Sh*t Gets Ugly On House Floor As Republicans Kill LGBT Protections Bill

Congressional Democrats starting booing and shouting "Shame! Shame! Shame!"

Congressional Republicans complete refusal to grant basic respect to LGBT Americans was on full display today, as legislators battled over a bill that would allow military contractors to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

On Wednesday, the House passed the National Defense Authorization Act, with Republicans slipping in a provision allowing contractors to LGBT fire employees on religious grounds.

Sean Patrick Maloney

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York authored an amendment today that would nullify that “religious freedom” clause—and actually had the votes to get his measure passed. More than two dozen Republicans crossed the aisle to support Maloney, giving his measure a vote of 217 for and 206 against.

State of the Union Address
Bill O'Leary/Washington Post

But the GOP wasn’t going to let decency and fairness win the day: House Republicans rallied the troops—letting the clock run long as they persuaded enough of their members to switch sides and get Maloney’s amendment killed by a razor-thin margin of of 212-213.

Some Republicans actually cheered after the tally was called—leading Democrats to boo and chant “Shame! Shame! Shame!”

Dan Avery is a writer-editor who focuses on culture, breaking news and LGBT rights. His work has appeared in Newsweek, The New York Times, Time Out New York, The Advocate and elsewhere.