California’s two Democratic U.S. senators, Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, are facing increased pressure from LGBT leaders to take charge on pro-gay legislation as Congress returns from its summer recess, according to The Bay Area Reporter.
The calls for the two female lawmakers to take the lead in pushing for LGBT bills have increased since the death of Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy, considered the LGBT community’s strongest ally in the Senate. And they come amid rising concern that LGBT issues will fall by the wayside as Congress becomes bogged down by the health care reform debate and next year’s midterm elections.
Even prior to Kennedy’s death last month, Boxer and Feinstein had been pressed by LGBT leaders in California to become more engaged in pushing legislative efforts to pass pro-gay immigration reform and repeal of the military’s anti-gay “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which bars LGBT service members from being open about their sexual orientation.
The four-member California Legislative LGBT Caucus wrote to both Boxer and Feinstein July 13 asking them to “take an active role” in repealing DADT by adopting the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009 and to urge their congressional colleagues as well as President Barack Obama to lift the ban.
Read the full story at The Bay Area Reporter