An article in the November 4th Buffalo News focused on former Buffalo Congressman Thomas M. Reynolds’ changing stance on Gay-Rights Issues. In 2007 Reynolds “voted against the Employee Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, which would ban workplace discrimination against people who are gay, lesbian or transgender.” accord to the article.
Reynolds is now working as a lobbyist for American Unity Fund, a republican group that supports gay rights issues. According to the article, Reynolds justified changing his thoughts on gay-rights from 2007 by saying: “This is a discrimination issue, and one that we’ve seen Fortune 500 companies actually address. This is really about getting the federal government to catch up with it.”
Yesterday, November 7, ENDA was approved in the Senate, 64-32. The positive vote included 10 Republicans and 2 Independents along with 52 Democrats.
Reynolds now turns his lobbying focus from the Senate to the House. He will try to convince the republicans to understand the full range of positive impacts of ENDA and vote for the bill. Two republicans who need to be convinced are Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor who have said that they don’t plan to put ENDA on the House agenda.
ENDA is being co-sponsored by five House Republicans. Although our congressman, Rep. Tom Reed is not presently sponsoring it, “a spokesman for Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, said last week that he supported it as well.”
That may be a change in Reed’s political view. There is not a lot of information on his thoughts on Gay Rights; there seems to be noting on his website dealing with gay rights or marriage equality.
Rep. Reed voted with his party to approve spending $3 million to defend the Defense Of Marriage Act earlier this year.
VoteSmart.org reported that the American Family Association, a group that supports traditional Christian Family Values has given Rep. Reed a 100% rating, stating: ”Tom Reed supported the interests of the American Family Association 100% in 2010.”
Also, the Finger Lakes Daily News said, in an article entitled, “Reed, Clinton React to Gay Marriage Vote” (28 June 2011): “I do personally believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. However, I have been a strong supporter of states’ rights and I will continue to be a supporter of states’ rights. I will live with [same sex marriage] if that is the law of our state.”
Opinion polls tells us that the public, including republicans, supports ENDA. The religious conservatives opposes it. Tom is not willing to sponsor it, but had his spokesman say that he supports it. He thinks that gay-rights should be up to the States. It is a benefit to let people think that you support a controversial bill if there is no chance you’ll have to vote on it.
What is Rep. Tom Reed’s Position on Employment Non-Discrimination Act? There is a good chance we’ll never know.
- Reed Backs ENDA (timesunion.com)
- Everything you need to know about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) (washingtonpost.com)