Washington Blade: ‘Has The Gay Agenda Been Shelved?’

The Washington Blade piece focuses on the lack of progress with many LGBT-focused bills in DC including the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Domestic Partnership Benefits & Obligations Act, and, of course, DADT.

A passage from the piece about ENDA which Barney Frank seems optimistic about:  

FDespite the limited time remaining this year, some LGBT rights supporters are hopeful that Congress will move forward with additional legislation. U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), a gay lawmaker and House sponsor of ENDA, expressed optimism about the bill passing the House this year.

“That’s going to be next thing we’ll turn our attention to,” Frank said. “We have the speaker’s support and we’re still trying to figure out a way to get that done.”

And as far as the future goes? November could make all of the difference.

Whatever progress this Congress makes on passing pro-LGBT bills, recent polls are casting doubts on whether enough Democratic lawmakers will retain their seats next Congress to pass such bills. Several recent polls have shown considerable opposition toward Democrats and the Obama administration as persistent unemployment and concerns about government spending linger across the country.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs gained media attention and inspired consternation among Democratic House members when, during an appearance earlier this month on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he said Republicans could regain control of the House.

“I think people are going to have a choice to make in the fall,” Gibbs said. “But I think there’s no doubt there are enough seats in play that could cause Republicans to gain control. There’s no doubt about that.” Larry Sabato, a political scientist at the University of Virginia, is projecting that Republicans will win seven seats in the Senate and 32 seats in House after the election. Because of this potential shift, Sabato said passage of more pro-LGBT bills next Congress is unlikely if it doesn’t happen this year.

“If these pieces of legislation don’t pass now, when both houses have swollen Democratic majorities, they certainly aren’t going to pass in the next Congress, when Democrats will have narrow majorities, or even be in the minority,” Sabato said.


  1. justiceontherocks says

    The Blade used to be a great trend-setting paper. Those days are long gone. Maybe 5 people here (in DC) still read it.

    And can we please stop acting like we need to have the back of our “friend” Obama? And can we stop with the nonsense that Barney frank is a leader or a hero? Obama cares nothing about rights for non-heterosexual people. Barney, while a bright guy and a skileld legislator, has put up a big goose egg when it comes to legislative victories for us.

  2. Gridlock says

    Derpa derp! I guess there are “more important things” to do before LGBT rights yet again.

    Surprise, surprise.

    I guess it’s back to shutting up, sitting down, not being shrill/hysterical/impatient and hoping that someone, at some point in time, might be nice enough to look after our equality.. you know.. providing there aren’t more “important” things happening, like always.


    Saw this coming a mile away.

    “Vote for us again, and give us more money, we’ll get around to you next time, honest.”

  3. Bart says

    Cynical, cynical…and I’m right with you. This is utter and complete bullshit. Here was the agenda: get their money, blow some smoke up their collective asses, make it look like we’re going to do something, and (like no one saw this coming…) by next election cycle we’ll be a minority in Congress again and nothing but nothing will get done.

    Here’s the deal, we either elected men and women who can only do one thing at a time (God forbid there be four or five things on the agenda…) We elected a guy president who really never had our best interest at heart. Not saying that if everything hadn’t gone his way, he’d get around to, you know, equality for everyone, but it didn’t and he didn’t. And he has a cabinet filled with men and women who want our money but think we are an absolute liability. And they are the ones talking in his ear, setting his agenda.

    Change hasn’t come fast enough? Brother, change hasn’t come at all.

    If you can’t do it when you have a majority, you can’t do it. You squandered the first two years on a health bill that was necessary but looks like a horse made by committee and is now good for no one. It’s also pissed off more people than made you friends, why, because basically it says, “You must buy health insurance…” and then there is 12,000 pages to tell you how. Gee, thanks. I’m already feeling that cough going away.

    We had both houses of Congress. We had a President we helped elect. And all we got is a lousy T-shirt that reads: Change Hasn’t Come Fast Enough. Neat, I’ll use it to wash my car.

  4. missanthrope says

    Thanks for nothing Barney Frank, HRC and friends. Biggest Democratic majority in 20-odd years and can’t get anything done. Nothing.

    Worthless, all of your “LGBT leaders” are worthless and more interested in their political power than your civil rights.

