If everything goes as planned, gay rights history will be made on Thursday in the Senate.
Senate Majority LeaderHarry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday set up the the final series of votes for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — which prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity — culminating in a vote final passage on Thursday afternoon if the bill passes a key, 60-vote threshold procedural test in the morning.
Senate passage of ENDA seemed more and more likely Wednesday after the Senate unanimously accepted an amendment by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) protecting religious groups exempted under the legislation from government retaliation. That amendment likely secured the vote of several other Republicans pushing for that language, including Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman on Thursday announced he has reversed his longtime opposition to same-sex marriage after reconsidering the issue because his 21-year-old son, Will, is gay.
Portman said his son, a junior at Yale University, told him and his wife, Jane, that he’s gay and “it was not a choice, it was who he is and that he had been that way since he could remember.”
“It allowed me to think of this issue from a new perspective, and that’s of a Dad who loves his son a lot and wants him to have the same opportunities that his brother and sister would have — to have a relationship like Jane and I have had for over 26 years,” Portman told reporters in an interview at his office.
After weeks of stalemate with Republican leadership over a deal to replace the wide-ranging, across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration, President Obama has been consulting with a new set of Republican lawmakers — the so-called “common sense caucus” — about the nation’s fiscal issues and the possibility for a deal to resolve them.
I am watching the repeat of “Meet the Press.” Marco Rubio and Rob Portman criticize the President for not talking about his vision for the future. By what right do Republicans think that they are the honest brokers of the truth? The arbiters of right and wrong. They go on TV – mostly Fox – and speak with superiority, talk loudly and talk over other guests and sometimes the moderator. This ugly behavior starts from the top: Reince Priebus, RNC Chairman. For four years the Republican Party has waged a war against the success of our first black president and the media has let them get away with it. I guess they did not want their access to influential Republicans cut. I don’t know much about Fox News, but, it seems that only Chris Wallace refuses to ‘drink the Republican Kool-Aid.’ He will confront Republicans when they lie, even Ed Gillespie! This is refreshing in a season of GOP political lies, filibusters, gridlock in Congress resulting in historical low poll ratings and public confidence. If we were a parliamentary government, votes of non-confidence would have changed things years ago. One is reminded that though not perfect, the system our Forefathers gave us is the best democracy in the world. If only we could get Republicans to play the game honestly. If only Republicans would stop fighting negotiation as the only way forward for the United States. There is no guarantee that a Republican in the Whitehouse would mean smooth-sailing for legislation that would erase the harm done by the Tea Party, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Eric Cantor.
Tonight is the last presidential debate. The subject is foreign policy and it promises to be quite “spicy,” or should I say dicey. The debate score is Romney: “1” and Obama: “1”. The winner of this last debate so close to voting might take the election. Of course, I am rooting for Barack Obama to abandon being so polite and let the people see his true passion and fire. Whatever happens, the American people will not see her president resort to lies, bullying and bad behavior. God bless Barack Obama!