They're Here, They're Queer & No One's Used To It

As anyone who is gay probably already knows, there are no federal protections against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, which is a bad thing. No one is really allowed to (or is going to) fire me because I'm a relatively promiscuous heterosexual on my own time (unless I'm actually slutting it up at the office), so it's both unfair and morally wrong that they could fire anyone else for being a monogamous or promiscuous heterosexual on their own time. And now that we have a Democratic Congress in power, they are going to use that power to change that for the better, right? Or not, as you'll learn after the jump.

So, Congressman Barney Frank, the only openly gay Congressman, introduced a bill to provide protection for our gay, lesbian and bisexual friends against discrimination in the workplace. Yay! However, according to Roll Call, he had to take out provisions that would have provided equal protections to our transgendered friends to try to get enough votes to pass the rest of the bill. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (the only openly lesbian Congresswoman) has announced that she plans on introducing an amendment to restore the transgender provisions, and so Speaker Pelosi has put off passing anything until Baldwin and the transgender community can prove they have enough votes to pass their amendment, which they don't and probably won't, so gay rights in the workplace will have to wait a bit longer so that some Democrats can prove to other ones that America isn't ready to be fair to transgendered people, too.

Meanwhile, the bill exempts religious organizations and the Armed Forced (naturally), there's no indication it could pass the Senate, President Bush has vowed to veto it because he says it messes with states rights to discriminate against teh gays (and because the veto pen is his new favorite toy), and your boss remains able to fire you because he thinks it's gross/creepy/against God's will if you love a person of the same gender or engage in certain kinds of sex acts on your own time. Oh, and if you're an MIT- and Harvard- educated neurobiologist at Stanford doing groundbreaking research, well, according to one GOP leadership aide, you'd best be thankful that you live in the Bay Area because the rest of "us" don't think you should have "special" rights.

Gay Rights Bill Stalls in House [Roll Call]
Transgender prof defends women scientists [MSNBC]