Civil rights transition memos: study the contrasts

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The Obama transition project is publishing on its  web page a list of the groups with whom transition teams are meeting and the documents furnished to them by those groups. The page has only a few listings now, but should grow over time.   Already up are memos from the ACLU, a coalition of reproductive rights organizations, and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the major voice of civil rights in DC and a coalition to which every rights group, including the lgbt groups, belongs. You simply don’t enact progressive legislation without the support of these groups.

The ACLU has produced an extremely impressive 100-plus page memo, that we can use in future years to measure how much this administration and Congress have or have not achieved.   It prominently features lgbt issues, including a call for an executive order to protect gender identity for federal employees and to add sexual orientation and gender identity anti-discrimination protections as a requirement for federal contractors. (I agree with these as top priorities.) The repro rights memo, 55 pages long, is also impressive.

What happened to LCCR? Its 3 pages of bullet points looks sad by comparison. Most significant, LCCR does not even mention ENDA, the primary civil rights bill for lgbt people that will go before Congress in the next several years.   Its absence seems to speak volumes.   I really hope I’m wrong about this, but it sure looks like LCCR is distancing itself from lgbt issues, at least for the transition. At a minimum, it is creating that appearance.   Its memo includes a call to enact a hate crimes law, but nothing on ENDA, DoMA, DADT or actions by executive order.   What’s the problem, LCCR?

Nan Hunter – cross posted at hunter of justice

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