Virginia Republican Introduces Bill Attacking LGBT Families

On Thursday, Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) introduced H.R. 635, the “Parental Title Protection Act,” which would require all federal agencies and contractors to use the words “mother” and “father” when describing parents on all official documents and forms. This bill is a direct attack on actions by the State Department, which we told you about last month, to make passport forms inclusive of all families by adding “parent 1” and “parent 2” alongside “mother” and “father.” In a press release, Forbes argues that “symbolism is important” and that his legislation is necessary to prevent even “subtle” changes that “undermine the traditional American family relationships that have served as the bedrock of our nation since its inception.”   

Forbes’ bill ignores the reality of millions of children being raised by same-sex couples in this country.  Those children deserve the same recognition and protection from the federal government that other American families enjoy.  Rep. Forbes is right that symbolism is important – his bill is emblematic of a brand of Republicans callously willing, time after time, to attack LGBT people and their children in order to score cheap political points.

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  David Taffet

Wash. State Senate Introduces Marriage Bill

WASHINGTON STATE CAPITOL BUILDING x390 (.gov) | Advocate.comLawmakers in Olympia, Wash., introduced a marriage equality bill in the
state senate Monday — Valentine’s Day — and a companion bill is set
to be introduced in the state house Tuesday. Daily News

—  David Taffet

Congressman Introduces Bill Against Gay Families

CongressmanRandyForbesx390 (US House) | Advocate.comA House Republican from Virginia has introduced a bill that would require federal agencies and contractors to describe parents as “mother” and “father” on official documents. Daily News

—  David Taffet

GOP Rep. Duncan ‘Not the YMCA’ Hunter introduces bill to thwart DADT repeal

Last December, during the debate on DADT repeal, Rep. Duncan Hunter was one of the GOPers who led the effort to defeat the legislation. You may remember him as the guy who said the military was “not the YMCA.” Yeah, him.

You’ll also recall that in the House, the bill passed by a very wide margin: 250 – 175. That was a 35-vote pick up from the first DADT vote in May of 2010 and included 15 House GOPers. But, Hunter isn’t finished. He’s going to introduce what SLDN’s Aubrey Sarvis called the “killer amendment,” which would add the service chiefs to the certification process. Mitch McConnell tried the same thing in December, on the after the Senate passed the repeal bill. Of course, it’s too late now. But, that’s not stopping Duncan Hunter. He’s obsessed.

Yep, the GOP’s political gay-bashing begins:

A member of the House Armed Services Committee plans to introduce legislation next week designed to put the brakes on repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay troops.

The measure by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) would add the four military service chiefs to the list of those who must sign off on repealing the policy before it can be officially scrapped.

Hunter, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, is concerned that the bill passed in December repealing the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy “excluded the service chiefs from the certification process,” said one congressional aide.

So, this is what the GOP House is going to spend its time doing? Proposing legislation to thwart DADT repeal? After all, only around 80% of the American people support DADT repeal, including some very prominent Republicans. These days, this issue is only controversial for homophobes.

If this is any indication (and it probably is), sure looks like the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud are going to have their hands full with their fellow GOPers.


—  admin

Sen Kirsten Gillibrand introduces the standalone bill to repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

About an hour ago, as Sen Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wrapped up his heroic 8-hour speech about the GOP-Obama tax proposal, Sen Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced S. 4022, “A bill to provide for the repeal of the Department of Defense policy concerning homosexuality in the Armed Forces known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.”  

The bill’s sponsor is Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), with co-sponsors Susan Collins (R-ME), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Mark Udall (D-CO).  Official text and other bill information is here.  

Although the bill is thought to have enough support to pass, there are two major hurdles to success.  First, it is uncertain whether enough cloture votes can be found to override a filibuster challenge.  Second, there is little time to act on this bill before the Congress adjourns for the year.  Although Sen. Reid has promised to expedite the bill by using “Rule 14” to prevent it from dying in committee, he has also vowed to adjourn the Senate for the year on Friday, December 17th.  The Senate is now in recess until Monday.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Congresswoman Baldwin Introduces LGBT Health Data Collection Bill

Yesterday, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) introduced the Health Data Collection Improvement Act, a bill that would require the Secretary of Health and Human Services to ensure that federal health surveys collect voluntary data on sexual orientation and gender identity.  Such data is critical to understanding the unique health needs of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and ensuring that federal health programs and dollars are targeted to address them.  We already know that LGBT people experience significant health disparities – both due to health conditions that disproportionately affect our community and the widespread discrimination that continues to limit our access to quality healthcare.  The Center for American Progress detailed these disparities, and the need for health data to understand and combat them, in this 2009 report.

The bill is on the agenda for a broader hearing on public health legislation before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. HRC submitted a statement [pdf] on the Health Data Collection Improvement Act for inclusion in the record for the hearing.

Alongside Congresswoman Baldwin, the National Coalition for LGBT Health and other allies, HRC strongly supported the inclusion of LGBT data collection language in health reform legislation, but it was ultimately not included as part of the final bill signed by President Obama.  We applaud Congresswoman Baldwin for her continued leadership on this issue, working to ensure that the health needs of LGBT people are part of the federal government’s broad commitment to a healthier America.

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

House GOP homophobe caucus introduces resolution condemning Prop. 8 decision

On Sunday, during the “Face the Nation,” while Tony Perkins was getting annihilated by David Boies, the right-winger did manage to eek out that there would be a resolution introduced in the House condemning the Prop. 8 decision. And, there was.

Yes, even as public opinion continues to move in the direction of support for marriage equality, House GOPers were on their usual homophobic warpath.

Chris Johnson has the details on H.Res 1607:

The introduction of the non-binding measure is one of the most prominent moves against the ruling from Republicans, whose response has largely been muted, or in some cases supportive of the decision.

Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is sponsoring the resolution, H. Res. 1607. The measure is pending before the House Judiciary Committee.

The resolution offers findings faulting U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision for engaging in improper conduct during his consideration of the case. It says Walker “failed to conduct himself in an impartial manner” and “attempted to illegally broadcast the trial in disregard of the harassment such broadcast would invite on witnesses supporting Proposition 8.”

This thing won’t go anywhere. But, it does expose the caucus of the true, unwavering homophobes in the U.S. House. Here’s the full list of co-sponsors. It’s really a conglomeration of some of the worst of the worst right-wingers in the House:

Aderholt [AL-4], Akin [MO-2], Bachmann [MN-6], Bachus [AL-6], Chaffetz [UT-3], Fleming [LA-4], Franks [AZ-2], Gingrey [GA-11], Hoekstra [MI-2], Jones [NC-3], Jordan [OH-4], King [IA-5], Lamborn [CO-5], Latta [OH-5], Marchant[TX-24], Pitts [PA-16], Sensenbrenner [WI-5]

If the Republicans take control of the House in November, Rep. Lamar Smith will be the chair of the Judiciary Committee. That’s one very good reason why we need to help our friends and allies in the House win in November.

And, does anyone actually think (besides all the gay staffers working for the Homophobe caucus) that this crowd really likes and cares for “gay people”? That’s what Rep. Smith said:

“Those who support traditional marriage recognize that gay people can be loyal friends, dedicated community leaders, and beloved sons and daughters,” he said.

“And those with religious objections to same-sex marriage distinguish between the conduct, which they consider inappropriate, and the person, whom they may cherish and appreciate.”

I don’t want to be cherished and appreciated by people who think I’m not their equal. And, I sure don’t want people like that running the U.S. House.

If marriages do actually start taking place in California after the stay finally is lifted on August 18th, these members will have whipped themselves into a homophobic frenzy by the time Congress returns in September.


—  John Wright