Shuler, McIntyre and 159 Republicans Vote To Keep Discrimination Legal

Heath Shuler and Mike McIntyre voted with 159 Republicans and 23 Democrats to allow employers to discriminate against gay and lesbian employees. That is, they voted to give employers permission to fire employees solely because of their sexual orientation. The bill, Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), passed the House on a 235-184 vote, no thanks to Congressmen Shuler and McIntyre, who again chose to give their homosexual constituents a raw deal.

Here’s what Shuler said in a press release regarding his opposition to ENDA. This is the statement in full:

“I oppose discrimination and bigotry in any and all forms. I was pleased to support Chairman Miller’s amendment to bring further clarification to this legislation. However, I was unable to support final passage of this bill because I believe there are still serious legal ambiguities in the legislation, which could lead to protracted and onerous legal challenges. I look forward to working with my colleagues to address these concerns as this legislation moves forward.”

Shuler did not name a single “legal ambiguity”, nor did he explain why fear of legal challenges would outweigh taking a principled stance opposing “discrimination and bigotry”. Chairman Miller’s amendment made it certain that religious groups could continue discriminating and that this wasn’t some sneaky way to allow gays to marry. In otherwords, Shuler supported the amendment, which would allow and support continued discrimination, but he opposed the actual bill, which makes discrimination on the job illegal.

Here's what someone who "opposes discrimination and bigotry in any and all forms" sounds like:

Here's how our NC delegation voted:

Butterfield (D) -YEA
Etheridge (D) - YEA
Jones (R) - NAY
Price (D) - YEA
Foxx (R) - NAY
Coble (R) - NAY
McIntyre (D) - NAY
Hayes (R) - NAY
Myrick (R) - NAY
McHenry (R) of all people - NAY
Shuler (D) - NAY
Watt (D) -YEA
Miller (D) - YEA

(adapted and cross-posted from Scrutiny Hooligans, where I rant for several more paragraphs about Shuler)


Shuler's full of it

He's talking through his hat - and obviously has no idea about "legal ambiguities" beyond what his homophobic Republican advisers tell him to say.

What an embarrassment.

And as for McIntyre, I'm sure he's found some way to defend his position because the bill would put family tobacco farmers at risk of having to hire gay illegal aliens.

That's good, A...

gay illegal aliens! But really, I'm sure if you write Mike he'll tell you he somehow voted for it before he voted against it and that sometime in the future this terrible mistake will be corrected and he'll definitely support it. Then he'll show up somewhere for a photo-op with a taxpayer check funding a new basketball court for the local chapter of Wayward Lithuanian Gypsies.

Stan Bozarth

He's talking through his hat?

Wrong end of the body sweetie. Wrong end of the body.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

I guess Heath is trying real hard to keep job longer

in the US Congress than he did in the NFL. Playing Democrat might be fun, but at some point both the Democrats and Republican in his district are going to figure out that this game just moves to fast for him. I'm expecting that will be in the near future, Heath. With any luck.

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

North Carolina. Turning the South Blue!

surreal experience

I missed most of the action, up in a plane off to Vegas to speak at BlogWorld today.

I did, however, take time to weigh in on the whole debacle: Vegas and the 30,000-foot view of ENDA. I said there:

An FYI, just so my fellow Tar Heels know, Republican scandal-magnet closet case Patrick McHenry voted against the ENDA bill -- and not because he stands with the T community, of course, as did Blue Dog Dem Heath Shuler, who has consistently voted against any pro-LGB/T legislation.

Just the thought that you've got [NY Congressman and LGBT ally dissenting because Ts weren't included] Jerry Nadler and Patrick McHenry both voting "NAY" is unforgettable black humor irony.

Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend

Pam Spaulding
Durham, NC USA

Pam's House Blend

Pam - as always - your take on this is eloquent and spot on.

After all, if the Homosexual Agenda thinks Ts aren't worthy, the professional right wing haters can continue to use trans-baiting ad infinitum. It makes it all the more difficult to effectively lobby the paranoid Blue Dog Dems who didn't want to vote on trans inclusion. There hadn't been the necessary effort expended by advocacy organizations to adequately respond to the questions about Ts teaching kids in schools or issues using public restrooms. The bill was rammed forward.

ENDA will be vetoed, and the effort to override will not pass. I feel like this was a grand, futile gesture - significant only in the way that the transgender community was further marginalized than it already has been. At least now my T* friends know who to trust, and who to ignore.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

You and I agree on something

This bill will not become law this go round, it will be vetoed and the votes are not there to override. I am not sure though they even have the votes to survive a Senate fillibuster so it not even reach the Presidents desk. It was a grand gesture and I am not evey sure why it was voted on, my take on the gay issue is similiar to Rep Shuler's and I am not sure why the party plays these games because all it does it gives some folks false hopes makes others mad and causes the elected Democrats to publicly squirm and use double speak in their language.

Perhaps it is the right thing to do?

