Thursday, March 17, 2016

A Simple Sneeze Killed Anti-LGBT Legislation

Last week, with just three minutes to spare in Utah's legislative session, Republican, of course, Senator Lavar Christensen [top] introduced an anti-gay amendment that would have barred same-sex couples from being joint tenants for tax purposes.

The bill, Senate Bill 252, had already passed the Senate once, but because Christensen amended it in the House, Utah senators needed to concur with the changes. So, Senator Curt Bramble introduced the bill, and then Senate President Wayne Niederhauser [middle] asked for a roll call vote.

And then there was a sneeze. See, when the clerk called the on Democratic Senator Jim Dabakis [bottom], the only openly gay member of the Utah Legislature, he took his time to cast his vote; he cleared his throat; he sneezed; then he kinda fumble his words and stopped to think about how he might vote.

Senate President Wayne Niederhauser saw what Dabakis was doing and said:
"Passing, passing, go to the next one. C'mon, let's go." 
All of the other senators had voted, and so the clerk called on Niederhauser to vote and he said:
"Aye, but we ran out of time. All right, we're done."  
The bill didn’t pass because of a sneeze and a cough and a stammer. Jim Dabakis took to Facebook to tell the tale:
“My mini-filibuster. What they did was very mean-spirited! SB 252 was a low blow anti-LGBT bill. It was pulled off the board at 11:57 PM. The session ends at midnight. As they rushed this redneck-pleasing, bad bill through, there was only one minute left to vote. Roll Call Vote. When it came my time to vote — I had to deliberate. A long time. Until the session ended! … The ham-fisted attempt to pass the bill under the radar was at least sneaky and tacky, trying to exclude our Utah same sex married couples from the law. And if it had passed, it most likely would have cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands in a lawsuit. Tacky.
Tacky, but stopped by a sneeze … for now.

Congratulation to Senator Dabakis for his Mini-Filibuster for LGBT rights!

2 comments:

the dogs' mother said...

Well, that was creative!

Helen Lashbrook said...

More to the point than Green Eggs and Ham, a filibuster I'm sure Dr Suess and the Cat in the Hat would have disapproved of.