There has been much talk in the recent debate on ENDA about the reality of political compromise and the need to accept incremental progress.
Incrementalism is a fact of political life, it’s true. It is not, however, something we need hold up as ideal, or even the best we can do. In the midst of political maneuvering and discussions of the need for compromise, it is critically important that we remain strong in voicing our vision of full equality, lest we cease to aspire to more than a compromised version of it.
GLAD’s work is primarily in the realm of impact litigation, where we have an opportunity to make dramatic progress on civil rights; attempting dramatic change through incremental, compromise-based legislation nearly inevitably results in some level of disappointment.
But the legislative process, imperfect as it may be, is also key to advancing civil rights. And it is therefore critical that those of us who have a vision of what equality truly means not be complacently satisfied with incremental change, but continue to raise our voices and work together to ensure that that uncompromised vision remains a part of the political conversation.