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The 51 House Democrats Who Haven’t Made Up Their Minds on ENDA Yet

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Rep. Barney Frank may have introduced the (trans-inclusive!) Employment Non-Discrimination Act this week. And senior Democrats (including The Three Gays) may have met behind closed doors to plot strategy on how to get Congress to actually approve of some of this stuff. But did you know not all Democrats support the bill? It’s true! In fact, there are 51 one of them still straddling the fence. And we know how that position can feel: painful.

A reader points us to this comprehensive list (reproduced on the next page in case it disappears) of the 51 House Dems who have yet to give a thumbs up or down on ENDA. It’s unclear what criteria went into placing their names on this list, but we’ll guess it has something to do with none of them making a public statement of support or opposition to the bill. Perhaps they need a little nudge? If you recognize one of the names below as your own legislator (maybe you even donated to his or her campaign?), and you know how to find a dial tone, one might suggest you spend your lunch break (in between heaving down that Arby’s sandwich) doing something useful. Likely, this is a very similar list to the one Pelosi & Co. are using to find out which colleagues need lobbying.

Meet The Undecideds:

Bobby Bright (AL), Parker Griffith (AL), Vic Snyder (AR), Dennis Cardoza (CA), Allen Boyd, (FL), Alan Grayson (FL), Suzanne Kosmas (FL), Sanford Bishop (GA), David Scott (GA), Walt Minnick (ID), Bobby Rush (IL), Daniel Lipinksi (IL), Deborah Halvorsen (IL), Jerry Costello (IL), Peter Visclosky (IN), Joe Donnelly (IN), Brad Ellsworth (IN), Ben Chandler (KY), Frank Kratovil (MD), Dutch Ruppersberger (MD), Bart Stupak (MI), Mark Schauer (MI), Travis Childers (MS), Bennie Thompson (MS), Dina Titus (NV), Michael McMahon (NY), Scott Murphy (NY), Paul Tonko (NY), Daniel Maffei (NY), Earl Pomeroy (ND), Dan Boren (OK), Kathleen Dahlkemper (PA), Jason Altmire (PA), Christopher Carney (PA), Paul Kanjorski (PA), John Murtha (PA), John Spratt (SC), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD), Al Green (TX), Solomon Ortiz (TX), Henry Cuellar (TX), Gene Green (TX), Glenn Nye (VA), Bobby Scott (VA), Thomas Perriello (VA), Rick Boucher (VA), Gerald Connolly (VA), Alan Mollohan (WV), Ron Kind (WI), David Obey (WI).

By:           editor editor
On:           Jun 28, 2009
Tagged: , , , , , , , ,

  • 42 Comments
    • drjillygirl
      drjillygirl

      Thank you so much for posting this. I note that some of these Representatives may have made up their minds, but they haven’t said so publicly.

      The number is now at 48, thanks to info from people in Florida who confirmed that Reps. Alan Grayson and Suzanne Kosmas are on board.

      Here’s the URL for the updated list, maintained by Inclusive ENDA, the Facebook campaign:

      http://bit.ly/fVhdF

      Get to work, people!

      Jun 28, 2009 at 5:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      What about the “nos”. Is there a list somewhere of Dems that decided to vote no on ENDA?

      Jun 28, 2009 at 8:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marius
      Marius

      More than half of the total from just 5 states – IL, NY, PA, VA, TX. What’s up PA and VA?

      Jun 28, 2009 at 9:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Marius
      Marius

      @Marius:

      Change to almost half the total, sorry.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 9:20 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @Marius: PA is currently going through a state wide hell storm in regards to gay/lesbian rights. They are trying to both outlaw and create a law for gay marriage at the same time currently. Its such a tinder box in the state right now that I simply wouldn’t want to say how I was going to vote on gay issues till to the day I had to vote if I was from that state and worried about getting re-elected. Not sure what the issue with VA is other than that they are a backwards little state and there is a chance that they haven’t said how they would vote because in the end they don’t plan on voting at all. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if this of undecided becomes the list of “no vote” when the bill is put up for a vote.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 9:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • drjillygirl
      drjillygirl

      @galefan2004: Here’s the URL for the full spreadsheet of all US Reps, maintained by Inclusive ENDA, the Facebook campaign:

      http://bit.ly/ImPFk

      Jun 28, 2009 at 10:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DuttyBarb
      DuttyBarb

      The reason they are undecided is mainly because they know the implications of passing a law that forces all organizations to retain the employment of individuals they are uncomfortable with or do not approve of..by force.

