Stephanie Wang, Chelsea Snyder, and Chris Sikich have a good article in the Indy Star on the Senate’s handling of the pending civil rights legislation. A hearing is underway as I’m writing this, so things are in flux as to the substance of what’s going to come out of committee in terms of protections for people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transexual and the balance, if any, for individuals who claim religious objections to those people. The general consensus is that Republican lawmakers are warming somewhat to the idea of protections for gay, lesbian, and bisexual people but will freeze out transexual people due to a lack of comfort or familiarity as to their issues. Whether that translates into half a loaf, a whole loaf, or a poison pill remains to be seen.
The article talked a lot about Sen. Long’s willingness to address the issue in the Senate. I enjoyed Sen. Steele’s quote:
“We tackle tough problems all the time,” said Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford. “I’ve never seen this place in 20 years dodge an issue, and if it costs you an election, it costs you an election. I’ve never seen people lose elections because of one or two votes cast in this place. We’re not gutless people. We take our jobs seriously, and we’re not here to get re-elected. We’re here to do the right thing, and if we get our asses beat, we get our asses beat.”