Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Indiana's Senator Evan Bayh: Legislator of the Day

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | November 04, 2009 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics
Tags: employment discrimination, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA, Evan Bayh, Indiana

Last night's loss in Maine for marriage equality was very disappointing, losing by about 5 percentage points, but the ENDA-like non-discrimination ordinance won in Kalamazoo by an amazing 30 percentage points. The Kalamazoo ordinance covers housing and public accommodations, in addition to the workplace, so its win indicates the high receptivity of non-discrimination as an issue. That should give some comfort to our Blue Dog Democrats on ENDA. At the same time, however, the loss of New Jersey and Virginia governorships to the Republicans may raise the specter of a U.S. shift to the right, which will complicate matters.

I'm sorry to say that we have little time to mourn the loss of marriage equality in Maine, because there is a Senate hearing on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act tomorrow morning at 10 am. United ENDA, a group of over 400 LGBT organizations, has sent out an action alert asking that you call your Senators. Click here for their easy email form.

Where is Indiana's Democratic Senator Evan Bayh on ENDA? We don't know, since he has kept his position to himself. He's one of 6 Senators* likely to vote for ENDA, but who hasn't publicly stated his support. The leadership won't bring it to a vote unless they know they have 60 votes to overcome the Republican filibuster. Please call and ask him to step up to the plate. Contact info and more after the jump.

Sign up here for a reminder of tomorrow's Liveblog of the Senate hearing beginning at 10am tomorrow. Since the real fight is in the Senate, and because the vote there is going to be very, very close, you should join us if you want to read the tea leaves on ENDA.

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Senator Bayh has a very good record when it comes to our community. He co-sponsored and voted for the hate crimes bill, which is good. His HRC scorecard, which measures how Congressmembers have voted on issues of equality, was 90% in the 110th Congress. He's co-sponsoring and supporting several other important LGBT bills, which you can check out here.

We need to press Senator Bayh on his support for ENDA. Please call Senator Bayh to ask if his office can confirm his support for S1584. If you're not sure what to say when you call, click here for a "Step-by-Step Script For Calling Legislators On ENDA."

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 Bayh: 202-224-5623
(Toll free DC Capitol line: 866-220-0044)
District Offices:
Indianapolis 317-554-0750
South Bend 574-236-8302
Hammond 219-852-2763
Evansville 812-465-6500
Fort Wayne 260-426-3151
Jeffersonville 812-218-2317
(click here for email)


----footnote-----
* The 6 likely yes votes, which brings us up to 56 likely yes votes, are:
1. Tom Carper (D-DE)
2. Ted Kaufman (D-DE)
3. Evan Bayh (D-IN)
4. Paul G. Kirk (D-MA)
5. Tim Johnson (D-SD)
6. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)

See the Inclusive ENDA Senate spreadsheet for more details.


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