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Rep. Jared Polis Preparing Discharge Petition For ENDA?

Democratic House Representative Jared Polis is preparing to initiate a discharge petition for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, according to the Washington Blade. A discharge petition, in short, is a means of bringing a bill directly to the floor without consideration from committee or direct input from the House leadership. Considering Speaker John Boehner’s steadfast refusal to allow discussion of ENDA, a discharge petition could be one of the few remaining opportunities to introduce the legislation.

Jared_Polis_Official_2012Polis, ENDA’s chief sponsor, has filed two new resolutions that would open ENDA up for House floor consideration. The second of Polis’s resolutions, H.Res.678, comes in light of widespread backlash from LGBT organizations as they dropped support for ENDA’s religious exemption clause.

H.Res.678 would bring a version of ENDA to the floor with an exemption clause modeled after that written into Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Though Polis’s logic is political logic is sound, the process of actually enacting a discharge petition is fraught with logistical difficulties. From the Washington Blade:

To start a discharge petition on a bill, 30 legislative days must have passed since the legislation was referred to committee. In this case, the Senate-passed version of ENDA was referred to the House Judiciary Committee on January 8, 2014.

Additionally, seven legislative days must have passed since a resolution to consider the legislation was referred to the Rules Committee. As such, the process for collecting signatures a discharge petition on the Senate-passed could begin at any time in the House, but the same process for a discharge petition for a bill with an amended religious exemption couldn’t begin until July 31.

Polis’s plans directly mirror allusions made by Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi last fall after Boehner first blocked ENDA, which at the time was backed by almost 200 members of the House.

“I would think it would be ‘once burned, twice learned,’ and that they would, shall we say, save some time by taking it right to our committee and to the floor,” Pelosi lamented at the time. “Ending discrimination is what we are all about as Americans, and we should not have discrimination in the workplace because of gender identity.”


Tuesday Speed Read: Jared Polis, Annise Parker, South Dakota, Robert Gates, Boy Scouts, Nevada, Kentucky

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

PolisLOG CABIN ADS ATTACK JARED POLIS:

The national gay Republican group Log Cabin Republicans has aired three “attack ads” against openly gay U.S. Rep. Jared Polis. According to a report in the Denver Post, the latest ad mocks Polis’ personal wealth to say he’s out of touch with the average Coloradoan when he opposes natural gas development in the state, thus denying thousands of jobs and affordable heating. In retort, Polis teased the group about the perception that it has relatively few members to support such attack ads: “Oh, did all three of them chip in?”

ORDINANCE FOES THREATEN RECALL:

Opponents of a proposed non-discrimination ordinance in Houston have threatened to organize a recall election against Mayor Annise Parker and other supporters of the bill. They have also threatened a referendum on the measure should it pass Wednesday, reports KHOU-TV.

SouthdakotaSOUTH DAKOTA GETS LAWSUIT:

Six same-sex couples in South Dakota filed a lawsuit in federal court in Sioux Falls, reducing to just one (North Dakota) the number of states which still have bans on same-sex couples marrying but no lawsuit challenging that ban. The South Dakota lawsuit is Rosenbrahn v. Daugaard.

NINTH CIRCUIT MOVES ON NEVADA CASE:

In an order issued May 23, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals announced it would hold oral arguments in September for Sevcik v. Sandoval, a Lambda Legal case challenging Nevada’s ban on same-sex couples marrying. The Ninth Circuit will also hear Latta v. Otter, concerning Idaho’s ban, the week of September 8.

GatesAVOIDING BOY SCOUT FRACTURE:

Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates was installed as president of the national Boy Scouts of America organization May 22 and, in an interview the next day with Associated Press, said he would have gone further than the BSA did last fall when it voted to end its policy of barring gay scouts. “"I would have supported having gay Scoutmasters,” said Gates. But Gates said he would not re-open the question with the membership at this time because he believes it would “irreparably fracture” the organization.

McconnellMcCONNELL OPPONENT WALKING A LINE:

In last Tuesday’s primaries, Democrats in Kentucky chose business attorney Alison Lundergan Grimes to go up against Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell in November. McConnell has a zero rating from the Human Rights Campaign on LGBT issues. When asked point blank by a group of Kentucky farmers whether she supports same-sex marriage, Grimes clearly tried to find position somewhere between being “for” or “against” them. According to the Herald-Leader, Grimes said: “I want to be honest  … my husband and I have been married seven years, and the Supreme Court has already determined in my view and decided this issue, and … I think that if I’ve been committed then others should be able to have that same commitment. But the Supreme Court --they’ve already ruled on this, it’s a state sovereign issue, and here in the state of Kentucky we already have a constitutional amendment.”

MICHELLE NUNN WALKING THE SAME LINE: U.S.

Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, daughter of former U.S. Senator Sam Nunn, is walking that same delicate line on same-sex marriage in Georgia. She has said she supports the right of same-sex couples to marry but believes the decision about who can marry should be left to the states.
© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) Accepts Offer of GQ Makeover After Wearing Purple Polo with Clip-On Bow Tie

Polis

Yesterday, Chris Armstrong tweeted this screencap of Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), writing: "Bow ties with polo shirts on the House floor. God help us."

