Whether or not LGBT activists like it, House Speaker John Boehner is never going to introduce the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), and it doesn’t matter how many sit-ins or protests are held. The unfortunate reality is that Boehner is too beholden to the Christian Coalition and its various offshoots to care what LGBT people do.
Eight individuals with GetEQUAL were arrested recently after staging such a sit-in at Boehner’s office. They demanded a House vote on ENDA. A Boehner aide did come out and meet with them, trying to move the meeting out into the hallway. The activists refused and stood in the lobby telling their stories about why discrimination should end.
The aide told them “I’m happy to pass along your concerns to the speaker, that you did stop by the office today. We appreciate you coming by. Thanks so much for stopping by.” The aide then left and shut the door.
The protesters then sad on the floor changing “We are somebody! We deserve full equality! Right here! Right now!” The group was eventually moved into the hallway by Capitol police, and when they continued to shout, they received warnings before being arrested.
Among those who protested was Sean Watkins, an Iraq War vet. He experienced workplace discrimination. He told the Huffington Post that “After graduating college, I can remember having an office job and putting a picture of myself and my boyfriend on my desk and being called into my supervisor’s office. They had a nondiscrimination policy in place, but they still told me there were concerns I was flaunting my sexual orientation. My response was, ‘Well, if I have to take this picture down, then every heterosexual picture of a couple in this company has to come down as well, because you have workplace protections in place.’ That’s not the case for millions and millions of LGBT folks everywhere.”
The unfortunate reality is that Boehner, like most Republicans, is so insular and isolated that all the protests in the world won’t change their minds on anything dealing with LGBT rights. Thanks to Rove’s ability to get the districts gerrymandered and Roger Ailes’ FOX News network, the GOP is so insular that they haven’t picked up on the sea change happening on LGBT rights in the US.
Protests aren’t going to work. The only thing that will work, at this point, is to take Boehner down. Instead of fighting Boehner in his office- take the message to his district and more. Tell people how Boehner’s sequestration cuts screwed up the economy cutting economic growth in half while only reducing the deficit by $200billion. Tell them how he endangered the lives of soldiers through these cuts and how it has endangered job growth.
Take the message to the voter and get Boehner and company voted out.
It really is the only way to fight him and win equality.