Will These Lawmakers Support a Trans-Inclusive ENDA?
BY Sunnivie Brydum and Michelle Garcia
July 15 2014 4:00 AM ET
Ways and Means committee chairman Dave Camp has held onto high percentage ratings from the Family Research Council for years — not a good sign if we're talking about LGBT rights. It goes without saying that he has a score of 0 from the Human Rights Campaign. But Camp, who is retiring, could make a big splash by voicing support for the bill since he has nothing to lose, at least in terms of a re-election campaign. Like Miller, Camp is of particular interest for Transgender Lobby Day, according to MLive.com.
"Representative Camp has announced his retirement, so he only has a few more months to stand on the right side of history by backing LGBT workplace protections in Congress," Berle says. "If he cosponsors ENDA, he’ll be joining with one of the largest employers in his district – Dow Chemical – which has been one of the most pro-LGBT and pro-ENDA leaders in all of corporate America." Camp's district also includes the city of Mount Pleasant, which has an LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance.
Upton, who is the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, says marriage should be only for heterosexual couples. He also voted against ENDA in 2007, but in 2013, he did vote in favor of the LGBT-inclusive VAWA.
Model Kate Upton's uncle (though she seems to avoid talking politics, especially when asked about whether she agrees with Uncle Fred) represents parts of southwestern Michigan, which includes municipalities with LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinances.
"Representative Upton’s constituents have local LGBT protections in Kalamazoo, Oshtemo Township, Saugatuck and Union Township, but Michigan’s state law does not protect LGBT citizens so many of his constituents still need Congress to take action and create a federal law," Berle says. "Congressman Upton is a key ally of Speaker John Boehner, so by cosponsoring ENDA, Representative Upton would send a strong message that it’s long past time to give LGBT workplace protections an up-or-down vote in the House of Representatives."
Rogers, like Camp, will be retiring after this term, so it might be an opportune time for him to take on ENDA. He voted against the bill in 2007, but his constituents probably would not mind if he switched his position, since his district includes East Lansing, which was the first municipality to prohibit anti-LGBT discrimination — in 1972.
"It’s now been more than four decades since East Lansing passed a local ordinance creating workplace protections for gay employees, and a few more localities in this congressional district have also passed fully inclusive LGBT protections, so Representative Rogers’s own constituents can tell him how LGBT fairness is good for business and also the right thing to do," Berle says. "Representative Rogers is retiring from Congress, so he has nothing to lose by cosponsoring ENDA in his last few months in office. What he’ll gain is being on the right side of history.”