Gay Rights Under Fire In Defense Authorization Bill–And Why We Need Democrats Elected To Congress
There is a heated battle taking place in the U.S. Senate which has not had top of the news coverage–but is important for two reasons.
First the matter itself deals with not reversing course on gay rights Secondly this story is important to show why this nation must elect a Democratic majority in the senate in the upcoming elections.
Senate Democrats have let it be known that there is a line they will not cross when it comes to the negotiations over a defense authorization bill. Simply put they are not going to allow for a provision that Republicans want which would allow for discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. At issue is a amendment from the House which would expand protections and exemptions to “any religious corporation, religious association, religious educational institution, or religious society” that receives a federal contract.
That is most troubling and the amendment must be deleted.
By allowing for the amendment means President Barack Obama’s executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals would be up-ended. To make sure this was not about to occur forty-two Senate Democrats signed onto a letter to leaders of the Armed Services committees in both chambers with strong opposition.
The provision would allow federal contractors who are religiously affiliated to inquire about employees and potential employees’ religion, and discriminate based on their religion. It would also allow contractors to hire and fire employees (particularly women) based on their reproductive health decisions. And let it be clearly stated and understood that this amendment would also apply to any federal agency and not just to the Defense Department.
It must be crushed and smothered now.