Federal Contractor Ban on Anti-Gay Discrimination Prepped; Meanwhile, ENDA Dies Again


Making sure gays are not left out of incredibly wasteful spending projects.
Credit: Tony Webster / photo on flickr

The Department of Labor has announced its rule change for federal contractors that will prohibit them from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The rule will go into effect in 120 days and also requires contractors to add sexual orientation and gender identity to their equal opportunity statements when they advertise positions.

The new rule does not require that contractors set up quotas or collect statistical data on the basis of the two categories. It also does not change the exemptions for religious organizations that have federal contracts. BuzzFeed has the order posted here for anybody who wants to read it (nobody wants to read it, but just in case).

Meanwhile, as everybody probably expected, last-minute efforts by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) to get the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) rushed through Congress have failed. This would be the legislation that would outlaw private discrimination against gay and transgender employees at most workplaces, not just those with federal contracts, and has failed to pass for years now. Polis tried to push it through as an amendment to a defense authorization bill, but it didn't fly, and according to the Washington Blade, he wasn't even at the House Rules Committee meeting meeting when it came up, even though he's a member.

The Blade suspects ENDA will get end up adrift in the Republican wave taking control of Congress and will see little movement during the next term, even though it has some GOP supporters:

Last year, the Senate passed a version of ENDA on a bipartisan basis by a 64-32 vote, but the House never brought up the measure for a vote and is set to adjourn by Dec. 11. It's unlikely the bill will come up when Congress reconvenes for the 114th Congress given major election wins by Republican on Election Day.

The version of ENDA with which Polis tried to amend the defense bill had a religious exemption along the lines of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a Polis aide said. Unlike the version of ENDA the Senate passed last year, the Polis measure would bar LGBT discrimination at religious-affiliated businesses for non-ministerial positions.

I don't imagine ENDA passing without strong exception for religiously affiliated businesses. Not that I support ENDA anyway—read my concerns about what it means for freedom of association here.

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  1. Honest question: most practical libertarians wouldn’t support overturning the CRA of 1964, so why would they oppose ENDA?

    I’m just curious. Honest question.

    1. Repealing the CRA is not “practical” in the political sense. I would think anyone who is actually libertarian would welcome it being overturned by the court.

      1. I’m just saying that there’s a difference between what libertarians want and what libertarian-leaning politicians are going to give them. Plus, you’re not going to win over people, especially black voters, by suggesting a repeal of the CRA. It just won’t work.

        1. But slaying an entrenched monster with a large(r) voter-base attached to it by tradition is a different matter than preventing a monster with a smaller voter base from being conceived, practically and politically.

          Not to say it won’t pass, but I don’t think the two (CRA and ENDA) go hand-in-hand. At least, I don’t currently see the emotional support of ENDA victims the way I routinely see support for CRA victims and I think they’ll be hard-pressed to show that (e.g.) the LGBTQIA community makes $0.78 on the dollar relative to the cis-straight (or w/e) community.

          1. My question has been answered.

      2. Libertarians would only support overturning sections of the CRA, not the whole thing.

        1. Yeah, it’s important to keep in mind that the CRA is a lot more than just a ban on private discrimination.

          1. A lot more of what? Other than Title III and VI prohibiting discrimination by the government I don’t see anything worth keeping.

            1. Other than Title III and VI prohibiting discrimination by the government I don’t see anything worth keeping.

              So you answered your own question.

    2. Wouldn’t support? Or wouldn’t think it would be a realistic objective?

      As SIV suggests, I don’t think too many would oppose overturning it if given the opportunity.

      1. To clarify the point, there’s a difference between knowing you won’t be able to reverse one injustice and accepting that you should accede to additional injustices.

      2. Libertarian-leaning Republicans are much more practical than actual Libertarians.

  2. Jesus Fucking Christ. Are there going to be set-a-sides for every little subdivision or sexual orientation and gender identity owned companies?

    1. Saying contractors can’t discriminate isn’t the same as making set asides for particular groups.

      1. The slope is slippery

        1. I have trouble feeling sorry for the contractors who dive down that slope by sucking at the federal teat.

          I have no problem with these laws as it applies to government. Government contractors is a bit iffier but they can always avoid it by not contracting with the government.

      2. Meh. Heads up, tails down, IMO. If the contractor has two equivalent employees, the only difference being that one has a legal mandate not to be dismissed, for whatever whimsical reason, you’ve certainly biased the decision if not fully discriminated against the other.

        The solution is voluntary taxation (more freedom), not anti-discrimination legislation (less freedom). Don’t like military/healthcare/whatever contractors discriminating against homosexuals? Don’t check the “I will contribute X% of my income to defense/HHS/whatever spending.” checkbox.

      3. Saying contractors can’t discriminate isn’t the same as making set asides for particular groups.

        Doesn’t it though? It seems that often all a claimant for illegal discrimination needs to do is show a statistical bias. Considering that it is probably universally enough to get a case to proceed, it will become literal set asides for certain groups. Losing the case isn’t the question because the process is the punishment.

  3. If passed, ENDA is destined to do little other than to provide work for trial lawyers and a living for some enterprising trans people.

    There’s a scumbag convicted child molester who crippled himself in prison and got a “compassionate” release, and now travels around California in his wheelchair, looking for businesses that (e.g.) have their bathroom mirror 1/2″ too high, and then “settles” for thousands of dollars. So if ENDA ever passes, I expect bearded guys in makeup and dresses will make livings by applying for jobs they don’t want, and suing when they aren’t hired.

