Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 35, Ed. 1 Friday, January 13, 2006 Page: 21 of 60
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itol, where the bill has been introduced — and
rejected — each year for nearly 30 years.
The state House last year passed the bill 61-37,
with six Republicans joining 55 Democrats to
pass it. It failed in the Senate, where two
Democarats joined 23 Republicans in defeating
Representative Ed Murray, a Democrat, one of
Senate Majority Leader
Lisa Brown, a
Democrat, said she
wants to see "the num-
bers on the board"
before she will cele-
brate passage of a gay
civil rights bill after
nearly three decades of
debate over the meas-
ure in the Washington
four gay men in the House and the foremost
advocate of the perennial legislation, said he is
now "cautiously excited" about prospects for
passage this year.
Finkbeiner, who stepped down as Senate
minority leader last year, supported the bill once
before when he was a House member and a
"It's an issue I've struggled with since I've
been in the Legislature," Finkbeiner said by tele-
phone. "I know there are going to be some peo-
ple who are disappointed. Hopefully, they under-
stand this is an issue of conscience."
The Faith & Freedom Network, headed by the
Rev. Joseph Fuiten, said it planned a lobbying
trip to the state capital in response. It also plans to
release a poll on public opposition to same-sex
Fruiten also said Finkbeiner is not representing
"It's time for Bill Finkbeiner to move on,"
Fruiten said. "I'll never endorse him again. He is
not representing the values of the 45th District or
the views of the people in the 45th District."
Gay rights activists have vowed to challenge
incumbent suburban Republcans who vote
against the anti-discrimination bill this year. The
major employer in Finkbeiner's district,
Microsoft, also has come out in favor of the
measure, a year after being denounced for quiet-
ly dropping its support for the bill.
Murray said Finkbeiner's change in stance was
"I think he shouild be commended by
Democrats and Republicans alike for making this
courageous decision, to being open to listening to
people and willing to change his mind," Murray
Murray said Finkbeiner told him this past
weekend that he was going to change his vote.
Governor Christiane Geregoire also praised
"He recognizes the need to drive discriminato-
ry practices out of Washington," she said in a
While the bill will have no trouble passing the
House, its supporters in the Senate will have to
make sure no other lawmakers switch their votes.
Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown said the
votes in the Democratic caucus were solid,
although she didn't want to celebrate the bill's
victory just yet.
"I wait until I see the number on the boards,"
Unfortunately, We're Not
Talking About A Man.
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01.13.06 I da I las voice I 21
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 35, Ed. 1 Friday, January 13, 2006, newspaper, January 13, 2006; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth238891/m1/21/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.