“[Freshman Congresswoman Jeanne Shaheen will] be joined by several gay-friendly freshmen senators, including Mark Udall of Colorado and Tom Udall of New Mexico. The Udall cousins helped the House pass a 2007 bill to outlaw job discrimination based on sexual orientation and now will help in the Senate, where the measure has a steeper climb.
The promising freshman class — which includes gay Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado — is one of 2009’s potential game changers for the gay rights movement.
Many of the freshmen come from states that already enjoy basic gay protections. So they’ll be asked to extend those safeguards to all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. And they’ll be asked to update federal law to respect their state laws by, for example, getting rid of the discriminatory tax treatment of gay partners’ health benefits.” — Detroit News’ weekly gay columnist Deb Price on the gay-friendly composition of the freshman class of Congress.