The GOP Will Mark The One-Month Anniversary of the Pulse Night Club Massacre with a Hearing to Legalize More Anti-LGBT Discrimination

Jim Burroway

July 12th, 2016

I kid you not:

Tuesday’s congressional hearing on a federal “religious freedom” bill that would enable anti-LGBT discrimination is “disturbing,” a White House spokesperson said Monday.

Jeff Tiller, a White House spokesperson, made the remarks in response to an email request from the Washington Blade to comment on the House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform’s controversial hearing on the First Amendment Defense Act.

“We strongly oppose attempts to roll back non-discrimination protections for LGBT Americans,” Tiller said. “It’s disturbing that congressional Republicans plan to hold a hearing tomorrow on discriminatory, anti-LGBT legislation. President Obama remains firmly committed to promoting and defending the equal rights of all Americans, including the rights of LGBT Americans.”

A coalition of 70 groups has called on Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) to cancel the hearing, which is set to take place on the one-month anniversary of the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., claiming the lives of 49 people and wounding 53 others.

The so-called “First Amendment Defense Act” will allow businesses and individuals to circumvent federal protections against anti-LGBT discrimination and allow businesses to withhold marriage benefits from same-sex couples for religious reasons. The bill was introduced by Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID) House and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in the Senate.

Witnesses set to testify for the bill include Kelvin Cochran, a former Atlanta fire chief who was fired for distributing a book he wrote, titled Who Told You That You Were Naked?,  to his subordinates (including, presumably, LGBT subordinates in the department) which purportedly presented “the Biblical view” of homosexuality, adultery and other sexual topics. Other witnesses include a representative from the anti-gay Alliance Defending Freedom and a political science professor from the Witherspoon Institute.

Those set to testify against the bill include former Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA); Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit which overturned state bans on same-sex marriage nationwide, and a law professor from the Columbia University’s Center for Gender and Sexuality Law.


July 12th, 2016

You mean the Witch-Hunt Committee actually called witnesses to testify against the bill? What’s the world coming to?

I’m not going to make any predictions except that if it does make it through Congress, the president will veto it, there aren’t enough votes to override, so it will eventually reappear as an amendment to a military appropriations bill.


July 12th, 2016

GOP version of Nuremberg Laws.

robert gump

July 12th, 2016

…and some LGBT individuals continue to verbalize support and, indeed, vote republican…please, spare me the rationalizations; these pols will KILL you if they get the opportunity – they were certainly willing (with glee) to let you DIE when HIV/AIDS appeared on the scene.

Priya Lynn

July 12th, 2016

Right Robert. Shortly before and after the marriage equality decision it appeared that Republicans were backing off from their anti-gay positions but its now apparent that Republicans are just as viciously anti-gay as they’ve ever been.


July 13th, 2016

Priya: the “religious” right still has them in a choke hold, and they won’t quit. They’re going to keep trying to kill marriage equality the same say they keep trying to kill reproductive rights, chipping away bit by bit until it’s gone.

These are the people who don’t consider themselves bound my “man’s law” (i.e., the Constitution). They’re blind to the fact that most of the country does not support them because it doesn’t matter: they’re doing God’s work.

My hope is they finally destroy the Republican Party so the party can remake itself without them. Won’t be the first time something like this has happened, and I’m sure it won’t be the last: the religious right is like bedbugs, and they’ve been with us from the beginning.

Mark F.

July 13th, 2016

I might favor this change if they also include a platform plank favoring allowing people to be discriminated against because of their religion. After all, I do have a strong moral objection to anti-gay Christians. Fair is fair. When pigs fly, you say?

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