Dennis Tang at GQ's column 'The GQ Eye' seized on the post:

"Worst ever? Yeah, right, how bad could it possiblyyyyyeeesh, okay, yeah, now that I look at it. Definitely. Is that a purple golf polo? With a bow tie? Is that a clip-on?...Wow, a Democrat? Thanks, Obama. But anyway, Jared. It's fine. We can help. You should let us help you. Because seriously, forget immigration reform. Keep this up, and I'm going Ted Cruz 2016, straight up."

And Polis took him up on the offer, tweeting:

"Thank you @GQMagazine @GQFashion for the offer to help... I accept and am looking forward to the consultation!!"

(via politico)


House Debates LGBT-Inclusive Student Non-Discrimination Measure, Passes Student Success Act Without It: VIDEO

Jaredpolis

Several House lawmakers took time to show their support for a measure to be considered alongside the Student Success Act.  Called the Student Non-Discrimination Act, the piece of legislature was considered during a House Rules Committee hearing for the Success Act.  Gay representative Jared Polis (D-Colo.) led the charge for the new amendment.

The Washington Blade reports:

During the rules committee hearing, Polis said the Student Non-Discrimination Act is necessary — even with other options on the table like school of choice — because some students have only one choice for a school in certain places in the country.

“If you come from a small town with a thousand families, you have a school, you go there, and it’s tough,” Polis said. “It might be tough to grow up if you’re the only African-American family in town, it might be tough to grow up if you’re the only gay kid in town, it might be tough to grow up if you’re the only Catholic in town, or the only Muslim or the only Jew in town.”

Polis's proposal for the amendment was voted down 5-7, based largely on the Republican-controlled panel.  

The only Republican in committee to vote in favor of the proposal was Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), who’s an original co-sponsor of the legislation and also spoke out in favor of the bill in committee. She’s among 155 co-sponsors of the bill in the House.

“Through the years, we have seen a lot of bullying taking place at our schools, and LGBT students are particularly vulnerable to education and harassment in our education system,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “They currently lack the protections that would prohibit this dreadful behavior.”

The Student Non-Discrimination Act, should it have been approved, would establish gender identity and sexual orientation as protected classes in schools, and would not allow discrimination, including bullying, to befall students without repercussions.  

The next day on the House floor, a number of lawmakers joined Polis in speaking out in favor of the Student Non-Discrimination Act, including Reps. Rob Andrews (D-N.J.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and David Cicilline (D-R.I.).

“The federal government has a responsibility, Mr. Speaker, to do all that we can do to ensure the safest and best possible environment in which students can learn,” Cicilline said. “When students are bullied and harassed because of who they are, they’re denied the opportunity to achieve their full potential.”

Despite these objections, the House approved on Friday the education reform bill by a vote of 221-207 after two days of debate. In a statement after the bill’s passage, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) praised the legislation for consolidating federal programs and eliminating red tape for schools.

Check out videos of several representatives' statements here.

And watch a portion of Rep. Polis's proposal, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "House Debates LGBT-Inclusive Student Non-Discrimination Measure, Passes Student Success Act Without It: VIDEO" »


ENDA Expected to Be Reintroduced Next Month, with Changes

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act is under review and revision  and is expected to be reintroduced in April, the Washington Blade reports, with Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) as its lead author:

Polis“I’ll be the lead author of ENDA, which we are at least planning to reintroduce in April,” Polis said.

Multiple sources familiar with ENDA say the legislation is being reconsidered before its reintroduction in the 113th Congress, and maintain no final decisions on the bill have been made.

It’s unclear what the nature of the changes might be, but one source familiar with ENDA told the Washington Blade the bill is being reconsidered with respect to religious exemption and disparate impact to make the legislation’s protections stronger for LGBT workers than previously written. The changes are being considered under the assumption the legislation won’t pass anyway with Republicans in control of the U.S. House.

ENDA has previously included a strong religious exemption. In the most recent version of the bill, Section 6 provided an exemption for religious organizations and businesses that were also exempt under Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964.


Rep. Jared Polis Introduces Federal Marijuana Bill

Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO) introduced a bill on Tuesday that would change the way the federal government regulates marijuana, the Denver Post reports:

PolisRep. Jared Polis introduced legislation Tuesday that removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act and shifts it from the Drug Enforcement Agency to be regulated by the renamed Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Marijuana and Firearms.

Polis, along with Democrat Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, are seeking to have that new bureau regulate marijuana as it does alcohol. States and municipalities could still choose to prohibit marijuana production, and it would still be illegal to transport marijuana to a state where it is prohibited.

Said Polis: "We get the DEA out of banning marijuana federally, and we allow states to choose if they want it to be legal or illegal. "We don't want the whole industry and trade to be subject to who the president is and whatever their whims are in a given day."


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