Sen. Lindsey Graham might need some smelling salts if the Equality Act moves to a floor vote in the U.S. Senate.
The South Carolina Republican and longtime opponent of LGBTQ rights plans to use the Senate filibuster to talk until he collapses if it means halting the progress of the landmark legislation.
The Equality Act, which passed the House last month, would outlaw discrimination against LGBTQ people in a number of key areas, including housing and public accommodations.
Appearing on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show earlier this week, Graham said he would “talk until I fell over to make sure that the Equality Act doesn’t become law.”
He also claimed the legislation would “[destroy] the difference between men and women,” repeating a popular right-wing argument used against the Equality Act, including at a Senate hearing yesterday.
Graham said that using the filibuster, which allows senators to stop legislation or slow down its passage by talking continuously on the Senate floor, would prevent Democrats from passing the bill.
Either that, or Republicans would simply refuse to show up, preventing the necessary 51 senators (known as a quorum) required in order to proceed with a vote.
“[With] a 50-50 Senate, you can’t do anything without unanimous consent that matters,” Graham said. “To have a quorum, you’ve got to have 51 people present and the vice president doesn’t count.”
He continued: “So if they did this, we could really shut down the entire Senate because we just won’t show up.”
Unfortunately for Graham, his opposition to the Equality Act puts him at odds with his own Republican base and most of the country. Recent polling found that 70% of Americans support passing the Equality Act, including 50% of Republicans.
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