Anti-gay bigots are getting their clocks cleaned

Today's vote on LGBT workplace protections showed Democrats using it as a wedge issue. And the right hiding in fear

Topics: LGBT, U.S. House of Representatives, Congress, U.S. Senate, enda, Ted Cruz, Dick Durbin, The Right, Gay Rights, nondiscrimination laws,

Anti-gay bigots are getting their clocks cleaned (Credit: Ted Cruz, John Boehner)

By their actions today, Democrats and Republicans both made clear that they agree on something significant: Gay rights are currently a winning issue for Democrats and a losing one for the GOP.

So winning, in fact, that as the Senate approached a Thursday vote on workplace protections for gay and transgender workers, Majority Leader Harry Reid asserted that the GOP-controlled House of Representatives was going to have to “capitulate, if they have any hope” of nominating “a viable candidate” for president or “want to hang onto the House.”

Apparently, the GOP firebrands agree. When it came time for Senate Republicans to voice their objections to the bill before the procedural vote Monday: crickets. No “Green Eggs and Ham” from Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. No showboating by the usual suspects. None of them wanted to take the floor against an anti-discrimination law that nearly 70 percent of Americans support and 90 percent believe already exists.

On the House side, an aide for Speaker John Boehner strenuously objected when the Huffington Post reported Monday that Boehner’s stated opposition to the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA) dealt “a blow” to the bill’s chances of reaching the president’s desk.

“We have always believed this is covered by existing law,” the aide told Huffington Post, refuting the notion that Boehner’s position strayed from anything he had said in the past. “It’s a longstanding position, and, frankly, not ‘news’ at all.”

Now that’s an aide who doesn’t want headlines. And he doesn’t want headlines because he doesn’t want attention brought to the fact that Speaker Boehner now stands in the way of passing the legislation. Why so scared?

Partly because the bill’s got so much popular support that, following the government shutdown, Boehner’s desperate to avoid whipping up another wave of public pressure.

And partly because Washington has finally caught on to the fact that being pro-LGBT isn’t just about winning over gay voters and donors, it’s about winning the youth vote. Simply put: supporting equality for LGBT Americans has now become a basic question of modernity — a litmus test of sorts — for millennial voters.

Even New York Sen. Chuck Schumer — who declined to include same-sex couples in immigration reform earlier this year for fear that they would tank the bill — was bullish on the optics of the employment nondiscrimination bill.

“The times they are a-changing,” Schumer told Politico, earlier this week. “If you want to alienate young voters, opposing this is a good way to do it. And they know that.”

And Democrats weren’t about to let Boehner off the hook as they addressed reporters Thursday just before the final vote on ENDA, which sailed through 64-32.

Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa called on Boehner to bring the bill to the floor, saying, “I’m convinced, if the House votes on this, it will pass the House and go to the president for his signature.”

An impassioned Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois said it was “unconscionable that when given an opportunity to right one of these last remaining civil rights issues of our time, Speaker Boehner and those who follow his lead in the House of Representatives are turning their backs.”

Schumer piled on: “Everyone talks about gridlock in Washington, it rests with one man: Speaker Boehner.”

Yes, gay rights have officially become a wedge issue — that Democrats leverage against Republicans.

Kerry Eleveld is a freelance writer, consultant and former White House correspondent for The Advocate.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 14
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Pilot"

    One of our first exposures to uncomfortable “Girls” sex comes early, in the pilot episode, when Hannah and Adam “get feisty” (a phrase Hannah hates) on the couch. The pair is about to go at it doggy-style when Adam nearly inserts his penis in “the wrong hole,” and after Hannah corrects him, she awkwardly explains her lack of desire to have anal sex in too many words. “Hey, let’s play the quiet game,” Adam says, thrusting. And so the romance begins.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Elijah, "It's About Time"

