Stephen Richer '15, "Keeping the GOP out of ENDA"
At the beginning of October, Christian Berle and Gregory T. Angelo wrote at Huffington Post about putting “Putting the ‘GOP’ in ENDA” — and the same publication is out today with a post from the president encouraging Congress to pass it. I’ll start November by pointing out that the GOP is not in ENDA — figuratively or literally — and it should remain that way.
Like Berle and Angelo, I’m a Republican. Like Berle and Angel, I’m a strong supporter of gay marriage. But unlike Berle and Angelo, I’m convinced that the same principles that lead to support of gay marriage — freedom and equality — should be applied to all government action, ENDA included.
Should ENDA pass, it will allegedly combat “discrimination based on an individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity by public and private employers in hiring, discharge, compensation, and other terms and conditions in employment” (emphasis added). Congress has proposed ENDA every year, save one, since 1994. This year, however, it could finally cross the finish line. In the Senate, all 55 members of the Democratic Caucus say they will vote for ENDA. The bill needs 60 votes to be filibuster-proof, and that means Republicans are needed. Already, some are on board: Mark Kirk (IL), Susan Collins (ME), Orrin Hatch (UT), and Lisa Murkowski (AK). Dean Heller (NV) said today that he will probably support ENDA, and Rob Portman (OH) looks like he’ll soon be joining the team.