After facing a major setback this week by the Democratic party when the Senators caved to Republican bullying and moved to keep protections for same-sex couples and LGBT dreamers out of immigration reform, Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin, the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has announced that the LGBT community will now have to wait until after the Fourth of July holiday to see any action on one of its most important and longest fought for piece of bill ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act) which would ban workplace discrimination against LGBT people.
According to Harkin he has ““I’ve got a couple, three things on my agenda right now” but Harkin would not go into specifics of what exactly is more important than the civil rights of American citizens.
Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, had hoped that ENDA would have had its mark up by May or June. Tico Almeida executive director of Freedom to work called the delay “disappointing.” adding that policy makers in Washington, D.C. have a philosophy that nothing should be done on any gay rights issue until after the Supreme Court rules in the marriage equality cases, “[M]any people in this town have decided to put all LGBT issues on hold until the Supreme Court rules.”
Meanwhile the Human Rights Campaign that has led the most disastrous campaign to get ENDA passed over the past 20 years would not push Harkin or criticize the move. Michael Cole-Schwartz told Chris Geidner of Buzzfeed, “We have been pressing the chairman to bring up for a markup and have every confidence that he will make good on that pledge. We expect that ENDA will be marked up with plenty of opportunity for the majority leader to bring it for a vote as well. Our hope is that ENDA will receive a floor vote this year.”
It has been no secret that HRC wants to wait until after midterm elections before ENDA hits the Senate floor and moves to the House in hopes of Democrats taking over Congress. But also now after this weeks spineless display of key Democrat Senators throwing the LGBT community under the bus in order to move on immigration reform. and allowing themselves to bullied by Republican thugs not only is Congress taking the lets wait until SCOTUS rules attitude it’s also quite possible that this move is being done to assure that gay money and gay votes get behind them in the midterms knowing quite well that many in the LGBT Community are getting very disgusted with the Democrats all talk, no action on the most important issues facing the LGBT community like ENDA and the FULL repeal of DOMA.