The roll-call. Money quote:
"This historic day marks tremendous progress in efforts to provide basic fairness for gay and lesbian Americans. This long overdue bill makes it very clear that what matters in the workplace is competence and fairnessnot sexual orientation," - Patrick Sammon, president Log Cabin Republicans.
But this is Barney's moment. The Republicans - exempting 35 of them - did their best to link employment non-discrimination to marriage rights, expressing their usual spite toward those gay couples who have dared to commit to one another in law and love, by a legislative distraction. But they failed in the end. And most of us are used to the abuse by now. We do not need their affirmation to love one another. But some do still need some framework of protection in order to work without fear - especially in those states where gay couples have been targeted as public threats to the family.
I haven't always supported this legislation, and my libertarian heart is not thrilled by it. But every other minority is federally protected from discrimination in employment; it is increasingly a form of prejudice to say that gay people can be fired at will from their jobs just for being who they are. HRC deserves congratulations as well. This was their goal for so long, and now it has finally passed the House. As for Barney, he has such a sharp mind but an even bigger heart. This is his moment. His speech - full of parliamentary procedure and deep, deep pain, catches the throat at the 5 minute mark: