The Gay Fray

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Tiassa, Jul 28, 2004.


I am . . . .

  1. Homosexual

    25 vote(s)
  2. Heterosexual

    201 vote(s)
  3. Bisexual

    31 vote(s)
  4. Other (I would have complained if there wasn't an "other" option)

    16 vote(s)
  1. billvon Valued Senior Member

    The law has been invalidated. Thus no one arrested could be found guilty by a competent judge/jury. However there is no automatic mechanism whereby the police are told "you can't arrest people for this any more." Thus it can be used as a threat - "sure, you can take it to court and win. Do you really want to go to court so we can call you a faggot?"
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Fry Like a Pig in the Heart of the Sun

    Well, as Fraggle pointed out, it is Louisiana. I mean, if there's one place you can routinely expect this kind of stupidity, it's Louisiana. Texas is crazy, sure, but it's only important because it's Texas. Ain't got nothin' on Lou'siana.

    And, well, yeah. Bill has a point. Except, the question does remain at this point whether this was taking place before 2011, when the dozen-plus cases in contention here began.

    If, indeed, they've always done it this way, and we're only hearing about the last couple years' worth of cases, that ... well, I guess that wouldn't surprise me, but we have yet to hear anything even hinting toward that, so we can scratch it for now.

    Which leaves this nagging question: If this started in 2011, then ... er ... ah ... well, why?

    Meanwhile, Tim Murphy is escalating the story for Mother Jones:

    So how does Louisiana's arch-conservative Republican governor, Bobby Jindal, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, feel about the parish's continued enforcement of the invalidated sodomy law? He's been silent. His office did not respond to multiple requests for comment on Monday, nor has he previously commented on the sodomy statute.

    The sheriff's department does have a point. The anti-sodomy statute is still on the books in Louisiana, and in 12 other states across the country. And in many of those cases, it remains on the books for a very particular reason: Republican lawmakers want it to. Lawmakers in Texas have quietly killed every legislative effort to erase its anti-sodomy statute (the one that was actually stricken down by the Supreme Court), which makes sense when you consider Gov. Rick Perry is on the record defending it, and the state GOP recently made a sodomy ban part of its official platform. Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback left his state's sodomy statute out of a 2012 push to purge outdated laws. The last serious repeal push in Louisiana came in 2003, shortly before the Supreme Court decision, with opponents warning that legalized sodomy would lead to disease and child abuse—two things that, thanks to the sodomy ban, Louisiana had been mercifully free of for the last 207 years.

    And it's not just the idea of Jindal in Louisiana, or Murphy at Mother Jones. It's going on in Virginia, too, where Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli—"da Cooch"—is trying to run for governor while investigating his boss, the current governor, for corruption, while simultaneously trying to distance himself from the corruption scandal, in which he too is caught up, and has thus decided to make a restoration of Virginia's anti-sodomy enforcement a major plank of his campaign platform.

    No, really.

    It's all that, and more.

    (You wouldn't believe ... you wouldn't believe.)

    This is one of those, "Holy shit!" moments in history. They're freaking out.

    (If you take a lot, it will kill you.)

    Don't ask.


    Murphy, Tim. "Bobby Jindal Stays Silent on Louisiana Sodomy Arrests". Mother Jones. July 30, 2013. July 30, 2013.
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  5. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    I see where your coming from but to me its just weird generally that a law which is invalidated could "still be on the books", if the courts have ruled it unconstitutional it should disappear, now sure the legislature could go back amend the law and then it would be back again until challenged and a decision is made, that's how the process works. As for the police saying that its still there, they police exist to uphold the law and this is not a law because its been struck down by the courts, don't they take an oath to defend the constitution?

    I mean the way this sounds you could pass a law which says "all police will shot protesters on sight" it be ruled unconstitutional under the first amendment (and others but lets not complicate the issue) and yet still have police doing it.
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Right. And decades ago guardsmen shot and killed four protesters at a US college, and no one was ever prosecuted for it.

    Such things happen. Fortunately they are rare.
  8. wellwisher Banned Banned

    The way I look at homosexuality is humans have choice and will power. But to help people make responsible and conscious choice it is important to outline the facts of those choices so they know the fine print. We can eat naturally organic or socially processed food, with the latter often processed further with marketing and social propaganda because it is artificial or cheaper. It is useful to compare and contrast so when choices are made, one does this with open eyes and not just follow the herd.

    Natural behavior is self sustaining and does not require human intervention using artificial props. My classic example is the zoo. Although animals can live in the zoo all the way to old age, this is not natural since it requires zoo keepers; processed food. The question I asked myself could homosexual behavior exist without medical zookeepers and other processed prosthetics like condoms? And is this sort of like the hidden wires needed to create the illusion of natural levitation. If we cut the strings would this still fly or would it self eliminate?

    Back in the 1980's when the closet was opened, hundreds of thousands of gay men died. This would have been even worse if medical zookeepers had not interceded to prop up the situation with medical supplies. This created the illusion of levitation which subsequent propaganda; processed food, started to call natural propensity instead of choice.

    Much of the bible ranting about homosexuality is due that time not having the same level of medical zoo keeping to prop up behavior, that will be sales pitched as natural (hidden wires). Certain behavior would fall flat since there were not yet props to make this sustainable. You need to use the context of the times.
  9. Bells Staff Member

    So when did you choose to be straight?

    At what point in your life, did you make the active choice to be straight?

    I mean certainly, we can compare one's sexuality to whether we buy organic food or not and we can compare it to a zoo as well. But the underlying premise of your theory fails because you are saying that homosexuals have a choice to be homosexual. Ergo, you made a choice to be straight. So when did you make that choice? How old where you when you decided to be attracted to the opposite sex?

    Your use of the AIDS epidemic of the 70's and 80's is interesting. Because while the number of homosexuals who died during that epidemic was quite high, it is nothing compared to the epidemic killing off heterosexuals in many parts of the world right now. If I was to use your logic, then heterosexuality and the notion of choice and "natural propensity" would be applied the same as you have applied it to homosexuality. Tell me, how much "zoo keeping" is required to prop up the behaviour of straight people, who are spreading AIDS and HIV at a great rate of knots across Africa as I type this?

    In short, when did heterosexuality become a choice for you?
  10. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Of course. Just as heterosexual sex could exist without prosthetics. (Of course the syphilis and gonorrhea would be a pain in the butt.)

    Since homosexuality has existed as long as humanity has, and since it hasn't self-eliminated - the answer to your question is obvious.

    If you think that the "closet was first opened" in 1980 - you're missing a whole lot of history. Google Greece around 800BC.

    Well, first you need to study history. Then you can put that history in context. Ignorance is a poor foundation for opinion.
  11. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Uh! Double up! Uh! Uh!

    Marryin' Day!

    I thought it worth mentioning that equality took two steps forward today, as same-sex weddings arrived in Rhode Island and Minnesota today.

    Can you feel the love?
  12. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    From Sad to Farce

    From Sad to Farce
    "Ex-Gay Pride Month" wraps up with ... well ....

    Ex-Gay Pride Month. The phrase just doesn't roll easily off the tongue. Of course, that's whay the right-wing version of PFLAG is PFOX, and not PFELAG. (And, besides, "Pee Fox" sounds a lot more sexy than "Pfee Lag" or "Pee Felag"; actually, both sound like pidgin-joke punch lines.)

    Nonetheless, the Family Research Council-sponsored social movement came to a not-so-frothy head this week with its much-anticipated demonstration of "thousands of ex-gays" "descending" on Washington, D.C., to protest "homo-fascism" that has "shut [ex-gays] out" and won't give them a "fair shake". (Remember, more than three fair shakes and it's a hand job.)

    Not so much with a bang, but a pathetic whimper:

    Yesterday, American Family Radio's Sandy Rios spoke to Ex-Gay Pride Month organizer Christopher Doyle about today's ex-gay lobby day on Capitol Hill. Doyle, who was organizing the since-canceled Ex-Gay Pride banquet at the Family Research Council, complained in an interview with the Christian Post that "un-American" LGBT rights advocates have "shut us out," explaining that "because of all this homo-fascism and indoctrination in the media, ex-gays aren't given a fair shake."

    Rios confidently predicted that "thousands of ex-gays are descending" on Washington for a press conference planned for today at the Supreme Court. She lamented that when she led Concerned Women for America the media refused to hear "our ex-gay friends" because it "undermined the whole effort of the homosexual lobby."

    Doyle told Rios that "tens of thousands" of ex-gays exist but are "in the closet because of fear, shame and threats from gay activists."

    Well, despite the expectation that "thousands of ex-gays" would partake in Ex-Gay Pride Month, fewer than ten people showed up for the big event.


    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    And they are Legion: No, really. "Ex-Gay Equal Rights Now!" What does that even mean?


    So ... that went well, eh?


    Tashman, Brian. "Fewer Than Ten People Show Up For Ex-Gay Pride Event That Expected to Draw 'Thousands'". Right Wing Watch. July 31, 2013. August 1, 2013.
  13. quinnsong Valued Senior Member

    Just plain pathetic! Does not bode well for these homophobic organizers, if all they could muster up is ten people. Hell as an ex organizer I would have had at least fifty by just slipping tens to the homeless and have them hold signs. :bugeye:

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    What a desperate and pathetic attempt at what I am not sure.
  14. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    As I've noted before, perhaps five percent of the population fall in the muddle-zone of the sexual spectrum, more-or-less equally comfortable with a partner of either sex.

    Since most parents raise their children to be heterosexual, most of these people were raised that way and found it satisfying. Later in life they may have experimented with the other way and found that just as satisfying. So some of them ended up living a gay life for probably a zillion different reasons. (Finding the love of your life, whichever gender he or she happens to inhabit, must surely be the sweetest reason of all.)

    Later in life, their circumstances change. Perhaps the love of their life turned out to be temporary and the next one is of the opposite gender. Perhaps they were swept away in the soaring rhetoric of religious evangelism and decided to adopt the heterosexual lifestyle it demands--since after all it's quite easy for them to do that.

    So by golly, here we have a small but steady supply of people who used to have a partner of the same sex and now have a partner of the opposite sex. Praise the Lord! An "ex-gay"! People respond differently to social pressure, and some of them decided to become poster children for a new movement.

    Big deal. As you say, if the "movement" consists of ten people, it's hardly a threat to anything except common sense.
  15. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Ego Dystonia

    Ego Dystonia

    In truth, I probably didn't need want to see that.

    But I'm not sure, exactly, how to say it, but that's not the worst thing I've heard out of Russia lately. The bit about neo-Nazis luring gay teenagers for dates and then torturing them gets that dishonor:

    Earlier this month, Russian online newspaper Lenta met with those who have joined the "Occupy-Pedofilyay" campaign to learn more about the movement.

    "We do not like homosexuals," the leader of one local gathering explained, according to a HuffPost translation. "If it was up to me, I'd kill them but the government doesn't allow that."

    "I think practically all gay men—pedophiles," he later explained. "Once you've crossed over once, you can cross over again. Today he likes boys, and then it'll be children. They're not suitable for life in society."


    Yeah. Sounds about right.

    But, you know, to take the Russian thug's explanation to heart, would it be fair, then, if I dismissed all people of Russian descent I encounter as not having any useful opinion since all Russians do is hold revolutions and fail? I mean, clearly the Russian Revolution of 1917 failed, if not immediately, before twenty years had passed. And while I may never know quite what to think of Boris Yeltsin, it would seem that the new Russia of the twenty-first century, under Vladimir Putin, is an even bigger failure than the Communist forfeiture. So, you know, what gives? It would seem to me that, if we accept this Russian justification of savage thuggery, a similar application would be to state that at no time should one trust the expressed opinion of a Russian. It is either wrong, a lie, or, if remotely reasonably founded, doomed to failure.

    And, you know, in truth, I don't think I really have the energy to apply that level of willful hatred. It's just not worth it. The next Russian-descended person I encounter would have no idea why they should suffer blame for Putin and a bunch of dangerously repressed, ego-dystonic homosexuals in Russia. Those neo-Nazis, those Russian soldiers, one might suggest that they give homosexuals a bad name by their conduct, but it is more likely accurate to suggest that they, as well as Vladimir Putin, are functioning examples of what happens when homosexuals dedicate too much time and effort to repressing themselves for the sake of a mental disorder.


    Sieczkowski, Cavan. "Russian Neo-Nazis Allegedly Lure, Torture Gay Teens With Online Dating Scam". The Huffington Post. July 26, 2013. August 3 2013.
  17. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

    Well said. So tell me, what would be more beneficial for the LGBT rights movement, to boycott or not to boycott?

