Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Montana's Senator Max Baucus: Legislator of the Day

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | October 13, 2009 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: employment discrimination, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA, Max Baucus, Montana

InBaucus.jpg understanding the strategy for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would extend civil rights to LGBT workers, it's important to understand that secrecy is our enemy. The Senate leadership will not bring this vote to the floor unless there are enough Senators in favor to overcome the expected Republican filibuster. That means 60 solid votes. Senator Max Baucus of Montana stands with us -- but not publicly. That's a problem.

It's great to have supporters, even if they haven't made a big hoopla about it. But what happened in 2007 is that many legislators private committed to ENDA, so we thought we had enough votes, but when crunch time came, their support vaporized like a snowflake in the sun. In order to get the bill through the House, the leadership cut out an important part of our community from the bill, causing a major rift that is only just starting to heal. Secrecy is our enemy in Washington, and a secret yes is, in some ways, worse than a public no. We believe we're standing on solid ground when, in fact, we're on thin ice.

Now it's time for Senator Baucus to make his support known publicly. Please call Senator Baucus today to ask for his support, and report back what his office says. You can email me at jillian.t.weiss@gmail.com. If you're not sure what to say when you call, click here for a "Step-by-Step Script For Calling Legislators On ENDA."

Facts and contact info after the jump.

Senator Baucus has cosponsoreded several previous bills addressing sexual orientation. These include bills prohibiting job discrimination and promoting sex education (S972 in the 110th Congress, S3652 in the 109th, S1705 in the 108th, S1284 in the 107th). He also voted for the hate crimes bill that includes sexual orientation and gender identity. Given Baucus's recent record, it looks like he is, in fact, a friend of the LGBT community.

In addition, Senator Baucus sent a letter to one of our Projectors, Roberta, on September 15, 2009, in which he stated his support for S1584. However, Senator Baucus has been very busy with health care reform, and it is likely that he has not yet focused on this bill. It is important that he be made aware of the support out there for the bill now.

Please call Senator Baucus 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.

Senator Max Baucus: 202-224-2651 (click here for email).


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Just got off the phone with Sen.Baucus office. They are uberbusy, but were very nice. I thanked the Sen. for his support of S-1584 and stressed he be a 'co-sponsor' so this bill will make it onto the floor. They said they would pass it along.