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“Whenever I discuss the progress that we’ve made, which has been remarkable, I begin there because that was basically the first real battle for the trans community on the national stage and over the succeeding decade, we’ve made incredible progress,” Beyer said. Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign at the time of the vote, backed ENDA and 10 years later stood by his decision as a means to develop the legislation, citing “no hope of passing any legislation into law” with George W. “It was a tactical decision to take a step in the direction of getting what we ultimately wanted, which was maybe a non-inclusive bill in the House, and inclusive bill in the Senate that would end up as a fully inclusive bill or that would end up as a fully inclusive bill by the time Obama became president,” Solmonese said.Beyer added from that time forward after the creation of United ENDA — an unprecedented coalition of more than 400 organizations that emerged to fight against trans exclusion —there have been with few exceptions “no instances of any gay activism or legislation that did not include trans people.” Rebecca Juro, a New Jersey-based transgender activist and radio show host, said the reaction to the vote on the sexual-orientation only version of ENDA was a significant turning point. Michael Michaud (Maine) — rejected the measure on the basis it lacked protections for transgender people. Recalling a “great deal of debate within the community and the House” about whether sufficient votes for transgender inclusion were present, Solmonese said lawmakers pledged to LGBT activists support for a trans-inclusive bill before, then told Pelosi not bring such a measure to the floor.In different capacities the program has now served over 50,000 people.

Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, said the vote was “one of the most important things that happened in the movement in the last 20 years.” “We wanted everything to be about setting up for what the movement was after this vote happened, after the bill died for the year,” Keisling said.“What were the lessons the movement was going to learn, what was the lesson HRC was going to learn, what was the lesson Barney Frank was going to learn?Had ENDA been brought to the floor for a vote in the Senate, the sponsor would likely have been the late Sen.Edward Kennedy, who was one of the rare champions of LGBT rights at the time.With respect to ENDA, we take the same view.” That vote sent a shockwave through the transgender community, which quickly marshaled opposition to the bill and protested any further advancement without their protections.

Many angrily accused the Human Rights Campaign and Frank of abandoning the transgender community.

Keisling said other groups “were calling up slightly annoyed that they hadn’t been asked to sign on” and soon the coalition grew to several hundred members.

“It essentially was because Barney Frank and HRC had totally lost touch with what the community was,” Keisling said.

Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who backed the bill, arguing it was the best that could be done at the time. But the omission galvanized transgender rights advocates to such an extent that for the next 10 years the LGBT movement committed to moving forward only legislation that included the full community — both at the state and federal level — and today advancement of a sexual-orientation only bill is impossible to imagine.

Dana Beyer, a Chevy Chase, Md.-based transgender activist who’s running for state Senate in Maryland, said the vote on the gay-only version of ENDA was “a landmark” for trans inclusion in the LGBT movement. senator and still the only out lesbian in Congress, proposed an amendment to insert gender identity, but withdrew the measure before it could come to a vote.

“The reason why Barney Frank was able to introduce and get the kind of support he did in Congress was because there was a feeling [of] who cares, nobody knows about these people,” Juro said. “They sort of wanted it both ways,” Solmonese said.