Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Current ENDA Language Regarding Transgender Workers Revealed, Concerns Mount

During his show Sunday night, TransFM founder and host Ethan St. Pierre received a call-in from International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) Executive Director Denise LeClair, who revealed for the first time what the current language regarding transgender workers and bathroom usage currently being considered by the Congress may mean in a practical, everyday sense.

Among the key points:

* Employers will not be permitted to force a transgender employee to use a bathroom that is opposite of their gender identity, but they also will not be obligated to allow that employee to use the bathroom that corresponds to their gender identity, as long as (currently undefined) reasonable accommodations are made. In other words, employers will be allowed to segregate transgender employees and create the modern equivalent of "Whites Only" and "Negro" bathroom facilities specifically intended to exclude Transgender-Americans from the rest of the workforce.

* These rules may only be applied to transsexual employees who are currently transitioning, and those who have already completed the transition process will not be affected. What we don't yet know here is what will be the requirements to be considered as fully transitioned. There is concern that if Sexual Reassignment Surgery (SRS) is required in order to be considered fully transitioned this will create a situation where those who are healthy enough and can afford SRS will enjoy at least some protections in the workplace, while those transpeople who cannot afford SRS, don't want it, or are not eligible candidates for SRS for medical or other reasons will continue to be denied full civil rights as Americans in perpetuity.

Right now, this is really all we know and it should be pointed out that none of this is carved in stone, all of it is negotiable and probably is being negotiated right now in Congress. This is just a read on what they're currently talking about.

For more of my take on this, check out my new podcast, #13.

4 comments:

Lynda said...

Wow. What a step backward. This is another example of closed-minded idiots running this country.

On the second bullet point, how could that possibly be enforced? One needs to show their bits or medical history to their employers to use the right bathroom?

Jessica said...

What's that I hear in the distance? Could it be the sound of an approaching bus being driven by Barney Frank?

I hope not, but I fear that's exactly what's coming down the road for trans inclusion in ENDA.

Mykell Miller said...

Do you have the current text of ENDA?

Rebecca Juro said...

We do not have the final language, nor do we even know if final language has been decided upon. This is simply what they are considering now, as reported on Ethan's show by Denise Leclair.

I believe that this should certainly put us on alert, but I still want to know more before I make any assumptions.