Since the Democrats took back control of both the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, the LGBT community has been caught up in joy as the Democratic sponsors of many pro-LGBT pieces of legislation promise to re-introduce their bills and move them forward through the legislative process.
Not too long ago we got word that Representative Marty Meehan would re-introduce his Military Readiness Enhancement Act, the bill which would rid our nation’s military of its discriminatory anti-gay, lesbian and bisexual enlistment and service policy (a federal law, by the way). Meehan promised to have it heard in both sub-committee and full committee.
As I stated to YES! Weekly back near the end of November/beginning of December:
“The bill will be fully debated in [Meehan's] subcommittee,” Comer said. “The best we can hope for is that it gets past the committee. At the very least the bill has the potential for being debated on the House floor.”
I hope that it is a claim I’ll be able to stand by.
We are now also hearing news that, after 10 years, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act just might have a better chance of being passed this session, due to the Democrats’ control.
According to an article (the first in a two-part series) from the Washington Blade, Representatives Barney Frank and Tammy Baldwin have said that Congress is expected to vote on ENDA this year.
The article details the history of ENDA, which is quite an interesting read.
One thing I didn’t know was that part of the “compromise” that allowed ENDA to be voted on (and defeated by one vote) during the first leg of the Republican takeover in 1994, was the end of a Ted Kennedy led filibuster against the Defense of Marriage Act. Kennedy, mistakenly, ended the filibuster, ENDA was voted on and defeated and DOMA was passed by an significant, overwhelming majority.
Activists and Congressmen and women promise not to make the same mistakes this go-around.
Hopefully that stick to that promise and not screw us, all over again.