    1. This is hardly limited to California.

  4. Libertarians are like 95% white, 65% male, and particularly inclined toward narcissism and psychopathy (I’m just assuming that last bit but the demo stats are true). This is a recipe for being the absolute last group people capable of appreciating the problem of discrimination. I don’t know the relative proportion of gay libertarians, but they’re usually the ones who get the arguments for gay marriage and anti-discrimination law (again, “It’s all about me”).

    Exhibit A is ridiculous bullshit like Papaya implying that frivolous lawsuits by bearded cross-dressers is more of a social concern than discrimination against gay and trans people. I’d suggest you guys check your myopia, but then you wouldn’t be libertarians would you?

    1. particularly inclined toward narcissism and psychopathy


    2. Tony, of course, is always in favor of laws that sound like good ideas, regardless of their costs or effects in the real world.

      1. I was just thinking a little cut-and-dry narcissism from elected officials would be an entertaining change of pace from the usual pathological lying and god complexes.

        “Yeah, we fucking lied to sell the healthcare plan, but I’m John mutherfuckin’ Gruber, whaddyagonna doaboutit? Tenure bitchez.”

        1. One sad takeaway from the demographic stats I looked up earlier: you guys vote for Republicans more than Independents, and vastly more than Democrats. You’re basically just Republicans who like weed. I had been resisting accepting this stereotype, but it appears to be quite true. So all this weird rightwing meme stuff that goes on like GRUBER (the new Benghazi for sure), is not actually infiltration by rightwing morons. They are you and you are they.

          1. You’re basically just Republicans who like weed.

            Don’t forget Mexican ass-sex.

            And deep-dish pizza.

      2. I’m only concerned with their real-world effects, and take a libertarian position here. People should be free to sue for whatever reason they damn well want. That is not a cost a libertarian should be concerned about. Meanwhile a problem that isn’t the fabricated paranoid nonsense of people looking for excuses to take the rightwing path on something–discrimination against gays and trans people–does have a relatively simple solution, one that has been applied to other classes of people historically subject to discrimination. I don’t know if it’s libertarian to care about consistency in the law, but if we’re gonna do race and sex I don’t see why we have any other choice but to include sexual orientation.

        1. There’s a philosophical problem about making gay or trans people into the next civil rights cause. Unlike race or gender, it’s often about behavior, and employers (and everybody else) “discriminate” on the basis of behavior all the time. It’s unavoidable, and it’s ridiculous to try to eliminate it.

          So while it makes sense to tell a retailer that they must consider blacks or men or women or even gays for jobs as salespeople in the lingerie department, it’s not really unreasonable if they don’t want to hire Fred the bearded transvestite. Fred would repel many customers.

    3. 65% male? So where are the 35% hanging out?

      1. They’re agendered lizard people… it’s hard for them to type with their claws.

    4. Libertarians are like 95% white, 65% male, and particularly inclined toward narcissism and psychopathy (I’m just assuming that last bit but the demo stats are true). This is a recipe for being the absolute last group people capable of appreciating the problem of discrimination.

      It’s never about the issue… it’s always about the people espousing the view. Identity politics, where the ad hominem fallacy has become a political movement.

      1. its the principles…

        …but any black guy who complians about police brutality is a race hustler

        1. You have a ballsack. Your opinion means nothing.

          1. your a libertarian. your opinion means even less

            1. How can you fuck up ‘you’re’ and ‘your’ when you use them in the same sentence?

      2. This. Soundness of logic can be determined by sex organ and/or skin pigment.

  5. OT: So I’m pretty sure Dunham’s alleged rapist is Barry Garrrett, who was president of the Oberlin College Republicans at the time. I made this guess based on a Michelle Malkin article about other Oberlin hoaxes which mentions him:

    Delivering the first lecture in the Ronald Reagan Political Lectureship Series, Malkin spoke about how “liberals see racism where it doesn’t exist, fabricate it when they can’t find it, and ignore it within their own ranks.”
    The lecture series is sponsored by Steven Shapiro, OC ’83. The Alumni Association and the Young America Foundation, a group that promotes conservative causes on college campuses, also contributedfunding to this particular event. The Oberlin College Republicans were also responsible for bringing the speaker to campus.

    College senior Barry Garrett, president of the OC Republicans, introduced the syndicated columnist, blogger, Fox News contributor and former Competitive Institute Fellow as the obvious choice to start off what he described as a “sorely needed series” that would seek to “shatter political homogeneity.”

    Doesn’t sound like the guy she would hang out with. I can’t believe Malkin went to Oberlin. Maybe that’s what deconverted her from Team Blue.


    1. Quoting Malkin on anything drops my estimation of your Derpdar. By the law of averages she’s bound to get something right every now and then but, let’s face it, if she started writing Bat Boy stories for the Weekly World News it would only increase her overall credibility as a news source.

      1. It shouldn’t matter who says something as long as it’s true

        1. My point is that since so much of what Malkin says isn’t true that someone quoting her ought to do some fact-checking before posting a link.

          Treat something written by Malkin with the same scrutiny you’d treat something written by Al Sharpton. I’m not saying that everyone in the right-wing blogosphere is anymore full of it than anyone else but there are a few that let their agenda get ahead of their objectivity.

          1. Treat anything written by anybody with the same scrutiny you’d apply to something by Al Sharpton.

      2. Well, you’re a racist shitheel, so who really cares what you think about anybody notawoman?

    2. Breitbart had a piece today in which they seemingly debunked the character of “Barry.” He supposedly had a mustache and wore purple cowboy boots, but nobody at Oberlin remembers anyone who did that.

      So I would not be spreading this Barry’s last name around. I would not be surprised if Dunham made up most or all of it.

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