Tuesday night's loss in Maine for marriage equality was very disappointing, losing by about 5 percentage points, but the ENDA-like non-discrimination ordinance won in Kalamazoo by an amazing 30 percentage points. The Kalamazoo ordinance covers housing and public accommodations, in addition to the workplace, so its win indicates the high receptivity of non-discrimination as an issue. That should give some comfort to our Blue Dog Democrats on ENDA.
At the same time, however, the loss of New Jersey and Virginia governorships to the Republicans may raise the specter of a U.S. shift to the right, which will complicate matters. I'm sorry to say that we have little time to mourn the loss of marriage equality in Maine, because there is a Senate hearing on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act this morning at 10 am.
Join me this morning (Nov. 5) from 10am – 1pm for a Liveblog of the Senate ENDA hearing at http://bilerico.com. You'll see lots of interesting info about the Committee members and the witnesses. Autumn will be there with us! Notables will be tweeting live from the hearing room!
But even as we watch the Senate hearing, we must ask where our legislators are on ENDA. Where, for example, is Indiana's Democratic Senator Evan Bayh on ENDA? We don't know, since he has kept his position to himself.
He's one of 6 Senators* likely to vote for ENDA, but who hasn't publicly stated his support. (Meanwhile, one of those 6, Sen. Paul Kirk of MA, has signed on as co-sponsor as of this morning.) The leadership won't bring it to a vote unless they know they have 60 votes to overcome the Republican filibuster. Please call and ask him to step up to the plate. Contact info and more after the jump.
Senator Bayh has a very good record when it comes to our community. He co-sponsored and voted for the hate crimes bill, which is good. His HRC scorecard, which measures how Congressmembers have voted on issues of equality, was 90% in the 110th Congress. He's co-sponsoring and supporting several other important LGBT bills.
We need to press Senator Bayh on his support for ENDA. Please call Senator Bayh to ask if his office can confirm his support for S1584.
You may get a staffer who is unaware of the Senator's position on ENDA. Take a moment to explain what it is, and to ask if he or she can get some information on the Senator's position.
Tell us what they said in the comments below.
Senator Bayh: 202-224-5623
(Toll free DC Capitol line: 866-220-0044)
The 6 likely yes votes, which brings us up to 56 likely yes votes, are: 1. Tom Carper (D-DE) 2. Ted Kaufman (D-DE) 3. Evan Bayh (D-IN) 4. Paul G. Kirk (D-MA) (UPDATE: NOW A CO-SPONSOR!) 5. Tim Johnson (D-SD) 6. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)