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Equal Opportunity Blawg Review

In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed Nov. 19 to be Equal Opportunity Day, urging every American to join "in the effort to abolish all artificial discrimination." These 50 years later, what is Eisenhower's legacy in promoting equal opportunity? For Blawg Review #135, Jillian Todd Weiss takes the measure of that question by turning to the blawgosphere. Weiss, author of the blog Transgender Workplace Diversity and associate professor of law and society at Ramapo College, finds that equal opportunity in the U.S. remains elusive. The racial divide remains strong and debate over how to bridge it remains inconclusive, she writes, while the movement for equal opportunity has expanded beyond race, as is illustrated by recent attempts to expand civil rights to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Two weeks ago, the House took up the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which was introduced to prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. ... Some Democrats, just like those of Eisenhower's day, complained that they were not prepared to support the reference to 'gender identity,' which would have protected transgender Americans, and the bill was passed without it. This move was controversial in the gay community because many gay advocates felt that transgender people are not part of the gay community. ... On the other hand, about 300 organizations protested the removal of 'gender identity' from the bill because it undermined the fairness message of ENDA.

In her survey of the blawgosphere, Weiss found plenty of discussion of other issues related to equal opportunity, including age discrimination, disability discrimination, sex discrimination and veterans' rights. A second part of Blawg Review is slated to continue tomorrow, the 9th annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, at the Rainbow Law Center Blog of Denise Brogan-Kator.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on November 19, 2007 at 01:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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