January 29, 2014 at 4:27 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Boehner tells LGBT caucus ‘no way’ ENDA will pass
John Boehner, Ohio, Republican Party, GOP, United States House of Representatives, U.S. Congress, State of the Union, 2014, gay news, Washington Blade

For the first time ever, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) met with the LGBT Equality Caucus. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told attendees last week at his first-ever meeting with the LGBT Equality Caucus there was “no way” the Employment Non-Discrimination Act would pass this year, according to a gay lawmaker who attended the meeting.

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.), who’s gay and one of the caucus co-chairs, volunteered information Tuesday night about the meeting in Statuary Hall of the U.S. Capitol when the Washington Blade asked him about his views on the absence of the ENDA from the State of the Union address.

“A number of us did meet with, actually the caucus met with Speaker Boehner,” Takano said. “He said no way was it going to get done in this session.”

Calling the discussion between Boehner and the lawmakers “a historic sort of meeting,” Takano later clarified he was referring to the LGBT Equality Caucus, a 113-member group of lawmakers committed to advancing LGBT rights, and said the meeting took place “a few days ago” or last week.

A “session” of Congress is equivalent to one of the two years in which a particular Congress meets before a new Congress is seated, so Takano’s account of the meeting indicates ENDA won’t see a House vote in 2014.

Asked to clarify whether he meant that ENDA won’t come up this year, Takano said, “Yeah. He said it wasn’t going to happen in this session.”

Despite his account of the meeting, Takano remained optimistic about the passage of ENDA at a later time, perhaps after Election Day this year, saying “it’s still a huge priority for me to get that done.”

“There’s obviously differences between the two parties on ENDA, but, you know, who knows what can happen in a lame duck Congress?” Takano said.

Others with knowledge of the meeting declined to divulge on the record significant information, saying the meeting wasn’t open to staffers and not meant to be public. No one would disclose the exact date of the meeting or identify who participated.

But House aides did confirm the historic nature of the meeting, saying Boehner has never before met with the LGBT Equality Caucus and the discussion took place within the speaker’s office. Aides said Boehner has also met with the Congressional Black Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, but discussions in meetings like these are private.

Michael Steel, a Boehner spokesperson, responded to the Blade’s inquiries about the meeting by saying the speaker meets all the time with various groups on Capitol Hill.

“John Boehner is the speaker of the whole House, and often meets with groups of members from both sides of the aisle,” Steel said.

One aide said the entire 113-member caucus didn’t attend the meeting, although it was attended by more lawmakers than just the six co-chairs of the group, who consist of openly LGB members of the U.S. House. The co-chairs are Takano as well as Reps. Jared Polis (D-Colo.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) and Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.).

Brad Jacklin, executive director of the LGBT Equality Caucus, confirmed a meeting took place, but offered only a few details.

“A number of members asked to meet with the speaker, who tries to accommodate such requests,” Jacklin said. “It was a members-only meeting and was off the record. The Equality Caucus and its leadership continues to work together to educate members of the House on LGBT issues and build bipartisan support for legislation like ENDA.”

Jacklin took note that just this week, Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) signed on as the sixth House Republican to co-sponsor the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Immediately after the announcement, he received significant attention in the media for physically threatening a reporter from New York-affiliate NY1 who asked him about the current investigation into his potential violation of campaign finance law.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • This useless piece of shit has the power to bring it to the floor for a vote. If he does it will pass and he knows it. If all of my Republican and conservative friends who are pissing themselves about Executive Orders would have the integrity to call out this obstruction of the will of the american people and the congress perhaps the talk of executive orders would go away.

    If this overgrown oompa loompa would do his job, then there wouldn't be a need for executive orders to enact the will of the people.

    If you don't want executive orders but won't demand John Boehner do his job, then kindly have big heaping cup of STFU!

  • not shocked by the biggest queen, in the closet wote , say no, i can't wait to this worthy piece of trash gets outed.

  • Hey Scott. I think 1 lie mmmm ok but LIE after LIE…from obama,clinton Reid….I care about Benghazi were 2 of my Navy Brothers were murdered, while obama was playing with himself and clinton DA…How about that 3am call. Blood is on both there hands. Never forget! U.S.Navy Vet.

  • Hey Scott. I think 1 lie mmmm ok but LIE after LIE…from obama,clinton Reid….I care about Benghazi were 2 of my Navy Brothers were murdered, while obama was playing with himself and clinton DA…How about that 3am call. Blood is on both there hands. Never forget! U.S.Navy Vet.

    • Totally agree Gene. Whether it was a “war for oil” or not, the fact of the matter was that Hussein was a tyrant that was murdering his own people on the genocide scale. Putting an end to that should have been a priority either way. Not saying “well that isn’t our problem” and allowing an entire culture to be tortured. Convenient that most opponents of that war forget he was committing war crimes w/ or w/o WMD’s. Burying women in sand to their heads, covering them in honey and allowing them to be eaten alive… that would like something you want to let happen? The United States IS the world’s police force whether we like it or not. If we don’t do something about these things, nobody will. I for one don’t want the blood on my hands by standing by and allowing rape, murder, slavery to knowingly happen.

      Semper Fi
      Chris Rager, Sgt USMC

  • oh yea,,65% of the American People DO NOT TRUST obama! Let me be Clear!

  • oh yea,,65% of the American People DO NOT TRUST obama! Let me be Clear!

  • I am Shocked,I thought Republicans were the Homophobs. Lloyed u are an ASS!

  • Gene Clark at least i'm not in the closet, nor am i afraid to show my face, i guess you're a bitch in heat that can type

  • first off, that just depends on who does the pool, however 70 5 of American will vote for Hillary in 2016

  • Boehner, You will never understand us LGBT people.

  • John Boehner is a nut case and a drunk who needs to get the hell out of office and shut his fat mouth. ENDA is the will of the American people and he just will not get it on the floor for a vote because he realizes that it will pass. The last few congress' have not worked with the President on a damn thing and they all need to be voted out of office as far I am concerned.

  • Gene Clark ..yeah and I bet you are equally feeling just as bad about the ten times as many who died in similar attacks under bush 1 and bush 2. Oh wait.. you guys pretend that shit don't count.

  • Gene Clark you failed to say anything about Bush saying lie after lie,he lied his whole term,took us to war on a lie he knew wasn't true.Does it not bother you that thousands of troops were killed because of his lies.You assholes always excuse Mr Bush lies to this country every fucking day for 8 years.

  • And 90% do NOT Trust Congress. So I will take the person with 35% of teh people's trust well before someone with only 10% and falling.

  • Benghazi, the GOP conspiracy theory.

  • Gene Clark do you moan "Benghazi" every time you jerk off?

  • John Williams I am stealing that line. :)

  • Why should he? I do understand you and know that you and yours are the bigots demanding acceptance. Nobody has to accept or vote on anything except their own beliefs. John Boehner doesn't have to accept you either! Go stuff it!

  • Now you are getting a taste of the Obama/Reid also pieces of shit as you say! Territory Manager? where in the park and bar systems?

  • It is no such thing stupid. If it were a vote by the people your trite statement would be valid. Are you really being discriminated against because you are gay?? Or, is it a subterfuge for your being otherwise undesirable for a real reason! Better spend a little more time in your college!

  • Now Now girls! LOL

  • This is the way everyone feels about both Congress and Obama with his pimp Reid.

  • MY son did 2 tours of Iraq and 1 tour of Afghanistan.when i ask him what his toughts were on the wars, he responded, " i fought so that Americans could live a life of freedom, i was proud of fighting for my country, but my country denies my fathers right to achieve equal right's

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