Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The end of ENDA: House Republicans more than happy to promote anti-gay discrimination

By Michael J.W. Stickings

It hardly matters that President Obama took to the pages of HuffPo to promote the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and that the numbers are lining up for passage of this historic legislation in the Senate, a handful of somewhat less right-wing extremist Republicans poised to join Democrats to make it happen. House Republicans, who are far more in line with the Republican zeitgeist than these renegades in the Senate, will kill it:

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) affirmed on Monday morning that he would oppose a law that would prohibit discrimination against gay and lesbian employees in the workplace, citing the possibility that it would put a financial burden on businesses.

"The Speaker believes this legislation will increase frivolous litigation and cost American jobs, especially small business jobs," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said in a statement.

That's all nonsense. As Jon Chait wrote yesterday, "[a] GAO study found that states that have already enacted job protections for gay and lesbian employees have seen very few lawsuits as a result."

Republicans like John Boehner may or may not sincerely believe what their talking points tell them, but basically the vast majority of Republicans are fine either with sexual orientation discrimination (because they're bigots) or with doing nothing to stop it (because they're bigots or idiots or partisan extremists, or all three).

As Greg Sargent wrote, putting it rather nicely, "[i]n the House, Republicans appear to be moving backwards.

Of course, it's not just in the House and it's not just ENDA. Wherever history and justice are united in the pursuit of a more fair society -- wherever, that is, there is progress -- you can be sure Republicans are running in the opposite direction with their heads up their asses.

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