      Imagine..as you gay people bing forced to hire someone who is not only anti gay but is very vocal about it….as it goes against your beliefs or your personal safety you would have to pass on the individual and then of course you can be sued for this.

      I do not believe that people should be fired based on their orientation but i do not believe in forcing organizations that do not condone that lifestyle to retain staff that they dont like.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 10:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • drjillygirl
      drjillygirl

      @DuttyBarb: I suppose the same is true of employers who aren’t comfortable with African-Americans, women or the disabled? Think for a moment about what you are saying.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 10:08 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @DuttyBarb: Actually, the vast majority of this country has absolutely no problems hiring homosexuals. Actually, many companies in this country have had anti-discrimination laws written into their own company policy that include sexual orientation for quite some time. The companies that feel uncomfortable (normally the more religious institutions) are protected under other laws that holds them blameless for practicing bigotry in hiring practices. You are confused, you see, you think that us gays are the mean spirited ones. We aren’t going for this law to cause problems for companies. We are going for this law to create problems for employees of companies that are homophobic although the company itself in no way shares their views.

      You are also wrong, if someone was anti-gay and had the best qualification for the job, I would act in the best interest of my company and hire them. They would be told in no uncertain terms that their level of vocal behavior would need to drop while they are on the clock but that I don’t really care what they did in their personal life. Again, this law is about doing what is best for America’s companies by forcing them to hire the best candidate for the job regardless of what their sexual orientation is.

      Wow, you honestly don’t believe the people should be fired for their orientation. That might be the only time you ever said anything remotely favorable towards gays. Though, again, you misunderstand the intent of this law. This law isn’t in place to keep homosexuals/transgenders retained in a company that is blatantly against them. Personally, I don’t want to work in a company that is blatantly against me. This law is in place to make it much more easier for the gay accepting employers to stand up to the public on certain matters. For example, this law would make it much easier for a public school to keep that much decorated teacher while standing up to the pressure of the community to fire her simply because she is a lesbian although she never brings her personal life to work with her. It will also make it possible for gays and lesbians to lose the fear associated with coming out and losing their job.

      I had a high school teacher that stayed closeted until he killed himself. The pressure of choosing between his personal life and his professional life eventually killed him. The entire community loved the man, but as a teacher in the state of Ohio you are committing career suicide to even come out as being gay. He knew that, and eventually it caused his real suicide. That needs to stop in this country. People shouldn’t have to kill themselves to escape the turmoil caused by making the decision to be in the career you love instead of being with the person you love.

      Now, DuttyBarb, shouldn’t you be in church somewhere learning better ways to internalize your stupidity about the gay and lesbian community so you can come here and attack us with it? Somewhere, the bigoted Fred Phelps/Jerry Falwell/Pat Robertson like preacher is calling your name.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 10:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @drjillygirl: Personally, I don’t think women, blacks, or disabled would want to work for an employer that didn’t feel comfortable hiring them. There are plenty of companies in this country that don’t hire blacks and disabled persons regardless of what the law says. Its very hard to prove allegations of employment discrimination because no company would ever admit to that being the reason why someone wasn’t hired.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 10:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mike L.
      Mike L.

      Do people in the states in which those senators are have to be the ones calling their office in support of repealing DADT or can anyone in the U.S. do so, since it’s not something that affect one state, it affects the entire country.

      My question is if I’m (We’ll say) in PA can I call the office in NV to ask for the dems in power there to support reppealing DADT?

      It’s not something that will just affect Nevadans it affects anyone in the U.S.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 10:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DuttyBarb
      DuttyBarb

      galefan2004

      Im surprised at your response. I am not against gay people..i mean for God’s sake i am human. Matthew Shepard’s story touched me as deeply as anything ever did. I am not a bigot and resent the fact that anyone would imply i am.

      The only area offensive to me on gay causes is gay marriage. I am a Christian but not a hypocrite. I do not believe in preaching one thing and doing another. The Bible is very clear on gays..i am deeply sorry if this has given bigots the license to attack you and your families but this is what the bible teaches. It says a man who lays with a man as he would a woman is an abomination before God.

      Obviously God is not saying that its ok to beat up on a gay couple or deny them their basic human rights..which does not include marriage btw. But people have abused the Word of God for centuries and still continue to do so. From the Crusades till the so called Gay friendly churches, people have intentionally manipulated God’s word to their own advantage…to such people i believe God will judge.

