Worth Reading Yale Law School Professor William N. Eskridge provided testimony at the ENDA (H.R. 3017) hearing on September 23 before the House Committee on Education and Labor in the House of Representatives. Republicans had two panelists to testify against ENDA; Democrats had seven.
Eskridge claims that the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) must be passed in order to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees from workplace discrimination â€“ especially in state the local governments. According to Eskridge, â€œENDA abrogates the statesâ€™ Eleventh Amendment immunity, pursuant to Congressâ€™s authority to enforce the Fourteenth Amendment. The Supreme Court has said that Congress has Fourteenth Amendment authority to create a remedy for state violations of constitutional rights and to establish prophylactic rules to head off harder-to-discern constitutional violations. The 11th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides a certain degree of sovereign immunity for states. ENDA would undermine this amendment and give the federal government power to use the 14th Amendment against the states in employment matters.
In plain English, Eskridge wants to use ENDA to violate the right of states and local governments to set their own employment policies.
During a portion of his ENDA testimony, he referred to the effort of citizens in Colorado to keep LGBT individuals from receiving special rights in Colorado law. He noted that:
The arguments in favor of the constitutional initiative included the following: so-called â€œhomosexualsâ€ are promiscuous (â€œ[t]heir lifestyle is sex-addicted and tragicâ€) and consumed by venereal disease (according to the official Amendment 2 ballot materials, the average gay man dies at 42 years old, the lesbian at age 45); they are predatory, seeking to invade decent peopleâ€™s houses and schools, take away their jobs, recruit their children, and â€œdestroy the familyâ€; and Coloradans should undo â€œspecial rightsâ€ given by some communities to â€œhomosexuals and lesbiansâ€ that disrupt traditional family values and good institutions such as churches. The sponsors of the initiative believed that these were â€œmoderateâ€ argumentsâ€”but in fact they are open appeals to anti-gay prejudice and invoke deeply erroneous stereotypes of LGBT people as diseased, predatory, and disruptive.
Even when they are not so explicitly set forth as they were recently in the Colorado campaign, these anti-gay tropesâ€”immorality, predation, and disruptionâ€”still motivate state officials to discriminate against sexual and gender minorities
In his spoken testimony, he denied that any of these Amendment 2 claims were true. However, he misstated the facts. Here are the facts â€“ from medical journals and other reputable resources.
Read More: http://worth-reading-blog.blogspot.com/2009/10/sexual-anarchist-testifies-at-enda.html