Last week, a House floor vote was held in regard to a spending bill introduced by New York Democrat Sean Maloney. The legislation, which would have protected LGBT individuals from discrimination was narrowly defeated by a vote of 213-212, is just another example of House Republicans sabotaging a process that would protect civil rights–something Republicans constantly whine about when it comes to guns and religious freedom.
It wasn’t even that Republicans in the House voted down a bill that would protect LGBT individuals from discrimination when it comes to hiring practices by federally funded programs and companies, but how they went about their business. Originally, Democrats were pleased to know that the bill had enough “yes” votes to pass, only until Republicans extended the time for members to flip-flop and change their minds in order to defeat the bill.
House Democrats promptly chanted “Shame! Shame! Shame!” And for good reason, as well. It is a shame that, in 2016 no less, House Republicans still believe that federally funded military contractors reserve the right to discriminate based on religious freedoms. Are you kidding me?
House Republican Rick Allen, a Georgia freshman, read aloud a Bible verse at a GOP policy meeting essentially condemning homosexuality and calling the rest of his right-wing colleagues sinners for those Republicans that supported Rep. Maloney’s legislation amendment. You read that correctly. The Bible is now being read aloud as the basis for how our government should appropriate its spending. Not the constitution, which you hear Republicans cite regularly. The Bible. The same Christian doctrine with vague language that many religious scholars still use to debate the meaning of the word “abomination.” A U.S. Representative is now using 2,000+year-old text that is contradicted within later texts of the Bible itself.
My tax dollars, and your mom’s tax dollars, and your very own tax dollars go to funding the salary of a House Republican member that very clearly is attempting to override the first amendment of the constitution by passing a law in respect to a very specific religious institution. I won’t bother going into a debate about what exactly the Bible says because it will inevitably lead to some feelings being hurt, but I will say that the Bible has no place in our political process. I went to a Catholic university. I’ve spoken to Catholics who think LGBT individuals are an abomination. But every single one of those Catholics understand that the government reserves no right to discriminate in the fashion that Republicans have.
As a society, we have a necessity to respect all citizens based on a set of very specific principles laid out in the Constitution. Instead of limiting government, as Republicans say they are all for, they have voted down an amendment that would require some extreme bending of words from the Constitution to fit their argument. That’s not limited government. That’s the government hovering over LGBT citizens and telling them that military contractors can discriminate against them, giving power to Christian doctrine instead of the same people who do indeed provide something to this country.
House Republicans have no problem taking the tax dollars of LGBT citizens. They have no problem with denying LGBT citizens a fair and equal playing field when those tax dollars have been appropriated to contractors that those same citizens may want to participate in, and even provide excellent work for. Instead of respecting the individual, our tax dollars are being appropriated in a fashion that allows for unadulterated hatred by the very people who represent the interests of the people.
Republicans enjoy saying that they are the party of “reason.” There is no reason in this action by Republicans and I don’t anticipate them behaving themselves and voting for what is clearly the right thing here.
I have gay and lesbian friends (most people do, whether they know it or not). I think they will all grow up to be very fine individuals. Heck, they already are great people! Does that make me a sinner for asking that they get a fair chance when it comes to how our government appropriates our tax dollars? Of course not.
Get off your high horse, Rick Allen, and read some more recent text that we don’t need to debate how it was translated or in relation to: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; (Amendment I).”