Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Nebraska's Ben Nelson: Legislator of the Day

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | October 01, 2009 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics
Tags: Ben Nelson, employment discrimination, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA, Nebraska

Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson is a friend and supporter of ENDA. He has privately indicated his support for ENDA. That is wonderful. nelson ben.jpg

Unlike the rest of NE's congressional delegation, Nelson has been supportive of ENDA and hate crimes legislation in the past. Can you call and ask him if he will give the kind of support to ENDA that he has given to hate crimes?

There are 40 co-sponsors of ENDA, and another 9 confirmed yes votes on ENDA, some of them who have only confirmed privately. Will they publicly state their support, to help us bring in the unconfirmed and the fence-sitters? Will they continue to support ENDA when crunch time comes, or will their support vaporize when the heat's on? Will Senator Nelson?

I also just received word about Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, who I had hoped would support ENDA based on her track record of supporting other bills with the language of sexual orientation and gender identity. She sent a letter to a constituent in which she said she is not going to support ENDA.

If you want to hear what the opposition is saying about ENDA, by the way, listen to the audio message from the Dean of the Liberty University Law School (left side of the page). Did you know that ENDA will legally allow pedophiles and deviant sex in the workplace? No? Better listen up - this is what the right is gearing up.

Contact info and more after the jump.

Senator Nelson has a bit of a mixed record when it comes to our community. He voted for the hate crimes bill, which is good, but also to invoke cloture on the Federal Marriage Amendment, which is not good. His HRC scorecard, which measures how Congressmembers have voted on issues of equality, was 11% in the 109th Congress and 65% in the 110th Congress.

Nelson has confirmed in many conversations that he will again be supportive. Citizens for Equal Protection, a Nebraska LGBTQ advocacy group with over 4000 members, has a good relationship with him and wants to continue bringing this important issue to his attention to ensure his support.

There's also another wonderful advocacy group in Nebraska called 49voices, referring to Nebraska's 49 legislative districts. Those interested in supporting employment protections in Nebraska can check out the new 49Voices campaign (http://49voices.org). 49Voices because in each of Nebraska's 49 legislative districts, there are voices calling for a better Nebraska that respects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

Please call Senator Ben Nelson of Nebraska to thank him for his support of ENDA, and ask if his office can confirm his support for S1584. You may get a staffer who is unaware of the Senator's position on ENDA. Take a moment to explain what it is, and to ask if he or she can get some information on the Senator's position. Tell us what they said in the comments below.

Senator Ben Nelson: 202- 224-6551 (click here for email)


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Amanda in the South Bay | October 1, 2009 1:50 PM

This isn't really that surprising; if you've been following the health care debacle, the Blue Dogs haven't exactly been on the side of progressives here.

We are working very hard here in Arkansas to make sure Senators Lincoln & Pryor understand the impact of ENDA.