WASHINGTON, D.C., January 8, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – In another demonstration of the new majority’s priorities, Democrats passed new rules barring “discrimination” against “LGBT” staffers in the U.S. House of Representatives almost immediately after taking office.
Proposed by Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus head Rep. David Cicilline, D-RI, the measure was part of a rules package passed on the first day of the new legislative session, the homosexual site PinkNews reports. The vote fell along party lines, 234 to 197.
“The new requirements closely mirror employment protections that Cicilline has introduced as part of the Equality Act,” a statement from the openly homosexual congressman’s office elaborates, “his bipartisan, comprehensive bill to extend anti-discrimination protections to all LGBT Americans.” The so-called Equality Act would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to add “sex,” “sexual orientation,” and “gender identity” to “non-discrimination” categories in “public accommodations,” and forbid employers from “discriminating” based on “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.”
“Government at its best works for the benefit of all Americans, not just the powerful and privileged,” Cicilline declared. “Protecting the rights of LGBT employees is just the right thing to do. After years of Republican mismanagement, Democrats are going to get Congress working again.”
“This historic addition to the House rules will provide crucial job security for LGBTQ staff in the House of Representatives,” the LGBT Congressional Staff Association said in a statement, as well as send a “powerful message about the importance of diversity within the institution we serve.”
The vote partially delivers on promises House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made to LGBT activists both before and after the midterm elections. In October, she said there may be some “collateral damage for some others who do not share our view” as Democrats pursued an agenda she partly described as “respecting the dignity and worth of every person in our country.”
A month later, the victorious Pelosi announced her party would move to establish an “independent diversity office” tasked with ensuring the House employs a “diverse workforce with qualified candidates that is reflective of our Members and the districts they represent.” Her office has also called passage of the full Equality Act a “top priority” that will be introduced “early” in 2019.
House Democrats also used their newfound power to make an early overture to abortion supporters, offering legislation to fully reopen the federal government while at the same time repealing the Mexico City Policy – now called Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance – that bans foreign aid to abortion groups and restoring funding to the pro-abortion United Nations Population Fund.
The House of Representatives voted last week to pass the proposal, but the Trump administration and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made clear they wouldn’t consider it. The Trump administration’s statement specifically highlighted the abortion provisions among its objections.
The president and Senate have no say over internal House rules, and pro-lifers are largely resigned to two more years without direct legislation to defund Planned Parenthood or otherwise restrict abortion. They remain hopeful, however, that the president will keep pursuing incremental steps for life via executive action, and that Republicans’ expanded Senate majority can confirm more judges with clear pro-life credentials.