    "We’ve all given up our lives for the Olympics," Weir told Here & Now. "I would never want my life’s work to come down to a boycott. I think being at the Olympic games, for me, and possibly winning a medal, and being one of the only out gay Olympians, would do so much more for the Russian LGBT community than us sitting back and not being present.

    Weir says most athletes he knows — gay or straight — don’t support a boycott."

    Gay Olympian to Athletes: Don’t Boycott Winter Olympics
  18. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Article IV Test Coming Soon

    Remember That Separate-But-Equal Crap?
    An unfortunate but predictable test in Kentucky

    This really is unfortunate:

    A legal debate over whether one member of a same-sex couple has spousal privilege that would shield her from testifying against her partner is at the heart of a capital murder case in politically conservative Kentucky.

    Geneva Case, 49, does not want to testify in a Louisville court against her partner, Bobbie Jo Clary, 37, who is accused of beating George Murphy, 64, to death with a hammer in 2011 and then stealing his van.

    Prosecutors say Case must testify because of her value as a witness, since she heard Clary admit to the slaying and also saw blood on the interior of the victim's van after the killing.

    Clary says Murphy used a hammer to sexually assault her, and she defended herself by hitting him over the head.

    Clary is also charged with tampering with evidence to cover up the crime. If convicted, Clary could face the death penalty.

    Under Kentucky law, a person cannot be called to testify against his or her spouse. Most states have a similar type of law.


    There are so many elements to this, you need not beg pardon if it seems a bit confusing.

    Let us start with the reminder that the "separate but equal" civil unions were never intended to be equal. Indeed, the assistant commonwealth attorney for Jefferson County, Kentucky makes the point:

    "Kentucky's marital privilege law does not give Ms. Case the right not to testify in a murder trial," said Stacy Greive, assistant commonwealth attorney for Jefferson County. "And the reason marital privilege does not apply to Ms. Case in her relationship with the defendant is because it is our opinion and our belief that they do not have a marriage that is recognized under Kentucky law."

    Greive argues that not only is the union not recognized in Kentucky, but the couple has not presented proof they have a valid marriage under Vermont law. "They have a civil union, if you look at Vermont's statutes, they distinguish between civil unions and marriage," she said.

    It is unfortunate that the Article IV issue should require this context of assertion; I had always hoped one of those oddball divorce cases would be the first. In Maryland, a judge upheld spousal privilege for an out of state same-sex marriage, so the question of Kentucky v. Case, if it hits federal court, will also be an equal protection question, and if Kentucky's assertion is that the separate-but-equal civil unions were never meant to be equal, well, so much for making Mrs. Case testify, and so much for civil unions.

    We've known that civil unions were an excuse, a separate-but-equal institution that was never intended to be equal. And now the Commonwealth of Kentucky is explicitly arguing that point in court.

    Stay tuned.


    Ghianni, Tim. "Gay couple seeks spousal privilege protection in Kentucky murder trial". Reuters. August 11, 2013. August 12, 2013.
  19. Bells Staff Member

    What... The... Fuck!?

    BBC News released a disturbing video this week that documents the actions of a self-proclaimed vigilante group forcing an alleged gay man to drink urine. The video also features a Russian woman who claims to be "on safari hunting pedophiles and gays" with an assault rifle.

    Yekaterina, the aforementioned woman, reportedly heads up her local branch of the organization "Occupy Paedophilia."

    "Our priority is uncovering cases of pedophilia. But we are also against the promotion of homosexuality and if, along the way, we encounter people of non-traditional sexual orientation, we can kill two birds with one stone."

    If the name "Occupy Paedophilia" seems familiar, it's because the group has made headlines all summer with their brutal and violent tactics directed at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.

    These buffoons are quite literally on the prowl for homosexual people, simply to assault and abuse them. They are the ones responsible for some of the videos that have hit the news lately. Anti-gay propaganda in Russia is at such a point that violence against homosexual and transgender people in public is simply ignored.

    How and why are these slack jawed yokels allowed to roam the street?
  20. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Шкаф Жители Москвы

    It's Russia.

    Actually, the thing I find so fascinating about this sort of behavior is that these homophobic would-be vigilantes are actually just jealous, and very much trying to get in on some kind of imagined sexual thrill. Freud called it sublimation, and there are various easily-accessible pornography sites that make it very clear that fake-pedophile, urophilic bondage is hardly unusual. I think of any number of British jokes in which a balding, middle-aged man is seen with his trousers down, wearing his wife's underpants, stockings, and garters, getting a spanking from a red-headed prostitute in a nurse's costume, something similar; this is just a particularly screwed-up repression, projection, and sublimation.

    And remember, it's cult worship of Russia's foremost closet pervert, Vladimir Putin. You know, the guy who likes to pose shirtless, looking macho around large animals? Who wants everyone in Russia to see his stiff nipples as he swims in the river? Who wants the upcoming Olympics in his country to be focused on gay people?

    It's bad. It's really, really bad. But it's also really, really obvious what is going on here.

    And this is the price of the closet.
  21. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Colorado Closeteer

    The Face of Ego-Dystonic Homosexuality?

    This is what passes for faith in Colorado:

    Swanson: Let me ask you this: is it a coincidence that this was the worst year politically in the history of Colorado, at least if you use God’s law as a means of determining human ethics, our legislators did the worst possible things this year than I have ever witnessed in the twenty years I’ve been in Colorado. Our legislators committed homosexual acts on the front page of the Denver Post, do you remember that? So here we have the very worst year in Colorado’s year in terms of let’s kill as many babies as possible, let’s make sure we encourage as much decadent homosexual activity as possible, let’s break God’s law with impudence at every single level, at every single level let’s make sure that we offend whoever wrote the Bible, so we have the worst year possible politically in the state of Colorado and it happens to be the worst year ever in terms of flood and fire damage in Colorado’s history. That is a weird coincidence; interesting to say the least.

    Buehner: It is. Allow me a little freedom here with 1 Peter. In Colorado this last year we walked in lewdness, lust, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties—

    Swanson: Marijuana.

    Buehner: And abominable idolatries and they think it’s strange down at that Gold Dome that we are not running with them in the same flood of dissipation. Sometimes when you’re in a flood of dissipation, God might bring a real flood to show you the consequences of the flood of your dissipation.

    (qtd. in Tashman)

    Now, the thing is that Swanson, at least, is a prime candidate for closeteer-as-homophobe. The guy is obsessed with homosexuals.

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    Gaydar much? Pastor Kevin Swanson, closet homosexual.

    Actually, he might not be a closet homosexual, but closet transgender. Think about it; he blames the flooding on gays. He blames the wildfires on homosexuals and women wearing pants—yes, really—has accused that gay civl rights will result in gay people stealing children and burning Christians at the stake, and has preached that "it is appropriate to attend a same-sex wedding but only as long as you hold up a sign calling for the happy couple to be put to death".

    After a while, it is not so unreasonable to wonder just how much time this man spends thinking about men having sex with other men, gay sex and death, women's submission, and so on.

    Gay, or straight, manly man or woman trapped in a man's body, or whatever the hell Pastor Kevin Swanson's malady actually is, this kind of obsession is very, very unhealthy.


    Tashman, Brian. "Kevin Swanson Blames Colorado Floods On 'Decadent Homosexual Activity,' Marijuana And Abortion Rights". Right Wing Watch. September 20, 2013. September 21, 2013.

    —————. "Swanson Links Gay Kiss and Women Wearing Hats and Pants to Colorado Forest Fires". Right Wing Watch. June 28, 2013. September 21, 2013.

    ————— "Swanson: Tell Gay Couples To Die On Their Wedding Day". Right Wing Watch. September 5, 2013. September 21, 2013.

    Bennett-Smith, Meredith. "Kevin Swanson, Anti-Gay Pastor, Claims Gays Will 'Burn Christians At The Stake'". The Huffington Post. February 6, 2013. September 21, 2013.
  22. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    An Eye on ENDA

    An Eye on ENDA
    Test vote could come this evening

    This is one to keep an eye on:

    Republicans in Congress are divided over whether to support legislation granting historic workplace protections to gay and lesbian Americans, another vivid illustration of the party’s internal tug-of-war between ideology and political considerations.

    The Senate could hold a test vote as soon as Monday to advance the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would prohibit many employers from discriminating on the basis of an individual’s sexual orientation or perceived gender identity. Most employers affiliated with a religious group aren’t subjected to the law.

