Maloney Calls on House GOP to Remove Hateful Anti-Gay Language from NDAA, Keep Everything Else
Washington – Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, introduced a measure on the House Floor today to remove language in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2017 (NDAA) that would overturn basic workplace protections for LGBT Americans. This measure, or Motion to Recommit, comes after Republicans inserted a last minute amendment into the NDAA from Rep. Steve Russell (OK) which would overturn President Obama’s executive order protecting LGBT federal contractors from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Republicans on the House Rules Committee then arbitrarily blocked a bipartisan amendment from the floor that would have struck the amendment.
Rep. Maloney’s remarks and a link to the video.
Here is a copy of the transcript:
“I’ve never voted against a defense bill and I never thought I would. My dad was a veteran, who was nearly killed serving his country. He taught me to respect those who serve and to speak plainly about right and wrong. So, let me speak plainly now - this bill writes anti-gay bias into federal law. It strips LGBT Americans of basic workplace protections by reversing the President’s anti-discrimination orders, saying it is once again legal for your LGBT neighbors and family members to be fired because of who they are. This is wrong.
“This is not about supporting our troops, it’s not about fighting ISIS, it’s not about religious protection – we can do all that and we should – this is about bigotry, plain and simple. But we can fix it, by embracing the bi-partisan effort, denied by the Rules Committee, to remove this hateful language and keep everything else. Mr. Speaker, this is not some procedural vote to be waved away. This is about whether we will reaffirm equal right or rationalize discrimination.
“When my husband and I got married after waiting 22 years, so many of you expressed your support. Will you now look me in the eye and say it would be okay for me to lose my job over it? Just today, a member of this House, refusing to help strike this anti-gay language, said to me, “But, you know where I am on your issues.” I said, “No. This is where you are on my issues. Your vote is where you are on my issues. And it is where your children and where history will remember you are standing on our issues.”
“You have the opportunity here and now to strike this anti-gay language and in doing strike a blow for equality. Mr. Speaker, we’re told we need to ‘Make America Great Again”. But you can’t make America great, by making America hate. I urge my colleagues – strike the hate. Take a stand against discrimination. Vote for this motion to recommit.”
Representative Sean Patrick Maloney is the first openly gay member of Congress from New York. After 22 years together, he married his husband Randy Florke in June 2014 in Cold Spring, NY where they live with their three children.