Wednesday, March 29th, 2023

My take on ENDA

Billy GloverJune 8, 2013.

Paul Cain asks (referring to a comment in my last post):

“This the first time I’ve heard anyone say they DON’T want ENDA. Can you clarify?”

My reply:

Don Slater was doubtful of the very issues most movement people were working for: affirmative action, ENDA, etc.  He said that in the end the results would do more harm than good. Just passing a law does not change minds.  As we saw with Board of Education and Roe, in fact it might have delayed the results we wanted. Many black people said that due to affirmative action they were treated as if they didn’t really deserve the degree, or job, even though they could have been successful without affirmative action. I am not sure the negative (you didn’t deserve getting into this college, you just got here because of your skin color, etc.) out did the positive (truly bigoted college bureaucrats could not let their bigotry keep deserving minorities out).

As I was told, LSU had refused black students—partly because Southern people had feared it would destroy it (the oldest and largest state black college in America, I think) but mainly because of bigoted state legislators.  Every white student graduate (I think) could go to LSU or a state university. No black student could, no matter how qualified. Didn’t some states actually pay for black students to go to colleges out-of-state?

Justice O’Conner said years ago that she voted to keep affirmative action, but it should not be needed 25 years after. Colorado had affirmative action for businesses, which the Supreme Court ended. (We were in Dolores at the time of the decision, and Don said it was right—I think the company was nearby.) In some cases, where female or minority businesses were to get a certain amount of jobs, the companies would make a woman president, etc. I think even in some cases companies that made a higher bid got the contract because they were able to do the job, and competitors were fake and could not.

As to ENDA, there is something to be said for making companies or any taxpayer-supported institution be truly equal. But, as the court said in the Boy Scout case, a private entity should be allowed to decide for itself what it wanted to do. As we know, that was wrong in the case since many government agencies were supporting the scouts. (What ever happened to the San Diego case where they had use of a building?)

But forcing a bigot to hire someone or not fire them would not work, as they would simply fake a reason, as they now do in the case of the law supposedly protecting older workers. Now they refuse to hire anyone who might get older on the job as they could not then fire them if they had a valid reason for fear of being falsely accused of discrimination. And insurance companies, which businesses need, refuse to cover older workers, or charge them higher premiums, so that companies can’t afford to have older workers.

How laws help women (or not) I am not sure about. And it has always been a part of the anti-marriage special rights argument about benefits that married people, especially those with children, get benefits single workers do not.

It seems to me that businesses have been glbt supporters without laws. And if we can expose and hold anti-gay businesses accountable for bigotry, that will make them change more than a law. We can’t seem to get  to Exxon, but that is what we need to do.

It could be that today Don Slater would not have the same concerns. But I am not sure, and we certainly should have this discussion in the community.


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  1. Paul Cain

    Billy, I think there’s a difference between the right to join a group (such as the Boy Scouts) and the right to obtain and keep a job. I don’t see this in Palm Springs, of course, but in a place such as Louisiana, I imagine there are people who can’t get a job for which they are qualified because there are bigoted bosses who wouldn’t hire them SOLELY because they are LGBT. That’s what ENDA is designed to end. Even if a church thinks it should have an exemption from the law, it would seem fair that no one should be denied a job because of his/her sexual orientation. We don’t allow business to deny jobs to qualified applicants based on sex, or race, or religion, or other suspect categories. And if someone comes out during his/her tenure at the job, that should not give an employer a reason to terminate employment. Yes, business in general has been ahead of the government on this issue, and I expect that will continue.

  2. Billy Glover

    I agree with what you are saying. BUT I am not sure the law can force someone to hire someone or to not fire them, and if someone is uncomfortable at a workplace, I doubt they would stay if there were any equal Alternative. How far does this go? I understand, mainly due to insurance issues, many businesses now do not hire overweight people. On the other hand, why should a Chinese cafe have to hire black or white employees-it defeats the pufrpose and atmosphere of the business. (Most do, but because of costs I think.)Again, I agree that any business doing business with the government/taxpayers can be told not so much who to hire but to NOT discriminate. Where is common sense? If some woman goes to work for a fundamentalist church, why should she then be able to sue them if she becomes a single parent and they fire her for violating their rules/morals? It is not relevant that the church does not fire those who commit adultery, etc, even though it makes the hypocrites, etc. While it seems common sense to me that a business will suffer if it rejects the better qualified person for a job ONLY because of their race, sex, etc? I seriously doubt laws make a difference, and would like to see statistics on how many lawsuits over such a discriminatory practice has happened-and how many were won. Usually the employer finds some other reason/excuse anyway. How many court cases have actually been affected (the decisions) by hate crime laws? If passing a law would stop bullying, I would be happy, but I would think enough laws already exist-parents should be held accountable for the actions of their children, as for their dogs? When enough school boards/teachers and parents are taken to court and pay millions of dollars in damages, bullying will stop-too often the victim suffers, not the bully, even in public opinion. When it is no longer cute or sexy to be anti-gay it will make anti-gay attacks disappear for the most part.There should be no laws against homosexuality-just as there should be no laws forcing racial segregation. But no law can force someone to like homosexual or black Americans. The media and other resources can make it unpleasant, unpopular to be a bigot. When preachers-especially black ones- stop giving men approval/support for being gaybashers, it will stop, no matter what the law says. When lgbt people and friends stop giving money to businesses, churches and politicians who are anti-gay, the businesses, etc will change, or die.I think intelligent people will have to start voting. For instance on understanding all points in politics, Obama may need to get rid of some IRS officials, BUT the reason being discussed on Fox News is NOT the reason. Wasting money is a reason. Denying tax-exemption to organizations that spend money, time and energy on support of laws and politicians is what the IRS should have been doing. I think the current issue of Windy City Times has an example of a church that is violating the rules and it should lose its tax exemption. As a MSNBC tv talker has pointed out-but Obama, et al, have not- IRS is violating the law by NOT denying exemption to the TeaParty groups that spend ANY money on affecting laws. The law says ALL money must be spent, but the IRS merely says most money has to be spent on welfare purposes.

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