedoglake from early September. And if you'd like to help out in his race, he's on our Blue America ActBlue page.

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At 10:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dan Lipinski has one of the worst cases of "Gay Face" Ive ever seen

At 11:28 PM, Anonymous itsmylife said...

In addition to voting against ENDA because it left out transgender protection, many people felt it should be opposed because there was the additional insult of incorporating Defense of Marriage Act language into legislation that was supposed to be supportive of the GLB community.

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