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House GOP to strip protections for gays in its version of anti-violence act

Saturday, February 23, 2013

WASHINGTON — The House and Senate appeared headed for another partisan battle as the House prepared to take up its version of the once-noncontroversial Violence Against Women Act.

The Republican-crafted House bill to renew the popular 1994 act, which expired in 2011, was introduced Friday to instant criticism from Senate Democrats, who said it fell short in fulfilling the law’s mission of protecting women from domestic violence.

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., defended the bill, saying Cantor was committed to reauthorizing the law and had worked hard to build consensus between the two parties and with advocacy groups.

The Senate last week passed its version of what is called VAWA on a bipartisan 78-22 vote, and Senate supporters, joined by House Democrats, have been urging House GOP leaders to model their legislation after the Senate bill.

The House bill, headed for a vote next week, does move toward the Senate on the issue of giving tribal authorities the power to prosecute non-Indians in domestic violence cases but drew fire on other points.

The House proposal, said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a chief sponsor of the Senate bill, “will not provide critical protections for rape victims, domestic violence victims, human trafficking victims, students on campuses or stalking victims.”

Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), said it stripped protections in the Senate bill for the lesbian and gay community and “drastically reduces protections for women on tribal lands.”

The failure of the two chambers to find common ground on the measure last year, when the House resisted Senate provisions to make clear that lesbians and gays, immigrants and Native Americans have access to VAWA programs, became an election issue, with Democrats asserting that they were the party that best represented the interests of women.

Cantor has been at the head of GOP efforts to come up with a House alternative to the Senate bill and has promised legislation that will ensure that the law’s role in protecting women is continued.

Supporters of the House approach say it strengthens protections by increasing accountability in VAWA programs and guaranteeing that sexual assault resources are distributed equitably.

The law has been a cornerstone in federal efforts to reduce acts of violence against women and prosecute offenders and is credited for making Americans more aware of the domestic violence issue. It provides federal grants for programs such as transitional housing, law enforcement training, legal assistance, anti-violence hotlines and improving campus safety.

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45 more reader comments:

  1. like this

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 10:45am
  2. And the House is controlled by the GOP

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 10:46am
  3. Who is “liking” this?

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 10:47am
  4. Sickening US House!

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 10:48am
  5. What a surprise!

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 10:49am
  6. how heterosupremacist of those gay bashing House Republicans

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 10:49am
  7. Well ill just say it Our Nation is Controlled by the Illuminati and Obama is Pretty much comparable to Hitler :)

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 10:50am
  8. The House is of course run by the INTOLERANT, BIGOTED, LYING, HATEFUL HOMOPHOBIC “REPUBLICAN” party, controlled by people who want rights ONLY for parts of the population, the parts THEY DECIDE DESERVE RIGHTS!! ….And these LYING BIGOTS actually get elected??!! WHO VOTES FOR THESE BIGOTS??!!??!!??!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 10:52am
  9. Why are these elected officials called “representatives” when majority of US supports protection of gays? Should be called “reprehensibles.”

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 10:52am
  10. Sickening but not surprising.

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 10:58am
  11. Comparable to Hitler? How could you say such an ignorant thing. We are not building death camps. We are not putting people in gas chambers to murder them. What an insult to the Jewish Community. If you wish to compare anything to the Holocaust I suggest you read about it so you know what you are speaking of.

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 10:59am
  12. @ Jeff..other intolerant, bigoted, lying, hateful homophobic republicans vote them in. I do believe however the American people are waking up to this and now the only way the republican believe they can win is by cheating state by state.

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:02am
  13. Fucking Republicans… they are worthless when it comes to any sort of human rights or equality. If you are not a straight white male, and in love with Jebus, there’s no room for you in the GOP.

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:03am
  14. and Trevor, you are a tinfoil hat wearing dumbass… STFU

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:04am
  15. Republicans are nothing but trash

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:07am
  16. tha fuck…

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:10am
  17. GOP House attempting a “divide and conquer strategy” here to get various factions to turn against one another

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:13am
  18. WTF?

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:19am
  19. Yeah, cause only straight people beat up their spouses!

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 11:24am
  20. The GOP in action: oppress minorities & women.

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 12:53pm
  21. won’t pass!

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 12:54pm
  22. GOP Congress are all clones, since obviously none of them have mothers, daughters, or sisters.

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 1:41pm
  23. two steps forwerd 3 steeps back

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 1:42pm
  24. I bet it was this part of the bill that those 22 senators voted against the bill for. wtf is wrong with this country?

