The Human Rights Campaign’s Michael Cole today noted the “unhappy anniversary” taking place today: President Clinton’s signing of the Defense of Marriage Act into law 13 years ago today. True, it is. I was a sophomore at American University that day, one of the many “Students for Clinton-Gore ‘96″ on the liberal campus who were “down” on that day despite our otherwise strong support for the President.
Forget the repeal debate, though. For me, what’s much more sad is the fact that 13 years ago, the Senate was one vote away from passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act — and today it is still not the law of the land.
To put this in perspective, Senator Max Baucus voted for ENDA back in 1996. This is not a controversial measure among Democrats — and Republican Senators Collins and Snowe already are on board as co-sponsors, so I really hope that we see it passed into law by the year’s end.
Of note, only 14 of the 1996 “No” votes remain in the Senate. They are Senators Bennett (R-UT), Bond (R-MO), Byrd (D-WV), Cochran (R-MS), Grassley (R-IA), Gregg (R-NH), Hatch (R-UT), Hutchison (R-TX), Inhofe (R-OK), Kyl (R-AZ), Lugar (R-IN), McCain (R-AZ), McConnell (R-KY) and Shelby (R-AL).
None of the 14 are co-sponsors of the bill introduced in the Senate earlier this year, which I discussed here.
[Edited, per correction in comments, to remove then-Sen. David Pryor, whose son Mark now holds his seat.]
For the full 1996 roll call, see below the jump.
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104th Congress, Roll Call Vote No. 281: Employment Non-Discrimination Act
Not Voting – 1
Popularity: 99% [?]