On the November 7 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, congressional correspondent Jessica Yellin asserted that the then-upcoming House vote on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) "could be a real political headache for some Democrats, especially when you consider the ads that ran last election cycle about [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi's [D-CA] radical homosexual agenda." But in contrast to her suggestion that ENDA could be "a real political headache for some Democrats," Yellin herself noted at the end of her report that polling shows Americans overwhelmingly favor protections for gay men and lesbians against workplace discrimination: "[A]bout 90 percent of Americans say gays and lesbians should be protected from employment discrimination. The overall sense from pollsters is that Americans believe discrimination is wrong, no matter who's the target."
Despite Yellin's citation of the anti-Pelosi ads as evidence that the ENDA vote "could be a real political headache for some Democrats," she gave no evidence that the ads damaged particular Democrats. Nor did she challenge their characterization of Pelosi as having embraced a "radical homosexual agenda" -- a so-called "agenda" that includes passage of a bill that would enact into law a principle that, according to Yellin, is held by about 90 percent of Americans. The Democrats gained 30 seats in the House of Representatives in the 2006 election, then elected Pelosi speaker.
From the 4 p.m. ET hour of the November 7 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:
WOLF BLITZER (host): Today, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and their supporters could be cheering. The House of Representatives appears likely to pass a bill that will protect them from workplace discrimination.
Our congressional correspondent, Jessica Yellin, is on Capitol Hill watching this legislation move through Congress. How soon is it likely to go into effect?
YELLIN: Wolf, we're expecting that vote sometime this hour. And I'll tell you, this vote could be a real political headache for some Democrats, especially when you consider the ads that ran last election cycle about Nancy Pelosi's radical homosexual agenda. But Pelosi says she and her members are ready to take this vote because it's the right thing to do.
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YELLIN: Supporters call it a question of basic civil rights for gays and lesbians and insist it sends an important message.
REP. BARNEY FRANK (D-MA): To tell millions of Americans who are gay and lesbian that they are not bad people, that it is not legitimate to fire them simply because of who they are.
YELLIN: The Employment Non-Discrimination Act would make it illegal to hire, fire, or determine pay and promotions based on an employee's sexual orientation. Thirty states do not have laws banning employment discrimination against gays and lesbians, and supporters say that's why a federal law is essential.
REP. GEORGE MILLER (D-CA): In those 30 states, employers can -- can fire, refuse to hire, demote, and refuse to promote employees on the basis of sexual orientation alone.
YELLIN: But angry critics claim the bill will force some religious businesses to employ gays and lesbians.
REP. BUCK McKEON (R-CA): I think it's a disaster for Christian bookstores, at least 85 percent of whom would fall under this, all sorts of Christian colleges.
YELLIN: And, they claim, it opens the door to gay marriage.
REP. JOSEPH PITTS (R-PA): ENDA is merely a building block for efforts to overturn traditional marriage laws and to impose same-sex marriage on states.
REP. JIM JORDAN (R-OH): I believe this legislation has the real potential to undermine the importance of families in our culture and in our society and in our country.
[end video clip]
YELLIN: And I should point out, Wolf, that Democrats added language to this bill to make it clear that it should in no way make gay marriage legal.
But, still, this is a part of the debate that is going on, on the floor. Now, political watchers say it's actually a less risky vote, this one, than, say, a vote for gay marriage, because, in fact, about 90 percent of Americans say gays and lesbians should be protected from employment discrimination.
The overall sense from pollsters is that Americans believe discrimination is wrong, no matter who's the target -- Wolf.