Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank
has delayed introduction in the House of his Employment
Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill that would ban workplace
discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity
At a Wednesday morning news conference
where the bill's introduction was expected to be announced, Frank
instead told attendees that he's not ready to introduce the measure
he has carried in the House for decades.
Harry Gural, a spokesperson for the
congressman, told gay weekly The Washington Blade that Frank
was looking for greater support before going forward.
“It was announced but not formally
introduced – the bill has not been 'dropped,'” Gural said.
“Before it is formally introduced, we are still collecting
On Tuesday, Frank's office released a
statement saying he would introduce the bill on Wednesday. A number
of gay rights groups – including the Human Rights Campaign (HRC),
the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF), and the
National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) – followed suit, issuing
statements congratulating Frank on the bill's introduction.
“Their plan may have been to
introduce it today,” said HRC's Fred Sainz, “but the congressman
may have made a very good decision to wait until there are more
co-sponsors that have signed on, and I think that if that's his
judgment, then we would concur with his judgment.”
Frank concedes that ENDA isn't likely
to win approval in a Republican-controlled House.
“This is a chance to continue – not
begin, but continue – a lobbying effort that I am convinced will be
successful, frankly, next time the Democrats take back the House of
Representatives,” Frank said.