I know that's rarely at the top of your list in terms of pragmatic politics, but thank goodness some folks still hold on to lofty ideals.

Why would they do it?

Because no American should be discriminated against. No one. It doesn't even matter how you feel about the "gay issue". It's the same as the "woman issue" or the "black issue". People shouldn't be discriminated against. Unfortunately, some folks felt this was the right time to push ENDA (minus T*) through to the floor, knowing that Schuler and other idiots would vote against it, knowing that there is not a veto-proof margin.

I'm not sure what Shuler's take on the "gay issue" is - but I'm developing a take on the "Shuler issue." My take is DINO.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Before Heath ran for office

He spelled out the the DCCC what his social views were and how he would vote on these type of issues and the DCCC and the Democrats in general did not seem too worried about it at time and probably are not now either. This bill was nothing more than a bone to throw to the gay communtiy and those who really care about them, but it was nothing more than that. They not knew when they did this the votes were not there, I believe it is why they did this that way, but I personally think it was a big waste of time.

Its fairly obvious

you have never known someone who has lost their job due to discrimination.

"Keep the Faith"

"Keep the Faith"

No I can not say that I have

The people I know who have lost their job, lost it due to economic downturns in which the company either had massive layoffs or shutdown completely or went to Mexico for cheaper labor.

Wonderful video

Me likey John Lewis. I could listen to him all day.

He had me at:

. . . our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters

I never get enough of hearing that phrase.

But he got on a roll with these:

Call it what you may, to discriminate against someone because they are gay -- it is wrong, it is wrong. It is not right. There is not any room in our society for discrimination.

It is the right thing to do. It is the moral thing to do. Let us do it. Not just for this generation but for generations yet unborn.

Now is the time to do what is right, what is fair, what is just. The time is always right to do right. Let us pass this bill.

But, folks, you really need to hear it.
News of the 10th district: See Pat Go Bye Bye,

I guess now we have another question

for anyone seeking federal office in North Carolins.

Does anyone know where Jim Neal stands on this? Does he even support gay marriage? During the liveblog, I think he said he suppoted equal rights, but as we see with Schuler's comment, that doesn't always equate with a vote for equality.

I can't find anything other than this

It's okay if churches want to unite same-sex couples; it's okay if they don't. That's their Constitutional right which I support 100% .But when it comes to the Government, I'm not in favor of any laws that discriminate against anyone for any reason.

That doesn't really mean anything to me. Is he in favor of 100% equality in the eyes of the law? Because Heath doesn't support discrimination either, yet he won't sign this legislation. Has anyone asked Jim about this?

I've been in this long enough to know

that the rubber meets the road when it comes down to Y's & N's. It's easy to say you're against discrimination. It's tough to campaign in the south saying that gays deserve to marry. That's what separates the politicians from the leaders...

Your comment made no sense at all

Are you saying that voting with your electorate, as Shuler did, to allow discrimination against a group of people is leadership?

Or...are you saying that standing up for equality under the law for all people because you know in your heart it is the right thing to do - regardless of how it will sit with your electorate - is leadership?

I'm asking because it sounded to me like you were attributing leadership to Shuler and I just want to be clear.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

i thought i was clear

Schuler says he's against discrimination, yet he votes against a bill banning discrimination. Words vs. Actions. Congressman Quarterback is no leader. I know it must feel dirty, but you and I agree here. Maybe after we get to know eachother, you'll see I'm not always "ignorant."
Seriously though, does anyone knoe where Jim & Kay stand on this?

It would be a good question for both of them.

Although they're running for Senate, not the House of Representatives where this happened. I wonder if the bill will make it through the Senate?

And you're right - it takes true guts to vote the right way even if you know a number of your constituents are stuck hopelessly in the 50's.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

Sadly, it won't

The vote-counters in DC have already proclaimed it dead. There's not only no veto-proof majority, there isn't even a majority, to say nothing of the 60 votes they really need. Damn parliamentary rasafrakin mutterymuttergrumble...

Anyway, I'm glad they brought it up now. This is what happens with legislation and now we're one step closer to getting it passed in 2009.


I personally won't support it unless it includes the T of the GLBT community.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi doesn't feel dirty

But I couldn't tell what you were saying since it wasn't direct. I thought we agreed, but wasn't going to assume anything about your comment. The rubber meets the road bit threw me...but now that you've clarified it makes a lot more sense.

Don't know where Jim and Kay stand. I interpreted Jim's comment to mean that he didn't believe the government should have a say in whether men and women of same gender can marry. I imagine he will have an easier time being a bit more direct about this than Kay, but we'll see. She's supposed to come for a live-blog some day, so we can ask her then.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.


Not surprised about McIntyre.
Not surprised (but still disappointed) about Shuler. I hope the core dems in the Asheville area give him hell for it.

