See No ENDA, Hear No ENDA, Speak No ENDA

ENDA Who? The House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill on Wednesday evening that elevates sexual behavior to the civil rights status of race, ethnicity and sex. Except for the New York Times, AP, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Miami Herald, the media swept it under the rug. TV networks ignored it Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is a major expansion of federal government power and civil rights law. Backers call it "historic." Opponents say it is a direct threat to religious freedom. But much of the media skipped the 235-184 House vote (including 30 Republicans for it and 25 Democrats against). Major papers including the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and USA Today failed to carry the story.

As with most reporting on homosexual political issues, the AP, the Times and the Herald quote liberally from pro-gay legislators and gay pressure groups like the Human Rights Campaign. Neither AP nor the Times quote any conservative groups, and the AP story quotes only Democrats. The Times piece, "House Approves Broad Protections for Gay Workers," by David Herszenhorn, quotes two Republican House members who warn that the law would hamper business and spur lawsuits. A 660-word piece in the Miami Herald by Steve Rothaus quotes Ted Kennedy, four pro-gay spokespeople and the Human Rights Campaign, and presents the issue in an entirely one-sided, pro-gay fashion until giving Christian Coalition of Dade County leader Anthony Verdugo a brief quote at the very end of the article. Balance, it ain't

Like the Herald's piece, much of the New York Times report deals with a dispute among pro-homosexual legislators and groups as to the absence of a provision that would have added "gender identity" to the bill. The main concern is whether ENDA goes far enough to advance the pansexual agenda. Left-wing lobbies that objected to even a narrow religious exemption are described benignly as "civil liberties advocates" and "civil liberties groups." The free exercise of religion, the first civil liberty guaranteed in the First Amendment, doesn't seem to have a home in their portfolio.

The San Francisco Chronicle's article, which focuses on the gender identity dispute, includes this nugget:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, wearing a lavender suit as a symbolic gesture of solidarity with the gay community, said she had looked forward to the day the bill would pass since joining Congress 20 years ago as a Democrat representing San Francisco. She said she was disappointed that it excluded transgender people but argued that passing a narrower bill would "build momentum for further advances on gender identity rights and the rights of all Americans."

Well, perhaps not the rights of American employers and employees who don't think homosexual behavior is an enforceable civil right. ENDA is expected to be introduced shortly in the Senate, with Susan Collins (R-ME) serving as lead co-sponsor, along with chief sponsor Ted Kennedy (D-MA), according to the Times.


2008 Congressional Journalistic Issues Susan Collins Anthony Verdugo