Earlier this week, a Democratic congressman from New York offered an amendment to a federal spending bill, which mandated that nothing in the spending bill could undermine President Obama’s executive order that barred government contracts from discriminating against LGBT. The pro-LGBT amendment was approved by the House by a vote of 223-195; interestingly enough, 43 Republicans supported the amendment. Unfortunately, the underlying spending bill was ultimately defeated and therefore the provision is not advancing at this time.
Following the vote, one republican congressman – Rep. Rick Allen, from Georgia – had a message for his republican colleagues who supported the LGBT provision. At the weekly policy meeting for Republican congressmen, Rep. Allen read a passage from the Bible that condemned homosexuality, and then suggested that those Republicans who supported the pro-LGBT amendment had sinned by defying Christian values.
In response to Allen’s remarks, several Republicans reportedly left the policy meeting in disgust. One Republican was quoted as saying: “It was f—ing ridiculous,” and a Republican leadership aide agreed with this assessment, explaining that: “A lot of members were clearly uncomfortable and upset…”
Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House also weighed in: “House Republicans’ thirst to discriminate against the LGBT community is so strong that they are willing to vote down their own appropriations bill in order to prevent progress over bigotry….”
Kudos to the 43 Republicans who stood up for what is right, even when the rest of their party continues to kotow to the religious right.