The National: Non-Discrimination Advances / Lt. Choi Recalled To Active Duty

by February 9, 2010

Click to enlarge (Image: NGLTF)

Don’t cry for ENDA, America, the truth is it never left you…the fight is just shifting to the state level (with disingenuous apologies to Andrew Lloyd Webber). Specifically, to Missouri, Virginia, and Kansas, whose legislatures are all considering expanding employment protections to LGBT workers in various forms.

First, the Virginia Senate yesterday passed a bill banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the state workforce that will “almost certainly die” in the Republican-controlled House of Delegates, according to the Washington Post. While the 2 previous governors had issued executive orders to the same effect, the current governor has refused to renew the orders, saying they overstep the governor’s authority, conveniently rolling back the status quo and passing the buck on responsibility.

Meanwhile, the Kansas Senate passed a broader bill out of committee on Friday that would include sexual orientation and gender identity in the state’s non-discrimination statute. The HRC is hopeful the bill will pass, given that 79% of Kansans think it’s wrong to fire someone for their sexual orientation.

Lastly, LGBT Missourians are looking forward to the introduction this legislative session of a similar non-discrimination bill that’s laid dormant for eight years.

It’s not real clear if there’s a nation-wide push from state-based LGBT organizations for these kinds of laws, but with the federal ENDA effort all but dead until the next election cycle, activists’ energies will have to find a new focus.

Elsewhere…

D.C. – Thursday’s DADT Senate hearings postponed, again, with no new date set so far. The DC Agenda blames #snowmageddon. (DC Agenda)

New York – Frank Rich, op-ed columnist for the NY Times points out that the right-wing propaganda machines haven’t touched the DADT repeal issue ever since Adm. Mike Mullen came out in favor of a repeal last week. I’d disagree that they’re afraid of loosing votes by appearing bigoted, but it’s hard to ignore the recent string of strange events. (NY Times, TheColu.mn)

Michigan – Some conservative religious leaders want to protect the right to hate, and sue over the recent federal hate crimes law with backing from the group founded by the Emperor of Dominoes Pizza. (The Michigan Messenger)

California – NOM(-nom-nom) throws a fit after finding out the Prop 8 judge is gay. (Towleroad)

Teh Interwebs – Lt. Dan Choi, the poster boy for DADT repeal, has rejoined his unit. The Bilerico Project is reporting that his discharge order may never be enforced. Does this apply to other LGBT soldiers, too, or just ones with supportive commanders and lots of media attention? (The Bilerico Project)

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