What: All Issues : Human Rights & Civil Liberties : Gay Rights : A vote on a procedural motion made by Republicans, to cut off Democratic debate in opposition to the Military Recruiter Equal Access to Campus Act (H.R. 3966), a bill that would grant military recruiters the same access to students at higher learning centers as have other prospective employers, even if the learning centers in question take offense at the military's practice of discriminating against recruiting homosexuals.
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A vote on a procedural motion made by Republicans, to cut off Democratic debate in opposition to the Military Recruiter Equal Access to Campus Act (H.R. 3966), a bill that would grant military recruiters the same access to students at higher learning centers as have other prospective employers, even if the learning centers in question take offense at the military's practice of discriminating against recruiting homosexuals.
house Roll Call 98     Mar 30, 2004
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

On this bill (H.R. 3966) related to allowing military recruiters the same access to students at higher learning centers as have other prospective employers, House conservatives won 223-203 on a motion to "order the previous question." That refers to a procedural maneuver designed to close debate immediately, to prevent the moving of amendments or any other motions, and to bring the House at once to a vote on the immediately pending question -- in this case the resolution on the bill (H. Res. 580). A resolution outlines the parameters for debate on a bill, including any allowable amendments. In this case, no amendments were permitted, and progressives argued both against the bill and the underlying resolution on the grounds that the U.S. military should not be granted unfettered access to students, given its own policy of discrimination based on sexual orientation. Conservative Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) argued that the measure "shows our nation's unwavering commitment to both higher education and providing a strong national defense. If we are to be victorious in defending our freedom and protecting our homeland, that we promote military service as an option to college students across the U.S," said Boehner. However, progressives noted that many colleges and universities require employers to sign a non-discrimination pledge before they recruit on campus. That means employers cannot discriminate against prospective employees on many bases -- including sexual orientation. Yet, the U.S. military's ``don't ask, don't tell'' policy is "straight-forward discrimination" and in direct conflict with college policies of this nature, said Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif). Worse, progressives argued, the legislation would cut off federal funds to institutions that have policies against allowing recruiters on campus from employers that have an open policy of discrimination. "We should not be punishing universities that have legitimate policy differences. As long as the military continues its ill-advised policy of prohibiting service by openly gay members ... we should not force them to break their non-discrimination policies for the military," said Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.). By winning on this procedural vote, conservatives were able to shut down debate on whether the military's preferential hiring practices are at odds with campus policies objecting to sexual orientation discrimination.

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