The floor of the U.S. House erupted into cries of incredulity and shouts of ‘shame!’ Thursday, as a plan to dissuade federal contractors from discriminating against against LGBT employees was defeated by a single GOP vote. The final vote was 213-212–defeating an amendment by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), aimed at sustaining an executive order by President Barack Obama.
Members of Connecticut’s house delegation–U.S. Representatives John B. Larson (CT-01), Joe Courtney (CT-02), Rosa DeLauro (CT-03), Jim Himes (CT-04), and Elizabeth Esty (CT-05)–released the following statement,
Today’s abuse of power by House Republican leaders is beyond shameful. Today, we witnessed them circumvent debate, hold open a vote far beyond its allotted time to force Members to switch sides, and cast votes without coming to the front of the House Floor. House Republicans broke Speaker Ryan’s own rules so that discrimination against LGBT Americans could prevail. This is not how Congress should work and the American people deserve better.
The House of Representatives is meant to represent every American, but today this body cast a vote attacking some of our citizens for nothing more than whom they love or who they are. Discrimination has no place in our nation, and generations of Americans have fought against it. We are better than the most extreme elements of the Republican Party that strong-armed its Members into denying LGBT Americans some of their most basic rights.”
We stand with LGBT Americans today and every day. The vote cast in the House of Representatives is a step backward in the fight for equality and we will strive to correct this injustice. To the LGBT community in Connecticut and across the country, we stand with you.