Republican Committee Chairman Also Denies Pulse Was A Gay Nightclub
Powerful GOP House Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions late on Tuesday blocked a bill that would have codified into law President Barack Obama's 2014 executive orders banning discrimination against LGBT workers by federal contractors. Those protections affect about 20 percent of the nation's workforce.
On Sunday, almost without exception, every other Republican Congressman and Senator who even acknowledged Sunday's terror attack that targeted the LGBT community, Rep. Sessions sent a generic tweet offering his "thoughts and prayers," without mentioning that the victims were LGBT.
My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Orlando and everyone who was impacted by last night's senseless attack.â€” Pete Sessions (@PeteSessions) June 12, 2016
He made a similar statement on his Facebook page.
Rep. Sessions, a Republican of Texas, earlier Tuesday came under fire for insisting that Pulse, the site of the nation's worst terror attack since 9/11, a horrific anti-LGBT hate crime, and our nation's deadliest mass shooting, was somehow not a gay nightclub.
"It was a young person's nightclub, I'm told. And there were some [LGBT ppl] there, but it was mostly Latinos," Sessions told a reporter for the National Journal, as The Hill reported, somehow implying perhaps that Latinos can't be LGBT.
This is the third time Republican House leadership has stopped the LGBT protections bill, whose lead sponsor, Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, happens to be gay.
The first time, the bill passed when the clock ran out, but House Leadership colluded by personally speaking with several House Republicans, convincing seven of them to change their "yea" vote to "nay," while holding open the clock. The bill ultimately failed. They also bypassed House decorum, which would have forced those changing their votes to walk up to the clerk to majke the change, but House GOP Leadership allowed them to do it electronically from their seats in an attempt to hide their names.
Democrats were so incensed they yelled, "Shame! Shame! Shame!" as the votes were changed. They vowed to defeat those who changed their votes in November.
The second time, the bill passed, but it was attached as an amendment to another bill, which failed in part because Democrats voted against it after House Republicans attached a sweeping anti-LGBT amendment.
Rep. Sessions is one of the most anti-LGBT and most conservative members of Congress.
He has repeatedly voted for a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, voted to ban gay adoptions, voted against reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which included LGBT protections, voted against prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation, voted to "protect" anti-same-sex marriage opinions as free speech, and voted to make a state's definition of marriage supersede federal law on same-sex marriage.
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