Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Indiana Inequality Takes A Stand And Falls Down

Indiana Equality, long cloaked in secrecy and backroom shenanigans, has enraged the very community it supposedly represents by publicly opposing the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act ("ENDA"), legislation that would prohibit discrimination in the workplace based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity. It seems the civil rights group thinks any move in the direction of equality is unjust unless all issues of perceived inequality are addressed. Bilerico's Bil Browning quotes from a statement released recently by the organization's leader, Jon Keep:

There is a window of opportunity now that may not come for another generation. If we push for less than full inclusion, it may be more difficult to motivate public support for full civil right protections. We should not ask for less than we need.

Anything less than full inclusion is unacceptable. Accordingly, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (END) [sic] as currently proposed, cannot be accepted, supported or promoted by Indiana Equality....

Clearly, ENDA doesn't make us equal - rather, it creates a new form of segregation. It does not provide protections in housing and public accommodations. There are no protections for LGBT children in the public schools where administrators continue to turn a blind eye to harassment and brutality. With ENDA, we are only marginally protected in the workplace.
It's funny that Indiana Equality would be concerned about segregation when that's what it practices daily in the operation of its organization. The tightly-knit group refuses to open up its membership and allow open and free elections of its board and leadership. The primary goal of the self-appointed board and leaders of IE is to ensure the perpetuity of their control of the organization. You would think an organization that advocates equality would itself embrace equal treatment among the people it purports to represent. Another GLBT organization, Indy Pride, Inc., used to operate in a similar fashion. Its membership was limited to about seven people, all of whom were on the board and exercised complete control over the organization and the expenditure of its funds. The ACLU actually contemplated filing a lawsuit against the organization before it finally agreed to open up its membership. The group flourished thereafter. Imagine that.

5 comments:

Dana said...

I'm a member of, " the very community", and I'm not enraged.

I need more info from Indiana Equality before I go off half-cocked.

Advance Indiana said...

As an attorney who practices employment law, I can tell you that the provisions of ENDA would go a long way towards achieving equality in terms of discrimination. The employment cases are what clients bring to attorneys. Rarely are there complaints involving public accomodations and housing, which are covered under Indianapolis' Human Rights Ordinance already.

Michael said...

how would any employer know what kind of sex you practice unless you tell them? People should keep their sex practices and perversions to themselves instead of trying to make them into some sort of political class. It's undignified and uncouth. More than that, it demonstrates a profound lack of self respect. You are more than what you do in bed to whom or to what.

Don Sherfick said...

Michael: A married heterosexual tells his or her employer in many ways, for a picture of his family on his desk to bringing his spouse to the office picnic. [Somehow I suspect he or she volunteers his supervisor on first meeting: "By the way, I usually insert my penis in my wife's vagina."] Yet I suspect you would not characterize this as "telling the world what you do in bed, or do what to whom". You just apply different standards.

Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council refers to "practicing homosexuality", but would rile if someone started talking about him "practicing heterosexuality"

You're right. Folks ought not to be exclusively defined by their sexual practices. But it's you, who post such comments, who seem to be doing the differentiation.

Dana said...

"Michael said...
how would any employer know what kind of sex you practice unless you tell them? People should keep their sex practices and perversions to themselves instead of trying to make them into some sort of political class. It's undignified and uncouth. More than that, it demonstrates a profound lack of self respect. You are more than what you do in bed to whom or to what."

Michael, excuse me for swearing, but who in the gods-damned hell do you think you are? PERVERSIONS? I thinks it is pretty damned obvious when you are 40 plus, unmarried, in shape, with a rainbow flag on your car that you aren't str8. I've never felt it to be particularly necessary to be flaming queen at work because I'm pretty obvious as it is, but if they ask me (and I have been asked), I'm honest. I'd like to think that I won't be fired for that honesty. And, that's the way most of us are.

As for "discussing" sex practices at work, I've found that the str8 grrls are about the most open and honest, and str8 men are prone to bragging. You want me and mine to go into the closet? Why don't you and yours shut up about your own personal lives at the office first?

Frak off!

- Dana