Friday, May 20, 2016

House Republicans Again Confirm Their Anti-LGBT Animus

Republican controlled state legislatures have launched an aggressive anti-LGBT jihad, enacting so-called "religious liberty" laws and bathroom bills aimed at transgender Americans.  Now, the Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have made clear their anti-LGBT animus by blocking an amendment to an appropriations bill that would have protected LGBT individuals from employment discrimination by federal contractors.  The goal: to allow blatant anti-LGBT discrimination. The GOP will seemingly go to any and all lengths to please its Christofascist overlords and make life Hell for LGBT Americans.  Politico looks at the circus that occurred as the Republicans made their animus clear.  Here are excerpts:
The House erupted in chaos Thursday morning with Democrats crying foul after Republicans hastily persuaded a few of their own to switch their votes and narrowly block an amendment intended to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from discrimination.
It was an unruly scene on the floor with Democrats chanting, "Shame!" after GOP leaders barely muscled up the votes to reject, 212-213, an amendment by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.) that would have effectively barred federal contractors from getting government work if they discriminate against the LGBT community.
At one point, a monitor in the House gallery showed there were 217 votes supporting the legislation, eliciting cheers of joy from Democrats who thought the measure might actually pass. But over the course of about 10 minutes, those votes suddenly dropped one by one to 212 — and the amendment failed.
A number of lawmakers from western states, who originally voted yes, changed their votes. According to a list tweeted out an hour after the vote by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s (D-Md.) office, they included: California Reps. Darrell Issa, David Valadao, Jeff Denham, Mimi Walters, and Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, Rep. David Yong of Iowa and Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine.
Republicans are saying privately that if the amendment had passed, it would have killed the appropriations bill because Republicans would no longer vote for it.  "Our veterans and troops were prioritized over a political messaging amendment that could have jeopardized the final passage of the appropriations bill," said Speaker Paul Ryan's spokeswoman AshLee Strong in a statement.
The acrimony undermined a success for Ryan earlier that day regarding his commitment to regular order. Just moments before the LGBT vote, he’d shepherded the first House vote to bar the Confederate flag from flying in mass graves at federal cemeteries.
Almost every Democrat was on his or her feet shouting and eventually they broke out in a chant, pointing their fingers at the other side of the chamber where the Republicans sit: “Shame! Shame! Shame!”

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