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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.”


Former NOM Official Calls for Catholic Church to Excommunicate Nancy Pelosi

Former NOM Communications Director Thomas Peters is suggesting that the Catholic Church should excommunicate Nancy Pelosi for urging San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to drop out of NOM's hateful March for Marriage. Cordileone, as we mentioned earlier, says he's going.

PetersWrites Peters on CatholicVote.org:

I can think of about a thousand things that Nancy Pelosi and Archbishop Cordileone should have a chat about. Her lecturing her archbishop on the church’s teaching ain’t one of them.

The gall of this woman is unbelievable. And what she and dozens of politicians are doing by publicly demanding that the archbishop withdraw from the event should anger us. Because if the church is our family, we need to respond when our family is under attack.

Massa_pelosiPeters calls Pelosi a false Catholic and says the church should get rid of her:

Pelosi can still do damage and cause scandal because she can still claim to be Catholic. To the average bystander, and to lots of Catholics, Pelosi is as Catholic as you or me. She goes to Mass. She receives Communion. She refers to herself as Catholic and talks about her faith in the public square. Sure, some bishops don’t always have nice things to say about her, but they never do anything about it. Pelosi herself seems to believe that she is still safely within the fold.

If words can’t reach Pelosi, maybe excommunication would.

Such a dramatic act would not only serve as the necessary wake-up call to Pelosi, it would also help protect the rest of us.

GLAAD's CAP has a lovely list of all the nice things Peters has said about gay people.


Nancy Pelosi Urges San Francisco Archbishop Against Joining NOM’s Anti-gay Marriage March

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is joining the growing list of California officials urging San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone to reconsider his participation in NOM’s upcoming ‘March for Marriage’ in Washington D.C. – a rally Pelosi called “venom masquerading as virtue.”

CordileoneThe San Francisco Chronicle reports:

"We share our love of the Catholic faith and our city of San Francisco," Pelosi wrote to Cordileone, who, as head of the 560,000-member Archdiocese of San Francisco, has become the Catholic bishops' point man against gay marriage. She urged him to abandon an event in which some of the participants show "disdain and hate towards LGBT persons."

Invoking the words of Pope Francis with regard to gays and lesbians, she wrote, "If someone is gay and is searching for the Lord and has good will, then who am I to judge him?"

Cordileone, one of the featured speakers at the march, was a leader in the 2008 campaign for Proposition 8 and is a longtime critic of marriage equality, claiming,"The ultimate attack of the evil one is the attack on marriage."

An online petition asking Cordileone not to participate in the hate rally has already gathered over 27,000 signatures.

NOM's March for Marriage is this Thursday.


Towleroad Guide to the Tube #1460

NANCY PELOSI: David Letterman's Top Ten List.

THE DEATH OF JAR JAR BINKS: Much-loathed Star Wars creature hurtles to his death in deleted scene.

BRYAN FISCHER: Obama hates America.

YVES ROSSY: Swooping around Mt. Fuji in a jet pack.

For recent Guides to the Tube, click HERE.


John Boehner Still Opposed to ENDA, Sinking Hopes for House Vote

John_boehner

As the Senate prepares to vote on (and looks likely to pass) the Employment Non-Discrimination Act later today, its chances in the House are looking particularly bleak. Today House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) reiterated his opposition to the legislation, the Huffington Post reports:

"The Speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in a statement.

The remark from Steel is a tough blow for supporters of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
...And with Boehner coming out in opposition, it seems unlikely that it would even get a vote.

Boehner had previously side-stepped questions about the law, suggesting that new statutes were unnecessary in light of the growing cultural acceptance of gays and lesbians.

Last week Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told reporters that she envisioned a path to passage of ENDA similar to that of the Violence Against Women Act. Of course, that all depends on whether the measure even gets consideration.

President Obama urged both houses of Congress to pass the bill in an op-ed at the Huffington Post last night.

White House Press Secretary also indicated last week that a successful vote in the Senate would not change Obama's thinking on issuing an executive order against LGBT workplace discrimination.

Said Carney to the Washington Blade:

“I think that what I would say is that we have long believed that legislation, an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act, that would enshrine these protections into law is the right way to go. You and I have this discussion periodically over the year, and that’s still our view. I’m not going to prejudge what’s going to happen in Congress. What I can tell you is that it’s come further than I think some people expected a year ago, and we want to continue to see that progress in Congress.”


Pelosi Sees 'Violence Against Women Act' Reauthorization as Possible Model for ENDA Passage

Noting that "the community’s activism, outside mobilization, and just family awareness and respect for people to end discrimination" contribute to a different public attitude than the last time ENDA was introduced, Nancy Pelosi told reporters that she envisions a path to passage of ENDA similar to that of the Violence Against Women Act:

Pelosi“We made it too hot to handle in the public,” Pelosi said. “It had to come to the floor. Even so, a majority of the Republicans voted against the Violence Against Women Act. But nonetheless, it came to the floor. I hope we could have a similar situation with this.”

Asked to clarify whether VAWA reauthorization could be a model for House passage of ENDA, Pelosi called for expedited movement of the legislation in her chamber.

“Well, 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 said. “It’s really important. Our country – ending discrimination is what we are all about as Americans, and we should not have discrimination in the workplace because of gender identity.”

Read Chris Johnson's full report at the Blade here.


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