Rothman proves my point

This sounds like good legislation. Thanks, didn't know about this.

- promoted by Rosi

I recently wrote a blog post here on Blue Jersey endorsing Steve Rothman in his 9th District Congressional primary.  I tried to intimate that although his actual voting record was very similar to that of Bill Pascrell, and both had excellent voting records on LGBT issues, there was a significant actual difference between the two legislators.

On Wednesday I attended the rally for Steve Rothman where President Obama's Senior Adviser David Axelrod came to NJ to personally endorse Congressman Rothman and give a strong sense of the high regard in which he is held in DC.

Steve's Chief of Staff, Tom O'Donnell came over to me to talk about a new piece of LGBT legislation that Rothman had just introduced. (For those of you who might ask.... Yes, he's the same Tom O'Donnell that used to be Rush Holt's COS). It seems that Cong. Rothman was reading a news article this month about a judge in San Diego who dismissed an entire jury panel in a case involving same-sex marriage activists, saying the prosecutors' rejection of a possible juror because of his sexual orientation violated the defendants' rights to a representative jury.

As some people know, an attorney cannot use a peremptory challenge to remove a juror because of the juror's race or gender. Only in California and Oregon have they extended that rule (Batson) by legislation to include sexual orientation.

Proactively, without the influence of any lobbyist or activists, seeing another area of life where LGBT people could face discrimination, he introduced the Juror Non-Discrimination Act of 2012. This bill, known as HR 5848, prohibits the exclusion of individuals from service on a federal jury because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Now Tom mentioned this to me because I have contacts on the Hill and asked if I would help spread the word to get co-sponsors, but this was a story I also need to tell here, at home,  with so much on the line.

Like I've been saying all along, he "gets it", and he proactively finds ways to address and fight discrimination wherever it may be. His actions speak very loud and strong and true for inclusive LGBT and progressive issues.

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