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George Takei calls out bisexual senator Kyrsten Sinema over ‘baffling’ support for Equality Act roadblock

Emma Powys Maurice
·2-min read

George Takei challenged the bisexual senator Kyrsten Sinema on her “baffling” defence of the filibuster tactic, which could stand in the way of the Equality Act.

Takei, 83, may have found fame as Star Trek‘s Sulu, but these days he’s best known for his political activism and the laser-sharp wit he wields on Twitter.

On Friday (26 February) he turned his barbed tweets to Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema, one of two Democratic senators who is responsible for preserving the filibuster.

“How ironic that, should the GOP filibuster the Equality Act, it will be Kyrsten Sinema, the first openly bisexual person ever elected to the US senate, whose baffling support for the filibuster actually prevents the bill from ever becoming law,” Takei observed.

“History is watching, senator.”

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The filibuster is a controversial tactic that allows individual senators to obstruct or slow down a piece of legislation, even if it’s been approved by the majority.

For years Democrats have been calling for it to be scrapped, accusing Republicans of persistently abusing the strategy to gridlock the Senate. But Sinema argues it’s a necessary power to have.

“I have long said that I oppose eliminating the filibuster for votes on legislation,” her office wrote in an email to constituents this week.

“Retaining the legislative filibuster is not meant to impede the things we want to get done. Rather, it’s meant to protect what the Senate was designed to be.

“I believe the Senate has a responsibility to put politics aside and fully consider, debate, and reach compromise on legislative issues that will affect all Americans.”

Unfortunately compromise isn’t possible when it comes to the Equality Act. The bill must meet a 60-vote threshold to overcome a filibuster, which could be impossible given the dynamics of a 50-50 split in the chamber.

It passed through the House of Representatives by a narrow majority of 224-206, an indication of the challenge that lies ahead – and in supporting a tactic that keeps Democrats from wielding their majority power, Kyrsten Sinema only worsens the odds.