Update: The House has failed to pass the energy and water spending bill on Thursday that included the Maloney LGBT amendment, marking the second time in two weeks it was defeated.
Last Thursday, House Democrats vocally shamed Republicans for defeating an LGBT bill that would prevent employers from discriminating against homosexuals, according to the bill’s author Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY), who is gay. Seven Republicans were leaning toward voting for the legislation but suddenly changed their minds, resulting in the bill being defeated by just one vote.
Yet, on Wednesday, Maloney tried a new strategy by tacking the bill onto the Energy and Water Appropriations Act. It worked. The bill passed 223-195.
House Speaker Paul Ryan insists the chaos that ensued last week was due to the confusion about the bill’s content.
“A bunch of members were misled as to what [last week's] amendment was or was not, what it was about," Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., said Wednesday. "A lot of people thought it was about bathrooms and guidance letters. And then the bill managers and the floor managers very legitimately thought it was going to take down the bill funding veterans in the military.”
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins was frustrated with the bill’s passage, insisting in a new statement that it is just a “vehicle to elevate gender identity over faith–based hiring protections.”
"Congress should not allow the government to punish faith-based contractors, like the Salvation Army, that work and hire in accordance with their First Amendment freedoms. By itself, the administration could use Maloney's elevation of sexual orientation and gender identity for government contractors to gut long held religious freedom protections. This in turn, would strip faith-based contractors of contracts and result in job cuts and loss of services to those in need."
FRC was, however, encouraged by an amendment authored by Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), which also passed on Wednesday. Bryne’s measure would help ensure Maloney’s amendment doesn’t violate the Religious Freedom Protection Act.
“The passage of Rep. Bradley Byrne's amendment is essential to continue to safeguard religious liberty protections for contractors,” Perkins said.
Family groups have had a lot to complain about lately. Earlier this month, the Obama administration enforced a bathroom mandate, which requires public schools to enforce transgender bathroom laws. Parents across the country pushed back against the ordinance they say would endanger their children's safety.
Is Washington listening?