It’s a reasonable question to ask as we review the list of cosponsors of S. 1584, the Employee Non-Discrimination Act. If passed, this bill would outlaw anti-gay workplace discrimination in hiring and promotions, and would also prohibit discriminatory behavior against union members and leaders on account of their sexual orientation.
This bill is worthy of remark for who has cosponsored the legislation, and for who has not.
Two Republicans, one recent Republican, and one Independent member of the Joe party have declared their formal support for the bill:
The cosponsorship of these Senators demonstrates that support for lgbt equality is beginning to transcend partisan boundaries. In the meantime, a number of Democratic Senators have given the wink and nod to smear-the-queer politics of the 20th Century in their failure to support this bill:
Senator Max Baucus of Montana apparently has no beef with firing workers just because they’re gay.
Senator Mark Begich of Alaska doesn’t consider discrimination a priority.
Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado is still so jazzed about getting a job on Capitol Hill that he hasn’t noticed lesbian and gay Americans losing theirs.
Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota has been assured by his aides that the state he represents is 100% heterosexual, making the issue of job discrimination moot.
Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota has been told the same thing.
Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina isn’t paying attention.
Senator Tim Johnson of South Dakota has better things to do with his time than end job discrimination, like declaring June of 2009 to be both National Hemorrhagic Telangiecstasia Month and National Aphasia Awareness Month, and making sure the Aphasia lobby never meets the Telangiecstasia lobby in his office lobby.
Senator Ted Kaufman of Delaware is planning to do something about anti-gay discrimination, maybe, after he beats the high score on Tetris he got last week on his Blackberry.
Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana would lend her support to a bill to help gay and lesbian Americans suffering from discrimination, but she heard this rumor about homosexuals and hurricanes that gives her pause.
Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas begs pardon, but she has a hair appointment for the next two and a half years that prevents her cosponsorship.
Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri says that if you outlaw job discrimination against people based on who they hug at home, then the tree elves will descend from the oaks, weaving nets across highways to inhibit interstate commerce, leading the mermaids to offer shipping routes from New Jersey, which will upset the National Rifle Association, which will force her to respect marriages from Vermont, which she assures us would be a disaster.
Senators Bill Nelson of Florida and Ben Nelson of Nebraska are too wrapped up in dispelling the rumor about the thing in the place with the other thing and a broomstick to even think about doing anything that would make them look sympathetic toward gay men.
Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas is taking a nap.
Senator Harry Reid of Nevada is too busy leading to lead.
Senator John Rockefeller XVI of West Virginia mutters to himself that the fruits should be happy they aren’t getting arrested any more.
Senator Jon Tester‘s unwillingness to cosponsor anti-discrimination legislation stems from that teasing he got in middle school.
Senator Mark Warner doesn’t think support for gay and lesbian Americans is very presidential, and would like to remind you that he once had a business that had to do with cell phones.
Senator James Webb just doesn’t give a damn.
Oh, am I being unfair?