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The Senate Health and Labor Committee holds a hearing on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a bill that would create a federal ban on discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexual, and transgender people in the workplace. The measure has been introduced in every congressional session since 1994. The witness panel included one openly transgender person as well as an official from the National Religious Broadcasters Association.
Recently, the White House angered LGBT advocates when it decided against issuing an executive order blocking same-sex discrimination by federal contractors. The Obama administration then came out in favor of ENDA, though there seems unlikely that the employment discrimination bill will pass in this session of Congress.
Witnesses included: M. V. Lee Badgett, Research Director, Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy, University of California at Los Angeles; Samuel Bagenstos, Professor of Law, University of Michigan Law School, Ann Arbor, Michigan; Ken Charles, vice president of Diversity and Inclusion, General Mills Inc., Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Craig Parshal, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, National Religious Broadcasters Association, Manassas, Virginia.
Link to full video of the hearing here.
• Feministing‘s Infographic: Workplace discrimination is wrong and bad for business:
In light of today’s hearing on Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), it’s worth addressing the argument made by ENDA critics that protecting civil rights is just too gosh-darn expensive and will lead to all sorts of frivolous law suits. One, that’s a pretty indefensible argument, even if ENDA did cost money. Two, discriminating against people based on their sexuality and identification is pretty expensive as this Center for American Progress infographic illustrates. So, ENDA critics, don’t hide behind economic arguments. Just embrace your inner bigot.
• Washington Blade‘s First trans witness ever to testify before Senate on ENDA:
An openly transgender person for the first time is set to testify before the Senate on Tuesday about the lack of federal employment LGBT non-discrimination protections and the need to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, according to a committee notice published Thursday.
Kylar Broadus, founder of the Columbia, Mo., based Trans People of Color Coalition, is scheduled be among five witnesses who’ll speak during the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Committee hearing titled, “Equality At Work: The Employment Non-Discrimination Act.” The hearing is set to begin at 10 am, Room 106 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
According to his bio of the TPOCC website, Broadus is an attorney who hails from Missouri and founded the organization in 2010. He’s written essays of transgender rights, won awards for LGBT advocacy, is a board member of the National Black Justice Coalition and was formerly on the board for the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force.
Broadus is the first transgender person to testify before the Senate. A previous Senate hearing in 2009 had no transgender witnesses. A House hearing at around the same time featured testimony from Vandy Beth Glenn, who was fired from her job at the Georgia General Assembly for being transgender…
[More below the fold.]
• OneNewsNow‘s Beauty queen pulls out of pageant:
Miss Pennsylvania plans to live out her faith and leave behind her reign as a beauty queen.
Sheena Monnin is giving up her crown because of her objection to men who have undergone gender-reassignment surgery being allowed to compete in the Miss Universe competition…
Matt Barber of Liberty Counsel Action believes Monnin should be commended for objecting to a man competing in the pageant.
“[The goal is] to pretend and that everybody would join in this delusion that he is somehow a woman [so he can] compete against women. It shows that — not that there was ever a great deal of morality inherent within the Miss USA Pageant — certainly it shows that it has spiraled really down the drain here.”
…”We are, whether we know it or not, contributing to the success of this valueless, amoral, immoral organization and pageant, so Christians need to follow suit and follow this young woman’s lead and also leave the Miss USA, Miss Universe pageant,” he declares…
• Our Wiener Story Of The Day: ABC News‘ Helicopter Dumps Hot Dogs Over Detroit:
Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s…a hot dog? Yes, 955 of them of them to be exact. In honor of the landmark American Coney Island restaurant’s 95th anniversary, the restaurant teamed up with Detroit station 95.5 to host a hot-dog hoarding contest at Detroit’s Hype Athletics Facility Wednesday morning.
…About 100 Coney-aficionados flocked to the open field that the restaurant had rented to participate in a stuffing contest. Twenty-five of them then rushed around the field trying to stuff as many of the hot dogs on their person as they could in 95 seconds, stuffing them in their pockets, shirts, and who knows what other orifices.
The winner carried away $1,000 and American Coneys for a year…
As always, “The weenie tempts you!”
So anywho…It’s an open thread! What are you thinking about today, or what books or articles have you been reading the past few days? Wanna share?
And again, please feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread because…it’s an open thread! Woo-hoo!