Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019

GOP Excludes Some Women From House Version Of Violence Against Women Act

Members of the House Committee on Rules will convene on Tuesday for a hearing concerning the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which passed with slight bipartisan support in the Senate last week. House Republicans, however, aren’t satisfied with the Senate bill and are planning to introduce their own version of the bill. The House is expected to vote on VAWA as early as Wednesday.

A significant distinction in the House bill is a measure that would exclude extending protections to those in the LGBT community. Both versions of the bill agree verbatim in defining “underserved populations” as “geographic location or religion, underserved racial and ethnic populations, populations underserved because of special needs (such as language barriers, disabilities, alienage status, or age)”—the difference lies in the Senate bill, where “sexual orientation, gender identity” are included in those protected by this law.

If the bill is meant to protect everyone, why intentionally exclude this language from the House bill? The National Memo reached out to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), who is expected to sponsor the bill, for an explanation as to why LGBT women are blatantly excluded from the House bill. There was no response to our request by press time.

According to Huffington Post, a House GOP aide stated, “The House bill protects all people from discrimination. The Senate bill continues to add people to an enumerated list, therefore excluding those categories not on the list and requiring constant updating. The House bill also allows states, through which VAWA grants flow, to determine the best recipients of those funds, based on the victim populations in their areas.” Another attempt by Republicans to make this a state issue.

VAWA was first implemented in 1994, then extended in 2000 and 2005—but up until 2012 it hadn’t faced this level of difficulty in Congress. Republicans have seemed to continuously oppose this bill partially because it aims to provide assistance to same-sex couples, completely disregarding how overwhelmingly beneficial this has been for all women. According to the White House, since the passage of VAWA in 1994, intimate partner violence has decreased 67 percent and homicide of women and males has decreased 35 percent and 46 percent respectively.

In 2012, after passing in the Senate, the bill expired when it failed to pass the House. Last week, the Violence Against Women Act passed in the Senate 78-22 with the support of 23 Republicans—and all opposing votes coming from Republican men.

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) received a letter on February 11th from 17 House Republicans urging the House to reauthorize  VAWA. While promising, these 17 votes won’t give supporters of VAWA in the House the edge to pass the bill. This also doesn’t guarantee that these 17 would be willing to pass the Senate version that includes the LGBT community.

Cantor’s spokeswoman Megan Whittemore said last week, “The House is expected to take up a strong Violence Against Women Act reauthorization next week so we can protect all women from acts of violence and help law enforcement prosecute offenders to the fullest extent of the law.” Another clear contradiction to what the Republicans are actually proposing.

Rhetoric coming from certain Republicans, like Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R-TN) exemplifies just how out of touch most Republican men are on this issue: “Like most men, I’m more opposed to violence against women than even violence against men, because most men can handle it a little better than a lot of women can.” Violence against anyone, regardless of religion, race, special needs, and yes, sexual orientation, is appalling—something that Duncan and a multitude of other Republicans are incapable of comprehending.

Protecting constituents regardless of identity should never fall victim to bipartisan bickering, yet House Republicans have once again made the Violence Against Women Act a contested issue. House Republicans can’t afford to lose any more credibility and support amongst Americans, which is imminent if they don’t support this bill and the entire population it aims to represent—LGBT included.

Photo: Prachatai via Flickr Commons)
  • Share this on Google+0
  • Share this on Linkedin0
  • Share this on Reddit22
  • Print this page
  • 177

18 responses to “GOP Excludes Some Women From House Version Of Violence Against Women Act”

  1. Obviously, the Unrepresentative House considers gay women as less than human.

    • ram1020 says:

      Gay women are still women, so wouldn’t they be covered anyway?

      If the goal is to cover woman on woman violence, why do we limit the protections to women? Why not man on man violence in the gay community, which might be a greater problem?

      I think that if someone were interested in re-authorizing the bill, they wouldn’t be looking at add-ons that cloud issues.

  2. nobsartist says:

    I propose a simple cure for republiCON stupidity.


  3. Lovefacts says:

    And Republicans wonder why most women won’t vote for them. Republicans my think they’ll win the down ballot races in 2014, but guess again. Women will be out in droves. We won’t forget or forgive this treatment.

    • Jim Myers says:

      Replying to Lovefacts –

      I certainly hope you are right. Women comprise a little more that 50% of the public.

      To disenfranchise that many VOTERS is the definition of insanity.

    • nobsartist says:

      the republiCONs have proven that you can upset many, yet they will still vote republiCON.

      If women are going to be upset by republiCON dogma so much, why are so many still catholics?

      Like kerry said, we have a right to be stupid in America.

  4. I bet every sexual predator in the country is cheering for the GOP right now. Think about it, the only thing they will have to do is ask a woman whether or not she is a lesbian and, if she is, they are fair game. Are Republicans so arrogant or ignorant that they don’t understand the damage they are doing to their party? Or is it that they are so dependent on their donors that they have no choice but to follow their dictum?

  5. Lynda says:

    Apparently not all women are created equal…at least in the bazarro world of the GOP. Does this mean that it is OK to attack women in comfortable shoes? Pure insanity from the party of NO.

  6. elw says:

    Another insane decision by the Republicans, I think they are brain dead.

  7. MassCentral420 says:

    “when men are violated they don’t have the chance of a forced and unwanted pregnancy,”

    Wanna bet,, look at how many men are forced to pay for forced unwanted pregnancy’s,,,

    But hey,,, we have to protect the womans right!

  8. Pamby50 says:

    The GOP is so anti-woman. They don’t support the VAWA. They support vaginal probes against a woman’s right. Then they want the woman to pay for it. They are pro-life in all circumstances. So much so that one state is writing a law that says the unwanted pregnancy is proof of the rape. Therefore, she can’t have an abortion. This is the same state that gives the rapist parental rights. Why any woman would vote for a republican is beyond belief.

    • wesley rasmussen says:

      Not pro-life. Pro PREGNANCY. As soon as a baby is born, the benefits disappear, as well as any concern for that child’s well being. After all, if it was born because of them, it will most likely grow up to be a Democrat anyhow.

  9. Brian says:

    Perhaps Lesbian women should take a page out of the Steig Larsson’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tatoo”. Abduct these Republican reprobates, shove brooms up their asses and tatoo their chests with approriate slogans.

  10. wesley rasmussen says:

    Here’s a solution. Just state that the bill protects people who are either genetically female, or those who, in a domestic relationship, assume the role traditionally performed by a female as defined above. That would cover everyone, no matter the other conditions.
    Of course, that is a common sense solution, so the Republicans in the House would NEVER go for it! Something about their rectal Bibles, I think…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.