Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Executive Vice President for External Affairs Winnie Stachelberg issued the following statement today after anti-LGBT members in the U.S. House of Representatives once again chose to block removal of an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, that would gut discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender federal contract workers.
For the third time in as many weeks, anti-LGBT members of Congress have voted to keep discriminatory and harmful language in the National Defense Authorization Act. The NDAA is about making the country safe and should not be a vehicle to target vulnerable communities and rescind existing, vital workplace protections for many LGBT workers across the nation. Despite the forceful and widespread public and business outcry against hateful, anti-LGBT legislation in North Carolina, Mississippi, and Indiana, conservatives have chosen—three times over—to import that hate into the halls of Congress. Taxpayer funds should never subsidize discrimination, and we will continue to work to ensure that when the NDAA finally reaches the president’s desk, it will treat all Americans fairly.
The House of Representatives voted to keep discriminatory language in the NDAA that was added in the House Armed Services Committee by Rep. Steve Russell (R-OK) in late April. The amendment would grant a broad exemption for religiously affiliated federal contractors to discriminate against LGBT workers. Today’s vote on the House floor came less than 24 hours after the House Rules Committee voted down an bipartisan amendment that sought to strip the harmful language.
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