November 07, 2007
Give 'em hell, Barney!
Posted by: Chris
(UPDATE: Yeah so I changed the headline for the post; the first one was too cheesy. Also, I've posted Barney's emotional floor speech. Give it a quick listen. The best part comes in the last three minutes.)
Throughout the House debate this afternoon on ENDA, Congressman Barney Frank has been an absolute lion, calling out Republican opponents of the measure for nit-picking at the margins when their true objection is to the protection of gays from discrimination itself. Then, when Rep. Randy Forbes of Virginia tried to send the measure back to committee, ostensibly to ensure that it does not impact federal marriage laws, Barney had had enough.
In an impassioned and emotional speech, Barney talked about his own felt obligation to adopt ENDA to protect gays in 30 states who can be fired from their jobs based on nothing but their sexual orientation. He dismissed any suggestion that such a measure could have any impact on marriage laws, and pointed out the House had already adopted a friendly amendment that clarified ENDA would have no impact on the Defense of Marriage Act, signed by President Clinton in 1996, that prohibits federal recognition of state-issued marriage licenses to gay couples.
The end result was the defeat of the Republican amendment, 222-198. I am also thrilled to say ENDA itself was passed by the House by an impressive margin of 235-184. Thirty-five Republicans joined 200 Democrats in passing the historic measure, which was first introduced more than 30 years ago.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi took the podium and with a giant smile announced the result.
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