      ENDA is a delicate law, if you are honest you will admit this. It applies mainly to big organizations, many private schools that were created and are run by individuals with personal beliefs. Some are good and of course some are disastrous. But their beliefs are their beliefs and no one has a right to force anything on them. And yes if a company decides to discriminate on racial orientation, it is unfair and stupid but im sorry for saying this..it is also their right.
      As a minority, i understand the implication of what i am saying but i will not want to work in an organization that was forced to hire me becos i sued them to court. I would hate it, wont you?

      Jun 28, 2009 at 10:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @Mike L.: You have the right to send feedback to any public official. However, they are probably not going to worry to much about what you say if you aren’t going to vote for them directly. Your better course of action is to get behind the local political lgbt groups in Nevada any way you possibly can (if you can donate money to the cause I’m sure they can use it). Luckily for myself, and it seems for you which is why you are more worried about NV than your own district, the man I helped to put into office 3 years ago and helped to get re-elected last year has said he will most definitely vote for ENDA. I think the fact that I put so much time and effort into his campaign while being an out and proud gay man might have had something to do with that. Its amazing how progressive my democratic congressman is without worrying about political backlash from his very conservative district. The dude votes with his heart in the right place.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 10:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • drjillygirl
      drjillygirl

      @DuttyBarb: Let me explain what I would hate. What I would hate is being unable to rent an apartment because I can’t get a job. What I would hate is being unable to provide for my child or pay for my medical care. What I would hate is being forced to resort to prostitution or selling drugs because people are allowed to turn their heads away when I appear.

      I have been there.

      Until you have experienced discrimination as we have experienced it, you have no right to presume what we would hate.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 10:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • InExile
      InExile

      @DuttyBarb: Have you ever been told that someone less qualified with less experience than you was getting a promotion because “they had a family”? (family being a wife and a child) In other words your family does not count as a family.

      ENDA is a law to protect people from outright discrimination such as my example listed above.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 11:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @DuttyBarb: If you are not against gay people you have a very messed up way of showing it. Every single message you make on these boards reeks with hatred for the gay community.

      Do you eat sea food? Do you stone your children? Do you believe in slavery? Did you back the marriage discrimination of black and white couples so vehemently. Every single one of those things is mentioned as wrong in the Bible. Hell, the very concept of the United States having racial equality is frowned on in the Bible because when god split the nation of Israel after they attempted to build the Tower of Babil he said that they would never again come together. Yet they have, and that is recognized as law by the United States government.

      I almost feel sorry for you because it seems you are one of those that drank your religious cool-aide without ever really paying attention to what the Bible actually does say. Maybe you should do some research about what the Bible really says about homosexuality. The Bible never once says that gays/lesbians should not be allowed to be married. The Bible doesn’t even define straight marriage. It defines personal relationships. If we strictly followed the Bible this nation would be radically different. Religious figures in this country pick and chose what they wish to follow and they rely on ignorance of people like you to get their agendas across. Gay/lesbian marriage is not a religious issue it is a political one that religious zealots abuse religion to come out against.

      You are right. People have abused the bible for centuries. It has been so abused that people like you honestly feel at this point that it comes out against homosexuality when it really doesn’t. Every single mention of homosexuality in the Bible is much more involved than homosexuality itself. Maybe you should try listening to the truth preached by some of those “gay friendly churches” that you seem to think are the ones that are bending the Bible this time. God created everyone in his own image with their own advantages and disadvantages so that they could use those “gifts” to help people in this world.

      Actually, those private schools are run under religious charters and are NFP religious groups. They are immune to ENDA. You are 100% right, this country sees religious groups as being entitled to their own beliefs. That is why it has decided that religious groups are immune to any and all anti-discrimination laws including ENDA and even Affirmative Action.

      You fail to understand the issue. The issue isn’t that most companies want to discriminate. It is that most companies don’t keep very good tract of the hiring practices of their own employees until it is brought to their attention. ENDA makes it possible to bring it to that companies attention trough legal means. The majority of companies in this country want to do the right thing when it comes to extending equality. It is in there best interest as corporations to 1) appeal to the largest amount of customers/clients possible and 2) to have the best person for the job doing the job regardless of any ascribed status that they have. ENDA will do just as much for American companies as it does for the gay/lesbian/transgendered population. ENDA requires companies to hire the best possible person for the job while over looking ascribed status. It does not require them to hire someone simply because they are gay/lesbian/transgendered.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 11:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @drjillygirl: @InExile: I feel for both of you. While I personally have been VERY lucky in life to have never experienced those things I completely feel for you.

      In Ohio right now, we are working hard to get the Equal Housing and Employment Opportunity (EHEO) act passed (basically it will be the same as ENDA with housing thrown in). There are places in this state where land lords flat out refuse to rent to homosexuals. There have been cases in this state where land lords have been sued (and won because their are no current laws on the books preventing the practice) for refusing to rent one bed room apartments to two men. EHEO will change that in Ohio.

      However, I got very lucky as my very HOT land lord is also very open minded and very accepting of all people. He rents to anyone willing to pay the rent and abide by the lease. Thankfully, he owns enough property in my town to single-handedly rent to just about every minority in this town.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 11:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TikiHead
      TikiHead

      @DuttyBarb:

      “Obviously God is not saying that its ok to beat up on a gay couple or deny them their basic human rights..”

      Sigh. Can’t believe I am feeding the troll… Duttybarb, God IS saying that in the Bible: a man lying with another man makes them worthy of death — their blood shall be upon them.

      Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

      As Galefan2004 pointed out, use the Bible consistently, and we’ll respect your position more. It’ll still be repellent and hateful, but at least consistent.

      Will you throw Romans at us next?

      Jun 28, 2009 at 11:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @TikiHead: You see the thing is, I think that DB is a homophobe out of her own stupidity instead of a homophobe because she simply hates gays. I think she honestly believes what she has been taught and she internalizes the religious message. I think if someone actually took the time to prove her wrong on these “sound biblical teachings” that she evidently believes whole-heartedly that she wouldn’t be a homophobe at all. The saddest thing is that many people in the country are the exact same way she is. Where is Relgion_Hurts when you need him?

      Jun 28, 2009 at 11:42 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mollie
      Mollie

      People in the state of Virginia are not “backwards”. My family have been residence of Virginia for hundreds of years. The state is still very “conservative” in many areas. Calling them “backwards” is not going to advance the debate. This is exactly why I have debated on various topics on this website and many others that many of the strategies that our community is imploying is not something that can be successful for the vast majority of gays and lesbians, who by the way, do not live outside of areas like LA, NYC, or DC at this time.

      For example, fighting for “marriage” instead of “civil unions” right now. Yes “civil unions” do not have the same legal benefits as “marriage”, but that would be a great first step in the right direction. In places like Virginia, “marriage” would not pass anytime in the next several decades. “Civil unions”, however, has substantial more support in our state.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 11:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • dantalion
      dantalion

      I don’t feel like taking part in the deep political thing, Duttybarb, you’re being a homophobe, out of ignorance, not out of anger or anything, and thats cool by us because, well, its not hatred, it’s just annoying. that last sentance will also peeve some people i’m sure but whatever,right.
      what i really want to say though is: It’s Kool-Aid not cool aid
      and also, Tikihead, what bible is that from? my family’s king james version is much more specific then that, it calls for stoning both men to death.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 1:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @Mollie: Really, civil unions have the legal benefits that they are written with. Currently, DOMA is preventing them from having the same legal benefits as marriage. However, if you repealed DOMA, civil unions could be written to mimic marriage. It really does come down to fighting over word choice. I want to know how anyone can justify that is not the case considering that civil unions in NJ already completely mimic marriage rights under a different name and people are still fighting for marriage rights in NJ. It makes no sense to me because the majority of the people I have talked to would be called “together freaks” if it meant that they got the rights that are rewarded in a marriage.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 1:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • timncguy
      timncguy

      @DuttyBarb: the Bible apparently isn’t very clear on lesbians is it? Where is a quote in te Bible saying that it is wrong for a woman to lay with a woman as she would with a man?

      So, you must be OK with same-sex marriage for lesbians then, right? Since the Bible says nothing about it.

      Better yet, why don’t you actually do some research and find out what hte orignal language in the Bible on this issue meant based on the language ie was originally written in and what that language meant at that point in history.

      YOu will find that many Bible scholars will tell you that the man laying with a man quote is misunderstood. It was not a reference to a loving, committed relationship between two men at all.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 1:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • timncguy
      timncguy

      @Mollie: you might want to read your post again and reconsider whether the label of “backwards” actually does apply.

