Submitted in reply to his very lengthy self-justification at Billerico
Dear Congressman Frank,
A Cynic would say that your lengthy article amounts to a simple statement: "Transsexuals? FOAD"
Too many do, of course. A California survey showed 30% of them suicide. A Western Australia survey, which included all premature deaths from being marginalised in society (due to drug overdose alcholism, violence suicide etc) put it at 90%.
I know, I've met, people who had been fired the day before they left for surgery. It's quite common, 70% of TS people experience some employment discrimination at some time. Only 50% get permanently blackballed though, and never work again - except as beggars or prostitutes.
They were hoping that ENDA, even if vetoed, even if narrowly defeated, would send a message that the GLBT movement is not just GLB, that it really is inclusive. That they would not be left hanging out to dry. If not passed this year, next. Or the one after that. They had hope.
Perhaps I should send you the photos, and the obituaries as they become available. So you know the real cost of your pragmatism. It may have been necessary to do it, you're the professional politician, not I. But you shouldn't be able to escape knowing the consequences of what you do, just as a leader in wartime should be reminded of the name of every soldier killed "for the greater good".
You may have saved a bill from being rejected - though if you say that it has even one chance in a million of not being vetoed, I'd say you were... incorrect. But you have forfeited all moral authority in doing so. You have admitted that it is acceptable (not desired or encouraged but acceptable) to discriminate against a minority as long as the majority is protected, and that you will not take a stand against that - merely posture.
So why should other politicians take a stand unpopular with some of their constituents in order to help your particular minority? Why should they not imitate you?
You have removed the most powerful argument that you had in convincing others not benefited by ENDA that it is necessary. Sometimes political pragmatism is self-defeating. The inevitable Veto can now occur with no moral comeback, and it will be harder, not easier, the next time this issue comes before Congress.