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IN gay group rejects ENDA as ‘segregation’

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With the introduction of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act possibly just days away – many gay activists say they were shocked when one of the midwest’s largest gay rights groups denounced ENDA as “a new form of segregation.”

ENDA is a magnet for controversy. And it’s always the same controversy. Pragmatism versus Progressivism. In 2007, the debate was whether to pull gender identity protections out of the act to give it a better chance to pass.

Now, Indiana Equality has sparked a new debate – whether the entire act comes up short, by stopping at employment. ENDA doesn’t cover housing, public accommodations, credit, or education.

Kathy Sarris is the group’s president. She says an employment-only bill on the federal level will make it harder for more conservative states to pass other non-discrimination bills in other areas.

Sarris: “It’s going to slow the process. Dramatically. We’ve even had the same conversation with friends of ours in the legislature, and they say the same thing. It will slow the process dramatically. Their question was the same thing to us – why don’t they just do it all?”

But Equality Federation Executive Director Toni Broaddus told blogger Bil Browning “If ENDA does pass, I don’t think it will stop state efforts – just as federal civil rights legislation did not stop the passage of state civil rights legislation around race, sex, religion, etc”

Sarris said her group won’t push against ENDA, it just won’t campaign for it. She said she’d rather see a national dialogue about adding GLBT people to the federal Civil Rights Act.

–Aaron McQuade

Written by OutQ News staff

June 18, 2009 at 4:20 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

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