  5. jaymax says

    I’ve ended my relationship with HRC and Democrats no longer have my “automatic” allegiance. Pitiful that virtually nothing has been done with a Democratic President and a Democratic Congress. Shameful…

  6. Ted B. (Charging Rhino) says

    Change ehh? The Democrats and Gay, Inc. have little intention or interest in ending DOMA, DADT or passing ENDA as long as they can shake the gay money-tree again and again. They just want you to “…shut-up, sit-down, and write us another nice big check”.

    They’re not interested in the G/L community anymore than they are interested in improving employment or a strong America. They just look after their Wall Street friends and the unions while pursuing their obvious Socialist agenda.

  7. says

    If Barney the Gay Dinosaur and the rest of the Democrats don’t start acting on ENDA, a lot of us will vote Green in November. A lot more of us will stay home.

  8. InExile says

    The democrats think we will keep giving them one more chance year after year, election after election. Well, they can all go to hell! This democrat as well as his family is staying home in 2012. No more votes for free.

  9. Scott says

    People, it is ok that you are frustrated and critical, but extrapolate your decided anti-Democratic or non-political promises to their full extension. Obama/Pelosi/Reid is CERTAINLY not perfect, but how does Palin/Boehner/McConnell sound to you? Are you all FUCKING INSANE? We GOT hate crimes, we are GETTING DADT very soon, and ENDA is next if you people don’t allow the GOP to gain control of Congress, that is. You know what we get with the GOP? Nothing ever (oh besides tax cuts for the wealthy that add 3.5 TRILLION to the deficit). Cut off your nose to spite your face much?

    Progress has been made, and it IS being made… slowly, to be sure. But I will take incremental progress over the complete regression we will get under GOP rule. Don’t kid yourselves — there is a stark choice. Maybe learn about the types of people who lead the GOP and what THEY will do for you (hint: nothing good and plenty bad), and THEN decide whether you will allow them to hijack our country.

    No, wait, I’m totally wrong. Remember the time when Bush and Trent Lott banded together to fight for gay rights? They made SO MUCH PROGRESS, and really had our backs. I’d love to go back to that time, ahhh yes, the early 2000’s. Boy, Sarah Palin and Mitch McConnell are TOTALLY going to give us our rights, yea you betcha!! Why is the top still spinning?


  10. Mark says

    Careful, if you don’t at least look like you are stepping up to the plate this November then the Blue Dogs will privately blame you for the loss.

    And we all know what it’s like to be the guy who “makes the last out” in the ball game.

    Never underestimate the head spinning kookiness of partisan politics!

  11. Bart says

    Scott, we are awake. And things ain’t so pretty in the daylight. When the option is between licking the table scraps (from the Dems) or getting beaten (from the Republicans,) we’re not getting much of a choice. So don’t ask us to be happy to sit on the back of the bus, when we are paying for the bus.

    That’s what the Dems bank on every time, that the beating we would take is worse than the scraps they throw. So they feel they can come to the very deep money well, dip in regularly as they mouth promises, and then toss us a bone and ask us to be quiet and be patient.

    Trust me, we all know that the Republican party, as it is today, is utterly henious. No one doubts that any of the people you named on the Republican side are much, much worse for us. We get it, we don’t need to “WAKE. THE FUCK. UP.” We get it even in our sleep. BUT that oesn’t give the Democrats the carte blanche to come and beg for money with all sorts of promises and then do the bare minimum and then lecture us on how we’re supposed to behave. Most especially when they had the numbers to do something bigger. Much bigger. We may never have these kinds of numbers again and they have been squandered. Bold moves were watered down into paste. And bold moves were promised and expected.

    (And Scott, we don’t have DADT…we have a study. We don’t have EDNA. Sorry…you’re banking on something that hasn’t happened yet. And the GOP IS going to take control of Congress. Why? Because of the horse-by-committee health care bill that no one likes. Because no one can still figure out this war. Because our Democratic leaders have folded like deck chairs every time the right has squalked and the right sees the meekness. It has nothing to do with us voting for the Democrats…because bottom line, we’ll always go with the least-worst scenario. That’s not gay nature, that’s human nature.)