However, I am kinda surprised that Etheridge voted for it. I guess he remembered that part of his district includes gay-friendly downtown Raleigh and not just the rural tobacco fields east of it. Or perhaps I just haven't given him enough credit in the past. Either way, it is good news there.

Sincerity can oftern be tested..Heath Shuler's statement,,,

sounded, on the surface, to have some validity....

"I was unable to support final passage of this bill because I believe there are still serious legal ambiguities in the legislation, which could lead to protracted and onerous legal challenges. I look forward to working with my colleagues to address these concerns as this legislation moves forward.”

There is a way to test this however. Simply find out if Heath personally offered amendments to the bill which would have addressed the

"serious legal ambiguities in the legislation"

he thought needed modification to the place where he could support it.

If you find he offered no changes or amendments to the bill than his statement is suspicious.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03

Perhaps a better question...

Let's instead ask: "Reps Shuler & McIntyre....Why did you vote against a law that would prevent gay employers from discriminating against their straight employees??"
Love to see how they answer that one!


"If boiling people alive best served the interests of the American people, then it would neither be moral or immoral." Max Borders, Civitas Institute

Hi RaleighRob...answering that question would be valid if.....

indeed your assertion were the case. Truthfully, I do not know if it is or is not. I am almost certian that it is not a valid question because the bill , in all probability, would not allow your assertion.

If I am wrong in my own assertion, you have my apologies.

I am pretty sure however that the bill would not allow gay employers to discriminate against their straight employees.
That simply would not make any sence.

Marshall Adame
2014 U.S. Congress Candidate NC-03


Well, from the text of the bill: "The term `sexual orientation' means homosexuality, heterosexuality, or bisexuality." And the bill is " provide a comprehensive Federal prohibition of employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation..."

And discrimination of course can go both ways, therefore is technically legal (until Enda is ratified) for a gay employer to discriminate against a straight.

I can't think of specifics off-hand but I can recall articles over the years, on the net and in papers, about the rare case of Vice-versa Sexual Orientation Discrimination. It's not the norm of course, but certainly has happened.

(For in NC, the CEO of Smithfields BBQ was sued by a straight man for sexual harassment. Who knows if ENDA had already been passed, he may have tagged on a discrimination charge to that suit.)

This Isn't Already Illegal?

When I heard about this bill, I was surprised that firing someone (or not hiring them) for being gay wasn't already illegal. That's a bit shocking.

But then, Duke University has just now gotten around to repealing an old regulation that says blacks can't buy property in Duke Forest, so I guess anything is possible.

Carolina Politics Online

No, it's not illegal.

It should be, but it isn't.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

This is an important vote whatever the outcome.

Progress will be made. This has been the way of all civil rights successes - halting starts and stops, failures, a bold step, an attempt at legislation, perhaps more failures, a pioneer, an increase in public understanding, a small success and then it's "holy crap what was all the fuss about."
This version of ENDA maybe somewhere in teh middle of the above timeline. It would not even have been considered 20 years ago. Today it passed the House with 40+ Republicans voting for the legislation.

The next time more people, elected officials and the public, will be more comfortable with the idea. Yeah, I know they should have to "get comfartable" with it, but that seems to be the way of things.

As to the specifics of the votes of Shuler and McIntyre, I don't like either, but I can understand Shuler moreso than McIntyre. Is the 7th really as conservative as McInyre's voting record would indicate? Dems have a huge advantage in registration; or is the 7th the largest colony of DINO's in the South??

Whatever the votes of the Blue Dogs, ENDA represents progress.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?


It still leaves out a significant group of people - the transgendered. It's not satisfactory to me. Civil rights aren't civil rights until they include everyone.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

I like this line ...

Civil rights aren't civil rights until they include everyone.

Kinda reminds of the following section of the Declaration of Independance:

"... that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

I wonder if Shuler, McIntyre and their ilk have read those words lately?

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

Duplicate. sorry.

Something odd happened when I hit post.

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?

The district is very unique

Most of my family roots are from this district. I have many Aunts, Uncles and cousins in the district who are very conserative Democrats and huge Mike McIntyre supporters. Out side of Wilmington few conservatives have left the Democratic Party. Also, it has a high population of Scottish Presbyterians, as opposed to the Scot-Irish Presbyterians of the Piedmont and Mountian region many of whom have become Republicans. The district has a high black popuation and the highest precentage of American Indian, for some reason there appears to be greater anomosity between the black population and the Indian population than either have with the white popuation, though the relationship the whites have with those two are not that good either. I hope this gives you an idea of the popuation, of the district it is a unique one.

I watched/listened to Rep. Lewis earlier

and didn't comment because the only thing my brain kept saying/thinking was

Amen. Amen. Amen. aMEN.

Thought maybe if I waited I could come up with something a little deeper than that.

Nope. Just watched it again and all I got is

Amen. Amen. Amen. aMEN.

And it comes from the deepest reaches of my soul. Amen.

"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."


I felt the same way, Leslie.

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi