Last week, while the Democrats stood and shouted “Shame! Shame!,” seven Republicans switched their votes under pressure from House leaders and defeated a measure to protect LGBT rights once aging making it quite queer that it isn’t God who hates fags, it’s the GOP.
“They literally snatched discrimination from the jaws of equality.” — Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, New York’s first openly gay congressman
The final vote was 213-212 after the chaos on the House floor, but it was just enough to defeat an amendment by Rep. Maloney, a Democrat of course, aimed at upholding an executive order that bars discrimination against LGBT employees by federal contractors.
Maloney says he tried to reach out to members of the GOP to stop this hate; he approached House Majority Leader, and Republican, Kevin McCarthy, as McCarthy worked on those seven GOP colleagues to get them to change their votes. McCarthy told Maloney to get back on his side of the aisle.
Get back on your side?
“I told him, ‘What side am I supposed to stand on in support of equality?'” — Sean Patrick Maloney
Maloney’s amendment would have prohibited the use of taxpayer dollars to violate President Obama’s executive order barring LGBT discrimination. He was trying to include it in a spending bill following passage of a defense policy bill that included a provision Democrats believed would overturn Obama’s executive order.
Republicans, of course, said their hate was simply a restatement of religious liberties from the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and they bristled at Democratic criticism. And got their panties into a twist when the Democrats finally said what many of us already know: that the GOP is party of hate.
“There are some people who are emotional … that’s beyond the pale. They can say whatever they want to but that’s beyond the pale. This country has a First Amendment that protects religious liberties, and that’s all we were doing is protecting that.” — hate-filled Republican Rep. Bill Flores, of Texas
At a news conference after the vote, House Speaker Paul Ryan denied knowledge about the vote-switching. Funny, he is the party leader but even he doesn’t know what’s going on within his own party? Or maybe he‘s just another hate-filled GOP liar using religion as a weapon against equality because,. You know, that’s how God, er, the GOP rolls.
The original vote for Maloney’s amendment peaked at 217, beyond the majority needed for passage, but then the GOP began working the room and the votes started to shift. Republican leadership members, whose job is to round up needed votes, literally prowled the chamber trying to get Republicans to shift their vote.
And this naturally outraged the Democrats, who began shouting “Shame,” as the GOP worked the room. And, in the end, while 29 Republicans joined 183 Democrats backing the gay rights amendment, but it was not enough.
These seven congressmen and women — Reps. Darrell Issa, Jeff Denham, David Valadao and Mimi Walters of California; Greg Walden of Oregon; Bruce Poliquin of Maine; and David Young of Iowa — who switched sides allowed hate to rule the day.
And this makes it all the more clear why we need to vote blue, for the party who seeks to protect the LGBT community and the party that seeks to deny us equality.