    The debate is set to highlight continued Republican resistance to most gay rights just a few months after party elders counseled the GOP to soften its tone on gay rights or risk alienating future generations of voters ....

    .... Proponents of the legislation will need to clear the 60-vote threshold needed to avoid a filibuster, meaning that at least five Republicans will have to vote for the legislation (assuming every Democrat and independent also votes for the bill).

    Those efforts received a major boost on Monday from Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller, who said he planned to vote to advance ENDA.

    "After listening to Nevadans' concerns about this issue from a variety of viewpoints and after numerous conversations with my colleagues, I feel that supporting this legislation is the right thing to do,” he said in a statement. Heller’s vote, alone with the votes of three Republican senators who supported the bill in committee and Maine Sen. Susan Collins (a Republican cosponsor of the bill) improved the prospects for advancing ENDA from the Senate.

    The legislation arguably presents Republicans with an opportunity to soften their image among gays, lesbians and young voters, but appears likely dead on arrival in the Republican-held House.

    "The speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small-business jobs," a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, told the Huffington Post on Monday.


    We might often forget there is a reason why the Senate is called the "upper chamber". Despite the filibuster chaos Republicans have presented, the Senate is still one place where business occasionally gets done; Sen. Heller's evolving position on ENDA is evidence of that.

    Such evolution does not seem possible right now in the House, where hardliners hold enough sway to frustrate the Speaker at will.


    O'Brien, Michael. "Gay discrimination vote highlights GOP's ideological struggle". First Read. November 4, 2013. November 4, 2013.
  23. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    ENDA Poised to Move Forward

    ENDA: Cloture
    Seven Republicans help bill clear hurdle, 61-30

    There really was, apparently, a cloakroom moment, a.k.a. two men in a closet.

    ENDA, the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, has cleared the Senate in a test vote to overcome cloture; the list of Republicans who supported the bill in their votes today is actually rather quite impressive:

    The Senate agreed on a 61-30 vote to bring up the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, championed in the Senate by Democrat Jeff Merkley of Oregon. Seven Republicans joined all Democrats in favor. GOP senators who supported moving forward with the bill included Susan Collins of Maine, Dean Heller of Nevada, Mark S. Kirk of Illinois, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, Rob Portman of Ohio, Orrin G. Hatch of Utah and Patrick J. Toomey of Pennsylvania.


    Wait, wait, wait. Hang on.

    Time out.

    Orrin Hatch?

    Holy shit.

    With supporters Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, not present, the vote initially appeared as if it would fall short. The drama was heightened by a small number of Republicans concerned about religious exemptions in the bill.

    But with supporters hovering one vote shy of the 60 needed, Portman and Toomey emerged from the GOP cloakroom to provide the 60th and 61st votes.

    Portman secured an agreement with Democrats to receive votes on two of his amendments to the legislation, an aide confirmed. One of the amendments, which Merkley said is also backed by Ayotte, would reinforce the religious exemption language to ensure that religious organizations would not be burdened unduly by the law. Merkley said he would support the Portman-Ayotte measure.

    Toomey also expressed hope for a vote on an amendment to address his concerns.

    “I believe the Employment Non-Discrimination Act contains very important provisions,” he said in a statement. “However, I also believe it should be improved, especially as it pertains to religious organizations. We must strive to reach the appropriate balance between protecting workers and protecting religious freedom. I voted to move forward with debate on ENDA with the hope that the Senate will take up amendments — including one that I plan to offer — to address this important aspect of the proposed law.”

    Before the vote, Kirk delivered his first floor speech since suffering from a stroke almost two years ago, to urge his colleagues to support the civil rights bill.

    “I’ve risen to speak because I believe so passionately in enacting the ENDA statute,” Kirk said. “I think it’s particularly appropriate for an Illinois Republican to speak on behalf of this measure. In the true tradition of Everett McKinley Dirsken and Abraham Lincoln, men who gave us the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 13th Amendment to the Constitution.”

    There is already talk of a discharge petition in the House, as Speaker Boehner has announced his intention to kill the bill if it reaches his chamber. There are, however, lingering memories of the recent VAWA fight, in which the House eventually caved and accepted the need to deal with reality, even if only for a vote.


    Shiner, Meredith. "7 Republicans Lift ENDA Past Filibuster". #WGDB. November 4, 2013. November 4, 2013.

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