      ‘residence’ should be ‘residents’
      ‘imploying’ should be ‘employing’

      just saying….

      re civil unions. NJ has civil unions which are ‘supposed” to be the same as marriage in every way in that state. A study done in NJ after on year of civil unions being legal found that civil unions were in fact NOT the same in every way in the state.

      Personally, I would be fine with states issuing licenses for civil unions as long as they issued those same licenses to both straight and gay couples. And, the benefits were exactly the same for both.

      Then the state could leave the word marriage to the churches. And, both gay and straight couples could get “married” in a church if they wanted to and if their church approved of marrying them.

      But, the church “marriage” would have no legal meaning and provide no additional benefits associated with it. It would be similar to churches baptizing people of giving communion.

      This “should” make everyone happy as each church would control its own use ofthe word marriage. No church would be forced to perform a marriage and no church would be denied the ability to perform a marriage. Marriage would be a religious institution only and not a legal one.

      But, we all know that the right wing fundies would never agree to this because in the end any gay couple who wanted to be “married” would be able to join a gay friendly church and get “married”. And legally all couples gay and straight would be equal. And, that equality is what the right wing fundies are fighting against. They want society to promote hetero marriage as being “better” than or “preferable to” gay marriage.

      they ar not interested in leaving the word “marriage” to the churches. They want the word left to THEIR church.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 1:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @timncguy: Yes, you see, the Bible doesn’t like male whores.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 1:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @timncguy: Do you care telling me where they differ? As I said, the intent was that they mirror marriage. If they don’t then they went against the intent. However, that is not because they are “civil unions” it is because they are poorly designed civil unions.

      The word marriage is not going to be stripped from legal definitions. It simply is not going to happen. Banging your head on the wall demanding it happen if gays are to get civil unions seems pointless to me. It is arguing about the word.

      Would you please enlighten me on what the difference in rights in NJ are? Also, what is the hugest difference between civil unions and marriages for you? I think when the majority of the country says they are for civil unions they are talking about same sex pairings with all the legal rights of a marriage with a different name. It might be all well and good if you live in MA to insist that marriage is the only way to go, but if you live in North Carolina, or hell even Ohio, I can totally see how you could get the notion that the fight is over the word not the rights.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 2:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • timncguy
      timncguy

      @galefan2004: the major difference found in NJ was they way companies “treated” civil unions. In many cases they denied benefits to same-sex partners because they said their company policies were written with the word “marriage”. In many cases, if they did business in more tha one state, they also argued that DOMA allowed them to not provide benefits to same-sex couples.

      The point of my earlier post about civil unions for all, wasn’t to suggeest I think it could ever happen. IT was to point ofthe hypocrisy of those who say they want to “save” the word “marriage” for religious reasons. When, if you actually offer that to them in the manner that I did, they won’t accept it.

      They want the word “marriage” for themselves so that they can be viewed as BETTER. There’s no other reason.

      I am mixed on whether I think civil unions would be a good stepping to stone to “true” equality. I fear that once civil unions were in place, they would be used to stop us from ever progressing to marriage.

      I think of it this way. Why did African Americans need to be equal instead of being happy with separate but equal?

      Why did they need to use the same water fountain? They still got all the same water as everyone else. Why did they need to eat at the same lunch counter? They still were able to eat lunch like everyone else. So, they still had all the same benefits of water and food, right?

      It’s the same when you want to talk about civil unions “with all the same benefits”.

      I think you will find if you read the Iowa Supreme Court decision, that if the state has no reason for calling it something different when it is exactly the same in all other aspects, then they are not allowed to call it somethign different. The reasoning was that the only reason for wanting to call it something else was because of bigotry. plain and simple. And, there was no compelling reason for the state to have two separate institutions with the exact same benefits but different names.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 2:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @timncguy: So it is simply that they aren’t recognized the same way by the private sector? While I know that that is disheartening, especially in the case of health care, I don’t feel we have the rights to force the private sector to acknowledge our relationships even in if they are called marriage. If the government is giving fair and equal treatment that is a huge step.

      I never said to save the word marriage for religious reasons. I said to take the word marriage and shove it if it meant that gay and lesbian couples would get equal rights from the government. Also, your biggest argument to why companies deny same sex couples in civil unions benefits is because of DOMA and DOMA has to be overturned before civil unions can be passed. Its called the defense of marriage act and not the defense against civil unions act for a reason.

