WATCH: Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney Lead Efforts to Support LGBT Non-Discrimination Protections

Jordan Dashow

Over the last two days, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY) has tirelessly led efforts to support LGBT non-discrimination protections in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Last night, Maloney, who is openly gay, spoke passionately on the House floor while trying to strip an anti-LGBT provision from the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

“This is about whether we will reaffirm equal rights or rationalize discrimination,” he said. “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?”

The provision Maloney opposed would allow sweeping, taxpayer-funded discrimination in all federal contracts and grants across all agencies under the guise of religious liberty and it would jeopardize President Obama’s executive order prohibiting LGBT discrimination in federal contracting. It could also have far-reaching consequences, potentially even undermining existing federal non-discrimination provisions protecting workers against discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity and more.

The night before, the House Rules Committee, an arm of House Republican Leadership, rejected a bipartisan attempt to strip the provision. Unfortunately, Maloney’s amendment was also defeated on a near party-line vote.

This vote, however, did not deter Maloney. Just hours after he spoke against the LGBT provision in NDAA, he introduced an amendment to a separate spending bill to ensure that the funding could not be used to hire contractors who discriminate against LGBT workers. This amendment had broad bipartisan support, initially gaining enough votes to pass including 36 Republicans. However, the Republican House leadership held the vote open long after the time expired and pressured seven Republican members to switch their votes to no, thus defeating the amendment by a single vote.

HRC commends Rep. Maloney’s extraordinary leadership to ensure that federal funds are not used to discriminate.

“This is about whether we will reaffirm equal rights or rationalize discrimination,” he said. “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?”


Add a comment

* Comments must be approved before being displayed.