    In an act of “betrayal” that messes up each of their relationships with Hannah, Marnie and Elijah open Season 2 with some more couch sex, which is almost unbearable to watch. Elijah, who is trying to explore the “hetero side” of his bisexuality, can’t maintain his erection, and the entire affair ends in very uncomfortable silence.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Charlie, "Vagina Panic"

    Poor Charlie. While he and Marnie have their fair share of uncomfortable sex over the course of their relationship, one of the saddest moments (aside from Marnie breaking up with him during intercourse) is when Marnie encourages him to penetrate her from behind so she doesn’t have to look at him. “This feels so good,” Charlie says. “We have to go slow.” Poor sucker.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Shoshanna and camp friend Matt, "Hannah's Diary"

    We’d be remiss not to mention Shoshanna’s effort to lose her virginity to an old camp friend, who tells her how “weird” it is that he “loves to eat pussy” moments before she admits she’s never “done it” before. At least it paves the way for the uncomfortable sex we later get to watch her have with Ray?

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Hard Being Easy"

    On the heels of trying (unsuccessfully) to determine the status of her early relationship with Adam, Hannah walks by her future boyfriend’s bedroom to find him masturbating alone, in one of the strangest scenes of the first season. As Adam jerks off and refuses to let Hannah participate beyond telling him how much she likes watching, we see some serious (and odd) character development ... which ends with Hannah taking a hundred-dollar bill from Adam’s wallet, for cab fare and pizza (as well as her services).

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Booth Jonathan, "Bad Friend"

    Oh, Booth Jonathan -- the little man who “knows how to do things.” After he turns Marnie on enough to make her masturbate in the bathroom at the gallery where she works, Booth finally seals the deal in a mortifying and nearly painful to watch sex scene that tells us pretty much everything we need to know about how much Marnie is willing to fake it.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Tad and Loreen, "The Return"

    The only sex scene in the series not to feature one of the main characters, Hannah’s parents’ showertime anniversary celebration is easily one of the most cringe-worthy moments of the show’s first season. Even Hannah’s mother, Loreen, observes how embarrassing the situation is, which ends with her husband, Tad, slipping out of the shower and falling naked and unconscious on the bathroom floor.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and the pharmacist, "The Return"

    Tad and Loreen aren’t the only ones to get some during Hannah’s first season trip home to Michigan. The show’s protagonist finds herself in bed with a former high school classmate, who doesn’t exactly enjoy it when Hannah puts one of her fingers near his anus. “I’m tight like a baby, right?” Hannah asks at one point. Time to press pause.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Role-Play"

    While it’s not quite a full-on, all-out sex scene, Hannah and Adam’s attempt at role play in Season 3 is certainly an intimate encounter to behold (or not). Hannah dons a blond wig and gets a little too into her role, giving a melodramatic performance that ends with a passerby punching Adam in the face. So there’s that.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Shoshanna and Ray, "Together"

    As Shoshanna and Ray near the end of their relationship, we can see their sexual chemistry getting worse and worse. It’s no more evident than when Ray is penetrating a clothed and visibly horrified Shoshanna from behind, who ends the encounter by asking if her partner will just “get out of me.”

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Frank, "Video Games"

    Hannah, Jessa’s 19-year-old stepbrother, a graveyard and too much chatting. Need we say more about how uncomfortable this sex is to watch?

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Marnie and Desi, "Iowa"

    Who gets her butt motorboated? Is this a real thing? Aside from the questionable logistics and reality of Marnie and Desi’s analingus scene, there’s also the awkward moment when Marnie confuses her partner’s declaration of love for licking her butthole with love for her. Oh, Marnie.

    13 of "Girls'" most cringeworthy sex scenes

    Hannah and Adam, "Vagina Panic"

    There is too much in this scene to dissect: fantasies of an 11-year-old girl with a Cabbage Patch lunchbox, excessive references to that little girl as a “slut” and Adam ripping off a condom to ejaculate on Hannah’s chest. No wonder it ends with Hannah saying she almost came.

  • Recent Slide Shows


Loading Comments...