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Boehner Totally Blasé About ENDA

Boehner Totally Blasé About ENDA

 

Speaker of the House John Boehner said this week that he hasn’t seen ENDA, doesn’t know what it is about, thinks there’s probably adequate protections already in place to prevent workplace discrimination against LGBTs, but if not he’s sure a committee will get to it eventually.

Reports the Washington Blade:

Boehner seemed unaware of ENDA in response to a question from the Washington Blade, saying, “I haven’t seen the bill. I haven’t thought much about it.”

Asked whether passage of ENDA might alleviate the 8.2 percent unemployment rate if employers were barred from firing LGBT workers, Boehner said “ample laws” are in place and deferred further comment to the House Committee on Education & the Workforce. The committee didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

“No one should face discrimination in the workforce,” Boehner said.

“There are ample laws already in place to deal with this. Having been the chairman of the Education & Workforce Committee, I’m quite familiar with employment law. But if there are further changes that are necessary, I’m sure the committee will look at it.”

[Read the full Blade article here.]

That Speaker Boehner claims to be familiar with employment law is interesting because if he is, he will know that in 34 states it is still perfectly legal to fire someone for being trans and in 29 states still legal to fire them for being gay. He should recognize the issue at hand and know there is pressing need for a solution.

While this may seem like a predictable response from the house leadership — one that, admittedly, didn’t seem overtly hostile though — it does raise the serious question of how the Obama administration hopes to push ENDA, or the Employment Non Discrimination Act, with a House majority that still will likely oppose the bill if out of nothing but indifference to the plight of LGBT workers.

Currently, ENDA has 161 co-sponsors in the House. That’s desperately short of the 218 votes that would be needed for passage.

It is noteworthy that with the Obama administration’s refusal to sign an executive order before ENDA is through Congress, Obama has in some ways, while taking fierce criticism himself, set the House leadership up for a rather precarious position: if the Republicans oppose ENDA, legislation that for a long time now has had majority bipartisan public support, they will be seen as regressive and, crucially, as curtailing vital legislation that could help jobs and infrastructure, two things that the House leadership was supposedly all about. A game of politics is slowly emerging, all the while LGBT workers remain vulnerable.

Meanwhile, the pressure on the Obama administration over its refusal to sign an executive order continues to increase with the Washington Post having published yet another article urging the President to act.

 

Related Reading:

No Complaint from Republicans Over LGBT Exec Order

Trans Woman Sues For Alleged Police Harassment

Trans Protections Next in Maryland?

 

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Image used under the Creative Commons Attribution License with thanks to House GOP Leadership.

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35 comments

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6:51AM PST on Jan 9, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

1:07PM PDT on Jun 17, 2012

John Boehner does not know what ENDA is? If I were him, I would be ashamed at my ignorance and question whether I were in the right profession. I am English and live in the UK, yet I know what ENDA is. Does that mean I am more aware of US politics than the Speaker of the House? Good grief!

9:50PM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

Boner? He couldn't get a boner with a boatload of Viagra. Patrick is right, somebody has his
hand up his @^#.

9:42PM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

8.2% unemployment rate is media BS. It's MUCH higher than that & we all know it. And we also know that Boner is a whiny idiot, who's much like all politicians- say one thing & do another... Vote them all out & start over in 2012. I know...Wishful thinking!

5:08PM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

I don't like him.

2:42PM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

Did anyone else notice the resemblance Boehner has to Charlie McCarthy? I think someone has his hand up Boehner's ass making his lips move too.

2:06PM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

“No one should face discrimination in the workforce,” Boehner said.

Of COURSE no one SHOULD, but it's OK with him that they ARE. The Pope "SHOULDN'T" bash gays every time he speaks but he DOES. He says there are ample laws in place to deal with this but that's a LIE because in 34 states there are NOT. How did this lying, bigoted Nazi get his job anyway, a RIGGED ELECTION? Or was he voted in by INSANE PEOPLE?

1:51PM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

Barbara S, why not just send him to any other planet to see if there is any intelligent life there, because there is none here especially among his peers and the GOP..
Buckley must be going crazy in his grave to see the direction his party has taken..

12:08PM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

Isn't it about time for Boehner to take a trek on the Appalachian Trail? His humanity and his brain is severely lacking.

10:05AM PDT on Apr 21, 2012

The problem with our govt is they are all elite rich bastards and thats not just republicans its democrats also.We are literaly forced to vote for a handpicked few that they know will do there bidding .Our political process in the end becomes a joke on the middle class and the poor especialy beacause some middle class agree with these rich crooks.Show me one person in congress that got there as a poor person with no big business to back them I will bet you cannot.

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