Nancy Pelosi represents the gayest congressional district in the United States. She also happens to be the most powerful person, woman or man, in the House of Representatives. With one simple directive she can force 435 Members of Congress from across the United States to vote on any piece of legislation she wants. Healthcare legislation, immigration reform, tax increases or gay marriage are all issues that Speaker Nancy Pelosi can choose to have voted on by Congress. She could schedule a vote at 3 a.m. and members would be expected to appear. She alone gets to decide what the House of Representatives votes on and when it votes.
But will Pelosi pass the DC gay marriage bill -- one of her district's most important issues -- before the end of the year? What is she waiting for? She has the power to do it immediately and DC needs Congressional approval to move forward with equal rights for all citizens.
Nancy Pelosi also has a Democratic partner over in the Senate in Majority Leader Harry Reid. Reid has the same power in the Senate with the 100 members that Nancy Pelosi has in the House of Representatives. Together, Pelosi and Reid have a Democratic President in Barack Obama. It isn't an overstatement to say that these three Democrats - Pelosi, Reid and Obama - can force any issue to a vote and make that issue a law. All Pelosi, Reid and Obama have to do is get their own party to go along with their ideas - no Republicans are needed to go along with the Pelosi-Reid-Obama agenda.
Not one Republican is needed to enact new laws. None. Zero.
So why aren't these three Democrats passing new laws and making changes? Where is the gay marriage law they promised when they were put in charge and the Republicans were run out of office?
The answer, of course, is and has always been that America is not ready for gay marriage. Nearly every public poll taken has shown that the electorate, albeit the public at large, is not ready. Pelosi, Reid and Obama are only reading public opinion surveys when they delay votes on gay issues. Even California, the most liberal state in the nation, wasn't able to get the electorate to see the value of equal rights for all. But the nation's capital has and now needs Pelosi's support.
What is needed to pass gay marriage is not a Democratic majority - this past year has proven that to be true - but politicians and judges comfortable enough to ignore what the majority of the voters want and do what is uncomfortable, unpopular - and morally right. Equal rights should not be debatable and certainly should not be put to a vote of the people. Would we ask the electorate to vote on whether or not Catholics and Protestants should marry? Of course we would not.
The Catholic Church or the local evangelical church should not be forced to bless the new union of a divorced woman if they don't want to. But civil governments don't make the same distinctions. While religious institutions should be able to pick and choose which unions they bless, civil governments should issue marriage licenses to all couples.
But the more that the gay leaders raise money for and give unconditional support to Democratic politicians, the more Democratic leaders are encouraged to take gay marriage voters for granted. Anyone who is still holding out for the Democrats to be the gayest political party is now part of the problem. The more gay marriage is made a political issue the longer gays will be treated as less than and unequal.
Equal rights should not be a partisan political issue -- so why are all gay leaders in one political party?
Nancy Pelosi doesn't have to pay attention to gays because there is no price to pay for ignoring them.
By Richard Grenell: