“Our work this session on legislation combating hate crimes and employment non-discrimination highlighted the need and the desire people had for more information,” Baldwin said, referring to the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA). The House passed ENDA, but the Senate has yet to take it up this session. The hate crimes measure was attached to the Defense authorization bill, but later yanked.Clearly, much work needs to be done to ensure that these two important pieces of legislation are passed, and it is reassuring to see so many members of Congress pledge to support equal rights. However, any joy over the formation of the LGBT Equality Caucus must be undercut by the realization of just what a difficult battle even basic protections against violence and discrimination face. For example, although ENDA narrowly passed the House vote, it only protects against discrimination based on sexual orientation - all protections for transgenders were stripped from the bill out of fear that it would not pass if gender identity were included.
Perhaps what needs to be done is to humanize the issue, which should not be treated as a question of politics, but one of basic compassion. This piece from Current TV does just that:
(Many thanks to reader Ada for pointing us to this video!)