It’s been three days since America’s deadliest mass shooting in modern history and things are going back to normal. That’s not to say that the country’s done grieving, or that the LGBT+ community isn’t continuing to push conversation on the violence that results from hate and homophobia. But Republican leaders? The same people who sent messages of hope in the immediate aftermath of the national nightmare? They just blocked the vote on a bill that would prevent gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals from being discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity when it comes to federal contractors
The amendment, The Hill reports, was proposed by Sean Patrick Maloney, an openly gay congressman. If passed, it would enforce an executive order prohibiting discrimination against the LGBT community. Unfortunately, The House Rules Committee prevented the amendment from coming to a vote on Tuesday night.
From The Hill:
Maloney argued that allowing a vote to prohibit discrimination in the workplace after the targeted attack on the gay nightclub would send a message of solidarity with the LGBT community.
“It’s hard to imagine that any act that is so horrific could lead to anything positive. But if we were going to do anything, it would be a very positive step to say that discrimination has no place in our law and to reaffirm the president’s actions in this area,” Maloney told The Hill. “Seems to me a pretty basic thing to do.”
According to Vanity Fair, the amendment is currently attached to a Department of Defense spending bill. Before that, it was attached to spending bills for both the Department of Veterans Affairs as well as the Department of Energy. Unsurprisingly, both those bills failed to pass in large part to Republican opposition to the amendment that Maloney is proposing. The Department of Defense bill was slated for a vote this week. However, Vanity Fair reports, Paul Ryan has now limited “amendments to appropriations bills,” and that’s reportedly due to the opposition to Maloney’s proposal.
While this news is depressing, it’s also another rallying cry for members of the LGBT+ community to come together and galvanize into action. No part of the fight for equality has been easy, and it’s now more important than ever that protections for people who identify as gay and lesbian, as well as those who are transgender, are put into place.