      I think the majority of the gays and lesbians in this country are much less worried about being completely equal in the word marriage and much more worried about being completely equal in the rights given to them. I agree that if civil unions had the exact same rights as marriage that people would stop pushing for marriage, but as long as we are given the exact same rights I don’t really care what they are called. I even understand that maybe somehow makes the straights who have traditional marriage feel that they are better than us, but I’m willing to accept that if it means that I get to visit a loved one in the hospital, bring my foreign husband to this country, and keep my third cousin from ripping my estate from my life partner.

      Blacks were never separate but equal. If they had been given the same opportunities then they would have been. I’m willing to say that if blacks were truly given the same opportunities as whites under separate but equal they would have had a harder time getting that position adjusted.

      They didn’t have the benefits of a decent education. The fact that their schools were sub par under separate and equal meant they didn’t get the same opportunities to go on to higher education. That meant that they didn’t get the same opportunities as everyone else. They also did not get equality in a fair wage for the same work. It was much more about those issues than restaurants and water fountains.

      Talking about civil unions (which will pass much easier than marriage according to polls) with the same rights is a lot more than saying you get to chose between no rights because marriage isn’t going to pass nationally anytime soon and separate but equal rights. For the majority of gays/lesbians not living in big cities or more progressive states, we are worried about the rights not the name given to them.

      That is a very welcomed and progressive decision from Iowa (a state that came a long way in 40 years), but perhaps that will one day be a decision by the USSC. That supports the argument about fighting for civil unions (which studies have shown has a much better chance of getting passed). That seems to support the fighting over a word concept.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 2:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • timncguy
      timncguy

      @galefan2004: actually the sate of NJ says that the private companies are supposed to treat civil unions EXACTLY the same as marriage. It is why the study was done, to verify the intent of the law was being followed and it is not. So, adjustments MUST now be made in NJ. The most likely result is that same-sex marriage will be legalized in NJ.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 3:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • timncguy
      timncguy

      @galefan2004: DOMA was not the biggest factor I cited for why companies don’t give benefits to same-sex couples in civil unions. It was one thing i cited, I also said the used company policies that use the word marriage to deny benefits.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 3:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • galefan2004
      galefan2004

      @timncguy: That is even more support about fighting over the word. So, force companies to change the wording of their policies. I’m still failing to see an issue here. I think that ideally I like the term marriage when applied to my coupling with a partner; however, I’m a realist and I realize that most people back civil unions much more than they do marriages.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 3:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Trey
      Trey

      Looks like I’m gonna be giving Dan Boren a call on Monday.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 3:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Forrest
      Forrest

      @DuttyBarb: Then why do come here every day and attack us? At least own up to being a bigot. We will respect you for that.

      Jun 28, 2009 at 4:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • threshold
      threshold

      I just sent my congressman an e-mail. I find it odd that he’s on this list because I just shook his hand at Houston Pride last night. Whatever.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 1:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • drjillygirl
      drjillygirl

      @threshold: When you do find out his position on ENDA, shoot an email over to ENDAcampaign@gmail.com so the list can be updated.

      Thanks,

      Jillian

      Jun 29, 2009 at 7:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • drjillygirl
      drjillygirl

      @Trey: When you find out Boren’s position, please send an email to ENDAcampaign@gmail.com so I can update the list.

      Thanks

      Jillian

      Jun 29, 2009 at 7:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DuttyBarb
      DuttyBarb

      Aha of course:

      The “eating shrimp” thing and the slavery thing. FYI, Slavery was actually a big thing back then…gasp!!! It was, so deal with it.What God tried to do was to ensure that the slaves were treated humanely and to regulate the whole process.

      By slavery im not referring to the monstrous activities of the Black Slave era, that was in clear violation of the Word of God.”He who kidnaps a man, whether he sells him or he is found in his possession, shall surely be put to death.” (Exodus 21:16)

      God created all of us so duh he does not condone racism. Please see the scripture.Here are some references that addresses God’s view on racism Leviticus 19:33;Galatians 3:28;Jeremiah 22:3 amongst others

      Well for ones who are “familiar” with their Bible you must have ignored the New Testament. Completely. Kindly read the below passage for full details as how this “shrimp”defense is redundant. Acts 10:9-16

      Isnt it interesting that in the New Testament God basically recants the whole unclean animal thing but still hammers on the sin of homosexuality.Hebrews 8:13;1 Corinthians 6:9-10;1 Timothy 1:8-11

      For the so called Gay Churches and men of God, see what God has to say to all of you here
      1 John 4:1-21

      On interracial marriage… Read up Ruth in the bible and of course Moses married a woman who was a different race. When his sister insulted her because of it..God struck her down immediately and it was on Moses’ intervention that God forgave her.Numbers 12:4-8

      See what happens when you do not read the bible before you talk. Of course this has been the gay defense for decades so we got our own up to knock down your argument. As i said earlier people have intentionally misinterpreted the bible to sell their lies as has the gay agenda.

