Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Arkansas's Senator Mark Pryor: Legislator of the Day

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | September 03, 2009 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Politics
Tags: Arkansas, employment discrimination, Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ENDA, Pryor, Senate

Arkansas has two key Senate votes in the fight for ENDA: Senators Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln. Pryor.jpgLincoln.jpgThere is a poignant back story on Sen. Pryor and the failure of ENDA in 1996 by a single vote.

Please call them today to ask for their support for S.1584. Facts and contact info after the jump.

Senator Mark Pryor, a Democrat, though fairly conservative on many issues, voted for the hate crimes bill. The back story on this relates to Senator Pryor's father, David Pryor, who held this Senate seat in 1996, when ENDA was poised for passage. As told by The Caucus Blog: The Blogosphere Voice of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus:

Everything was in place, but something terrible happened. Arkansas Senator David Pryor was planning to support the Kennedy sponsored ENDA bill, but he was called back to Little Rock. His son, Mark Pryor, the current junior Senator from Arkansas, was undergoing an emergency operation just as the debate and vote commenced in Washington. From USA today: "A surgeon operating on a torn tendon discovered sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that is usually fatal. Pryor underwent 13 hours of surgery to have his tendon replaced in 1996. It was 15 months before he was able to walk again unassisted."

ENDA failed of passage by one vote, but, thankfully, Mark Pryor recovered and has gone on to a successful career in the Senate.

Please call him at 501-324-6336 to support S 1584.

Senator Blanche Lincoln, also a Democrat, has cosponsored a previous bill with sexual orientation and gender identity, and voted for the hate crimes bill. Her track record also suggests that she has her heart in the right place. Please call her at 501-375-2993 to support S 1584.

The Arkansas House Delegation

Three of the four members of the Arkansas House delegation voted against ENDA last time: that would be Marion Berry, John Boozman and Mike Ross.

Representative Vic Snyder, however, has confirmed that he will support ENDA.

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