The same Republican congressman who denies that Pulse nightclub is a gay nightclub, just denied anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people working for the federal government.
Texas Republican Pete Sessions used that logic and the idea that Pulse was “mostly Latinos” to demean the victims of the Orlando Shooting and deny workplace fairness to living people who are LGBT orientation. It’s pretty typical for Republicans to bemoan the loss of innocent LGBT life if they can score a few political points, or claim that they’re responding by redecorating their website to show LGBT solidarity to CNN, but don’t actually do even that light form of window dressing.
Some Republican elected officials, like Florida’s corporate felon Governor cannot even say, or refuse to utter the words “Gay or LGBT.” But this episode shows, Republicans – especially the ones in Congress – will move even faster to kill legislation in Congress that might help actually help millions of Americans who face discrimination for their sexual orientation or gender identity. Last night, the House of Representatives Republican led Rules Committee led by Sessions refused to even allow a vote on an amendment to a key spending bill which would very likely become law, intended to codify into law a 2014 Executive Order by President Obama which prohibits federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT people, and is in effect unless another president overturns it.
Asked Rules Chair Sessions if Orlando shooting changes calculation on LGBT Maloney amdmt. He argued Pulse was not a gay club.
— Daniel Newhauser (@dnewhauser) June 14, 2016
The anti-discrimination legislation had rare bipartisan support in the typically divided lower house of congress, sponsored by New York Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney and co-sponsored by Florida Republican Ileana Ros-Lehitnen whose son Rodrigo was born as a girl named Amanda. Rep. Ros-Lehitnen chairs the influential foreign affairs committee and recorded a pair of anti-discrimination messages with Rodrigo just last month entitled “Family is everything,” with the Republican congresswoman saying:
“Every transgender person is part of someone’s family and should be treated with compassion and protected from discrimination. Family is about acceptance and love.”
Sadly, the Republican congressional leadership is all too happy try and hold ceremonial moments of silence for the mostly LGBT victims of the Orlando Shooting, but Democrats in congress are furious over the continuous inaction of those purported “leaders.” Unless there’s a Democratic majority one day in the House of Representatives, we have nothing but LGBT workplace discrimination and crocodile tears to look forward to from the disingenuous Republicans like Paul Ryan who run our lower house of congress.
When will they finally do something to help the living, rather than mourn the dead?
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and an unpaid senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition.