With thanks, we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the introduction of Bella Abzug’s extraordinary comprehensive gay civil rights bill to Congress, known as the Equality Act of 1974, and we call all who are silent, to speak out for the demise of its flawed inadequate substitute, The Employment Non Discrimination Act.
” 1974 – On May 14 U.S. Rep. Bella Abzug (D-N.Y.), in collaboration with the National Gay Task Force (Task Force), introduced the Equality Act of 1974, a federal bill to ban discrimination against lesbians, gay men, unmarried persons and women in employment, housing and public accommodations. ”
While we were not successful in passing the Congresswoman’s legislation, we have also not been successful in enacting any legislation in its stead. And to make matters worse with 40 years behind us, we have failed as an LGBT movement to even set the unified benchmark for a full equality civil rights bill for LGBTI people. Instead we have a multi-million dollar organization proclaiming entitlement to helm half baked Employment Discrimination legislation, so fraught with religious exemptions, that if it passes the House (it has passed the Senate) it will be the new DADT or DOMA for our next generation – via institutionalized discrimination. I am not sure the late Bella Abzug would have approved. In fact I am almost sure, she would have condemned it.