In the wake of the Pulse massacre, it got very popular for even those who had never done so to express support for the LGBT community. However, it only inspired the House GOP leaders to yet again block a vote that would protect LGBT people from discrimination by federal contractors.
In the wake of the tragedy which claimed 50 lives, New York Democrat Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney tried to reintroduce the bill which has been blocked no less than three times by the Republican majority. Maloney is LGBT and has been unsuccessfully fighting to get this amendment passed even before the nightmare at the gay nightclub.
It’s hard to imagine that any act that is so horrific could lead to anything positive. But if we were going to do anything, it would be a very positive step to say that discrimination has no place in our law and to reaffirm the president’s actions in this area. Seems to me a pretty basic thing to do.
Pretty basic, sure, but House GOP leaders are too concerned that such a bill would interfere with their constituents “right” to discriminate based on their religion.
Under the guise of “concerns for religious freedom exemptions” GOP lawmakers actually let the amendment entire Energy Department spending bill die on the House floor rather than risk having to extend equal protections to LGBT people even in such a limited form (federal contractors only). There was already opposition from the left due to unsatisfactory spending limits.
Once again, Democratic lawmakers are concerned with actually producing legislation that works for America and the Right is concerned with protecting their right to discriminate against minorities.
Only a week earlier the same amendment caused the GOP to actually tank a Department of Veterans Affairs spending bill. GOP leaders pressured Republicans to switch their votes at the last minute so that the amendment failed by a single vote.
Proving that, for the Republican party, caring for Veterans is not important enough to allow for treating LGBT people as equal. I mean, they may have to allow them to serve but forcing them to treat them like everyone else just isn’t happening.
Did anybody ask what the GOP's "Thoughts and Prayers" were FOR the LGBTQ community?
Because there's a track record.
And it's horrifying.
— Steve Marmel (@Marmel) June 15, 2016
This amendment has been blocked by the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, who has decided to “limit amendments” in order to stop GOP lawmakers from killing any more bills to kill this amendment. It is too bad they prefer hate to compromise. Besides, they sent “thoughts and prayers,” right? Their job is done.
Maloney drew a comparison between responding to the horrific tragedy in Orlando by recognizing and fighting to end discrimination against LGBT people and the response to last year’s horrific racially motivated slaughter targeting black people in a Southern church. Laws were made that acknowledged symbols, like the so-called “Confederate Flag,” and its legacy of racial hate matters and eventually banned the flag from federal buildings — finally.
They also responded by acting and by recognizing that symbols and language matter. Because hate has no place in our flags, in our workplace, or in our country. And it should have no place in federal law.
Equality for the LGBT is still a long way off, a point well illustrated by the Republican nominee’s promise to end marriage equality if elected, especially if the GOP has anything to say on the issue.
Featured image via Laura Cavanaugh/Getty images, altered