      The Good News is the Bible is also the same source to dispel the lies that are created because of it. Amen

      Jun 29, 2009 at 9:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • InExile
      InExile

      @DuttyBarb: So nice of you to set up your Cult’s House of Worship right here on Queerty! Thank you so much.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 9:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • emb
      emb

      @DuttyBarb: Of course, your argument here presumes that I accept the goodnewsbible (or the king james version, or the mylittlepony illustrated edition) as anything other than a sometimes interesting and generally badly translated and self-contradictory collection of man-made mythology, tall tales, pretend lineages, historical propaganda, and the ravings of desert-dwelling hermits who ate scorpions and didn’t bathe often. I might as well make arguments based on the back of my box of Special K, for all the weight any reasonable person would attribute to your silly book.

      I think it’s high time we stopped making public policy, and respecting debate, based on religious beliefs. “Faith” is nothing more than the blind acceptance of something for which there is no basis in fact. Just because you “believe” something to be true in your heart, or just because you choose to accept that some disembodied sky fairy is running the show, doesn’t give any weight to your opinions. You can certainly believe in jesus, the tooth fairy, santa claus, or the easter bunny for all I care; just don’t expect that our laws will reflect such silliness, or that others are required to respect those opinions.

      Please come back when you have some reasonable basis to argue your homophobia, other than thumping at me on your bible.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 11:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DuttyBarb
      DuttyBarb

      @InExile

      U are most welcome! The 7th Day Adventist Church of God welcomes you every sabbath. Oh and we are not a cult, that was a childish remark

      @emb
      Unfortunately, very unfortunately for you, that is where the gay community keeps missing the point. Whether you care to believe this or not, America is a religious state. Yes. It. Is. If it was not do you really think we would be having this argument. Hell gays will not be an issue at all for anyone but alas, it is. Do you know why(all together now)….America is a religious state.
      Someone made an intelligent comment here, i forget whom. He said that the religious “cults” are necessary to win this thing in summary. You know what he is right.

      Check history, since, you claim that there is an affiliation btw Gay rights and civil right movement, what was Martin Luther King? Oh yeah, a reverend. How about Malcolm X? Oh yeah, a Muslim teacher. How else do you think this was won? After all, racists used defiled God’s word to promote racism..but these people also used God’s word to open the eyes of everyone. Sound familiar? Yeah, the so called Gay friendly churches. They defile the Word of God to promote the Gay lifestyle and are annoyed that real men of God use that same Bible to fault them.

      You people expressly reject religion because it tells you that your “orientation” is an abomination. I understand that but to fight with the enemy one has to know how to do so. Rejecting and attacking the religious community is not in your best interests..trust me. You need allies here that can preach tolerance and convince people to embrace that though homosexuality is a sin it is the people that are God’s children. Have you checked the polls lately, since you like them so much, guess what, 67% of Americans do not believe in giving gays the same rights and status as straights especially for marriage. Gee, i wonder how that happened.

      Better get your Word people..this is no longer a civil rights war, its a religious one.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 12:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Basil
      Basil

      @Dutty Barb

      I’m sorry to tell you this, but you are mistaken, both on the Bible and, more importantly, the Constitution. Regarding your religious beliefs, you are free to choose what you want, but you are not free to impose those beliefs on others or to have religious discrimination written into the law.

      There is no problem with taking the Bible literally, per se, but one has to be fluent in the language that it was written in (Hebrew or ancient Greek), and also well versed in the historical and cultural context that the passage was written in – this is especially important since it impacts what was actually meant by the words written and how we should interpret them. Take for example, 1 Corinthians 6:9 – 10 (which you cite above):

      The New American Standard Bible translates the passage as :

      “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.”

      Just for comparison, the older King James version gives the passage as:

      “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

      Paul is writing this letter to the Corinthians, exasperated by their infighting and calling them out to treat each other as God intended. The obvious follow on question, is what does God want — to which Paul answers back, referring to Jewish law and giving a litany of things that God does not want us to do.

      Interesting isn’t it, that homosexuality isn’t mentioned in the older translation? In fact, the use of “homosexuals” in that list of things God does not want, doesn’t appear in translations of the Bible until 1958. The original Greek terms used, “malokois” and “arsenokoitai”, are the subject of a lot of argument among linguists and scholars, but most probably refer to pederasty – the practice (common in a lot of ancient cultures, including ancient Greece) of sexual relations between adult men and pre-adolescent boys. In today’s world, that is rightly considered an intolerable form of child abuse. There is nothing in that passage that condemns relationships of adult gay and lesbians couples.

      We could dissect the other passages you cite above, and show the same thing. What is interesting about the Bible is not how much it says about sexuality generally, but how little. The Bible is about God’s love, not a book of lists of what we can and cannot do. That is missing the forest for the trees.

      God recognizes our worth of all people, and that inner light of God shines inside of all of us, even the gays and the lesbians. The Bible does not give ground for blanket condemnation of gays and lesbians, or any other (historically persecuted) minority; to do so is blasphemy (sorry, it is), because it denies the unity of mankind in God. Consider Galatians 3:28

      “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.”

      We are not free to pass judgment and condemn a whole group of people; that is a usurpation of God’s authority. Consider Romans 2:1:

      “Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things”

      I agree with you, God created all of us, black, white, brown, gay, straight … The idea that God hates us for how he created us, it just makes no sense.

      Religion can be a positive force or a negative force, and it is perfectly normal for gays and lesbians, and their straight allies, to call out forces of bigotry and darkness within the religious community when they encourage homophobia, violence, and discrimination against the gay and lesbian citizens.

      You are right that religion can be draw upon God’s power to liberate all mankind, and you are right to cite Dr. King as an example. The person who inspired and taught Dr. King about nonviolence was Bayard Rustin, a gay African American Quaker who studied nonviolence in India with Gandhi and worked to put that knowledge to use in multiple struggles, including the civil rights movement. Rustin was the prime organizer behind the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, in 1963, although his role was later ignored because of his being openly gay (at a time where that was illegal in nearly every state of the Union).

      None of the religious arguments are important. If you are not swayed, that’s ok with me.

      What is more important is respect for the Constitution. There isn’t nearly as much scope for argument. The Constitution’s Bill of Rights protects many of our core freedoms, including freedom of religion (both gay-friendly (the ones you dismiss as cults) and gay hostile). Even more important, the Constitution’s fourteenth amendment which guarantees equal protection. The operative language is:

      “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

      This was the language used in 1967 when the Supreme Court struck down the ban on interracial marriage (Loving v. Virginia), holding that marriage was a fundamental civil right and turning aside the language of the lower court talking about “God had never intended the races to be mixed”. Does this sound familiar? And for the record, maybe only 10% of Americans approved of inter-racial marriage in 1967 – it would not become accepted by the majority of Americans until sometime in the mid-1990’s. By that standard, same-sex marriage is doing phenomenally well.

      My gay-friendly church, the Quakers, believes that God’s message is open to all, and that we are bound to listen to the message of that inner light of God that is inside all of us. I don’t believe that we are a cult, but you can think what you wish. The Quakers were persecuted fiercely in their early days in England, but have had an outsized impact on the U.S., particularly in establishing American legal and moral traditions of religious freedom, and respect for human rights generally. It was the Quakers who established Rhode Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — they left a particularly deep imprint in PA. The Quakers believe steadfastly in equality and nonviolence.

      My Quaker congregation is already pushing me and my partner to get married. I look forward to the day, when my constitutional rights are respected and I can get a civil marriage license from my local county courthouse. I look forward, more generally, to being free of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. I look forward to the day when my congregation will be free to marry all of our couples so desiring marriage, in accordance with our beliefs, and that the government (Federal and State) will respect our religious freedom and recognize all of our marriages.

      It is not a lot to ask — to be treated equally. I believe it is inevitable, and I hope you will join me in bending the arc of history towards justice.

      Jun 29, 2009 at 3:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • drjillygirl
      drjillygirl

      It’s now 46 Democrats who haven’t decided. We just got McMahon from NY, Scott from VA, as well as Kozmas and Grayson from FL.

      Jun 30, 2009 at 2:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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