Monday, February 02, 2015

The Democrats Introduce LGBT Rights Bill In Both Houses

It was just a couple of weeks ago that President Obama once again made history in regards to the LGBT community when he became the first president to mention us, all of us, in a State Of The Union address:
As Americans, we respect human dignity, even when we’re threatened, which is why I’ve prohibited torture, and worked to make sure our use of new technology like drones is properly constrained," the President told Congress. "It’s why we speak out against the deplorable anti-Semitism that has resurfaced in certain parts of the world.  It’s why we continue to reject offensive stereotypes of Muslims – the vast majority of whom share our commitment to peace.  That’s why we defend free speech, and advocate for political prisoners, and condemn the persecution of women, or religious minorities, or people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.  We do these things not only because they’re right, but because they make us safer."
And after this morning’s award of the ISBL Asshat of the Week to Congressman Chris Smith, who said LGBT rights are not human rights, it’s fitting that legislators in both houses of Congress have reintroduced the Human Rights Defense Act, bill that was filed during the last congressional session, but never came to the floor for a vote.

Two Democrats—Congressman Alan Lowenthal [center above], of California, and Senator Ed Markey [right above], of Massachusetts—reintroduced the Human Rights Defense Act in their respective houses of congress. 

The Human Rights Defense Act would allow the State Department to react to discrimination and violence toward LGBT communities around the world. It would immediately create a special envoy within the State Department to respond to reports of violence toward LGBT communities globally, and would require the State Department to create a LGBT section in their annual country by country report on human rights. The bill also calls for congress to adopt a global strategy to address discrimination against the LGBT community.

While a bill proclaiming the universal rights of gay people might seem a hard sell to the Republicans in charge of both houses — especially since one of their own so easily dubs us as not ‘human’ and some, running for President, maybe, are very vocally anti-LGBT —  the Democrats have one incentive this year that they didn't have last summer. If congress does not act, most of the provisions in the Human Rights Defense Act are things President Obama could do on his own with an executive order.

Because he stands by us, and for us, and with us, as do most in the Democratic party, and I don’t see many, or any, Republicans willing to do the same.
via NCRM


anne marie in philly said...

these bills will get shoved into a closet quickly. unfortunately. :(

the dogs' mother said...

Maybe a miracle will occur!

Helen Lashbrook said...

You'll be a lot of envoys to visit little Vlad Putin to wonder why he is attacking those of his own ilk without coming out of the closet his own self.

Ron said...

Two steps forward, one step back.

Biki Honko said...

While this is a great bill, shouldn't we clean up our house first? Like, oh I don't know passing ENDA? Stomping on city and states who pass bills allowing LGBT discrimination?

Biki Honko said...
This comment has been removed by the author.