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 1:58pm
  25. un me gusta almi pagina soy LGBT

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 4:02pm
  26. ASSHOLES!!!

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 4:05pm
  27. It is about time.

    Posted on Saturday, February 23, 2013 at 5:07pm
  28. Not cool…..

    Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 1:35am
  29. Isn’t violence against gays already illegal?

    Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 5:38pm
  30. Well, of course they do. Duh.

    Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 5:38pm
  31. oh yes..its an act that shuns violence…except for LGBT….kill them all…..

    Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 5:40pm
  32. And you wonder why I call LGBT voters that vote GOP traitors….

    Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 5:42pm
  33. They have to appeal to the lowest common denominators in their base.

    Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 5:43pm
  34. To hell with that party.

    Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 5:43pm
  35. What a bunch of morons. Tho really I don’t understand the law as violence against anyone male or female is still illegal with or without this bill, so I guess I’ll need to look into it to see whats up beyond thinking it is just an extra law making something extra not legal

    Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 5:57pm
  36. GOP, marching proudly into the 12th century.

    Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 5:58pm
  37. god doesnt like ugly and holy spirit will do his justifiable on the gop amen

    Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 6:09pm
  38. Steven Swedelson, there are actually laws that prevent Native American women from prosecuting men who assault them on reservations if the men do not live on reservations aka White on Native sex crimes. It’s a Federal vs. State loophole that needs to be closed. The VAWA would close it. The GOP objects to this part. Also “Domestic Violence” is treated differently than other types of assault. For many decades, it was never even prosecuted. It barely is now, esp by typically all-male police departments. Women have had little to no legal recourse bringing charges against spouses or boyfriends. The VAWA put an end to that. If the police are called, and there is visible evidence that a crime has taken place, the police must make an arrest. No more telling the woman to just let him “cool off and things will be fine” or “he pays the rent, what do you want us to do about it?” There are also law enforcement officers, lawyers, and judges who batter their wives and girlfriends. Before the VAWA, there was nowhere for these women to turn to to get help. Now, a law enforcement official outside of the local jurisdiction handles the case.

    The GOP and the Tea Party are blocking this bill because it extends these types of protections to Native Americans, women of the GLBT community–who sometimes face death because of hate crimes and vicious assaults, and immigrant women, both legal and illegal, who have been victimized by being forced to work in the sex trafficking trade or prostitution. I guess they feel that some women are more worthy of protection and legal recourse than others. You are right about there already being laws on the books about assault. But they are not applied equally to all citizens, esp women, and different subsets of women. For example, a rich White suburbanite woman who is raped in her home will get better access to the criminal justice system than a poor immigrant woman who was kidnapped and taken into the US for the purposes of prostitution. The VAWA tries to even the field. It’s really sad that in this day and age that all women are not valued and protected by law against violent crime. This bill needs to be reauthorized, and it’s coverage expanded to include all women, no matter where they live, what their sexual orientation is, or where they come from. It’s a matter of justice and equal protection under the law. That does not currently exist now.

    Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 6:18pm
  39. The House proposal, said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), a chief sponsor of the Senate bill, “will not provide critical protections for rape victims, domestic violence victims, human trafficking victims, students on campuses or stalking victims.”

    Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), said it stripped protections in the Senate bill for the lesbian and gay community and “drastically reduces protections for women on tribal lands.

    Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 6:20pm
  40. Here we go again with those DAMN Republicans. So Heartless.

    Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 6:40pm
  41. Most of them have been in the Senate / Congress since Jesus was a baby. They need to get the ones out of there who still believe in the old way of doing things, and get some fresh minds in, bring in people who are in touch with society as it is now, and know what’s out here. It’s not rocket science…

    Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 7:24pm
  42. Who the hell do these creeps think they are? Such hateful, bigoted, non leadership capable thugs should NOT be in a position of power no matter what or where that position is!

    Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 7:40pm
  43. Well, I think you are a hateful bigot for not seeing my views… You know… The natural way. And don’t go comparing yourselves to animals. It’s a very degrading way to win people to your immoral/unnatural life.

    Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 10:18pm
  44. The libertarians can’t take the reigns rom the GOP establishment soon enough.

    Posted on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at 10:41pm
  45. Sign the petition Stop LGBT discrimination in Russia!! http://www.avaaz.org/ru/petition/Stop_LGBT_discrimiantion_in_Russia/

    Posted on Monday, February 25, 2013 at 1:21am