With Martha Coakley’s loss to Republican Scott Brown in a special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s senate seat, two big questions are before us: will Brown also pose for naked victory photos on his new desk in D.C., and what will happen to the many items on the LGBT legislative agenda?
According to Jillian Weiss’ tabulations, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would pass to pass the House easily, and still has 51 confirmed “yes” votes in the Senate following Scott Brown’s victory in MA. This is not enough to end an attempted filibuster, but as Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) points out in a TalkingPointsMemo interview (via Towleroad) about healthcare, George W. Bush passed his strongly-opposed tax cuts for the rich in 2001 with just as many votes. “So why is it that when we try to solve America’s problems suddenly we need 60,” Grayson asks.
It’s pretty clear that Brown won’t be a friend to the community, but neither is he ten kinds of crazy. While he’s on record with the fundies at the MA Family Institute for opposing basically every significant piece LGBT rights legislation, Brown’s campaign for the most part shied away from LGBT issues, and he’s on record supporting civil unions.
As mentioned, ENDA can theoretically pass the Senate, assuming the Democrats still care about the legislation. A Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal was already facing stiff opposition from Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee Sen. Ike Skelton (D-MO), which he reiterated on a CSPAN panel over the weekend even as a DADT repeal bill is set to get a Senate hearing next Monday.
On healthcare, THE critical issue for the Dems, it’s looking increasingly that the legislative leadership and the White House think the only way forward is to push the Senate’s version of the bill through the House, but Obama’s team is hardly putting any muscle behind this view, and CNN reports House Dems aren’t having any of it.
As always, our Dear Leaders at Gay Inc. had foreseen this months ago, and are already implementing a strategy to mitigate the impact, rather than running around like chickens with their heads cut off.