Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Indiana's Richard Lugar: Legislator of the Day

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | September 10, 2009 11:30 AM | comments

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

Indiana Lugar.jpghas a fair-minded Senate Republican, Senator Lugar, who may very well vote in favor of ENDA.

Please contact him today to ask for his support on S1584 in the U.S. Senate.

Facts and contact info after the jump.

Senator Lugar voted for the hate crimes bill. He has also cosponsored a previous bill that contain the language of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Here is what Wikipedia says about his stance on gay rights, though it lists no citation supporting the mention:

Gay Rights

Senator Lugar voted for the Federal Marriage Amendment but also supported expanding hate crimes legislation to protect homosexuals and transgendered people. He also supports the Employment Non Discrimination Act, which prevents someone not being able to be hired because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Please call Sen. Richard G. Lugar (R) and ask him to support S1584. (If his office confirms support, please let me know!) 812-465-6313 (Click to email)


Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana is also someone who may support ENDA. You can contact him here:

Sen. Evan Bayh (D) 812-218-2317 (Click to email)

Here is the Indiana delegation to the US House of Representatives (click here for contact info):

Confirmed yes
André Carson
Baron P. Hill

Peter J. Visclosky
Joe Donnelly
Steve Buyer
Brad Ellsworth

Leaning no
Mark E. Souder
Dan Burton
Mike Pence

More info on each at the House spreadsheet.

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On July 22 I received the following response from Senator Lugar:

"Thank you for contacting me with your support for a version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act which seeks to prevent employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The ENDA legislation has been introduced over the course of the past several Congresses. I have not been supportive of ENDA in the past. In my view, this is a policy change with many implications beyond whether the government can effectively apply nondiscrimination laws to sexual orientation.

I have met with many pro-ENDA advocates from Indiana , and I appreciate the work that has been done on the latest versions of the bill. However, I remain concerned that ENDA would unduly increase litigation, create momentum for additional contentious protected employee classifications, and adversely affect the enormous number of small businesses not covered by the bill's 15-employee exemption. I also am concerned that ENDA would induce employers to probe the sexual orientation of their employees as a means of preparing for or preventing potential lawsuits or EEOC actions. Such a development would not be positive for employee privacy or workplace dynamics, and it could have unpredictable consequences for the fairness of hiring decisions. I understand that ENDA does not require such inquiries; however, many employers will see some degree of information about the sexual orientation of their employees as a vital element in dealing with potential litigation.

I will continue to listen to thoughtful arguments about this legislation and other measures affecting treatment of homosexuals and transgender individuals under U.S. law. I will also continue to support the hate crimes legislation that expands the definition of a hate crime to include those based on sexual orientation."

This is a bit disheartening given my hopes for Senator Lugar's support and the closeness of the vote in the Senate. I am going to make this my post on Monday for the Legislator of the Day. I will specifically rebut these two points raised by Senator Lugar, with the evidence, and ask that people call his office and report back what they hear.

Thanks for forwarding this, Betty.

I smell a Bilerico-Indiana post coming on. Betty, are you willing to do a post first with your copy of that e-mail. I've not gotten that - just the standard reassurances that they're "considering it."

I'm no political expert, but I'll give it a try.