Manchin Only Dem Senator Holdout On Equality Act

The Charleston Register-Herald reports:

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia is the only Democratic senator who didn’t sign on to a bill introduced this week in Congress to extend protections in housing, employment and public accommodations to LGBT people. Senate Bill 788, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., has 43 Democratic sponsors, two Independent sponsors, and one Republican sponsor, Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine.

Manchin also didn’t sign on to a similar bill in 2017 and, after the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2015, sent out a one-sentence statement about the need to abide by the law. Katey McCutcheon, a spokeswoman for Manchin, said his office had no comment Friday evening. A similar bill in the U.S. House of Representatives includes 239 cosponsors, with one Democrat missing, Dan Lipinski from Illinois.

RELATED: Lipinski was also the only Democrat to sponsor the so-called First Amendment Defense Act, which would legalize anti-LGBT discrimination nationwide. He voted for DOMA and against the Equality Act when it was last presented in the House. In 2018 he was elected by a 47-point margin, mostly because his GOP opponent was self-described Nazi Arthur Jones.