In her annual Pride month statement, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) is calling for the passage of pro-LGBT federal workplace protections and reforms to the country’s anti-gay immigration policies.
Neither has much chance of passage in this congressional session, with GOP leadership in the House opposed to both measures and Senate Democrats on the Judiciary Committee last week refusing to include pro-gay amendments to the immigration reform bill they passed.
Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, does plan to bring up ENDA in July, according to a recent report on BuzzFeed. But the bill has lagged on Capitol Hill for decades and few expect to see it make it to President Barack Obama’s desk for signage anytime soon.
Unless Democrats can take back the House in 2014 during the midterm election, ENDA will be dead on arrival with Republican’s in control of the lower chamber.
Pelosi alluded to the slow slog for passing federal pro-gay bills in her Pride statement, which her office released this afternoon (Friday, March 31) a day ahead of the official start to Pride Month.
“LGBT Pride Month is a time to celebrate how far we’ve come in the march toward equality and to rededicate ourselves to the cause of justice now and in the future,” stated Pelosi.
She noted that, “What emerged as a new chapter in the fight for civil rights at Stonewall in June 1969 continues today in the battle to secure basic, fundamental protections for LGBT families and workers everywhere – to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act; to reject discrimination in our immigration system against LGBT families and foreign-born partners and spouses; and to make marriage equality not just a cause of one community, but the law of the land.”
Americans can take pride, added Pelosi, in the passage of a fully-inclusive hate crimes law and the end of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” during Obama’s first term. Elected leaders in particular, stated Pelosi, can take pride in their LGBT colleagues in Congress due to the record number of LGBT House members (6) and U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) becoming the first-ever LGBT person serving in the Senate.
Pelosi also predicted there would be two more achievements to celebrate during the Pride parades held on the last weekend of June
“In this month, we can all take pride in the knowledge that soon, the Supreme Court will discard the defenseless Defense of Marriage Act and Prop. 8 into the dustbin of history,” she stated.