Democrats Chant 'Shame Shame Shame!' When LGBT Amendment Fails to Block Religious Freedom Protections

Democrats erupted in unrestrained anger on the floor of the United States House of Representatives as Republicans defeated their amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, a must-pass defense funding bill.  Numerous outlets are already slamming the GOP's move as "anti-gay" and bolstering the melodramatic outcry.

New York Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, an openly gay Democrat, proposed the amendment in response to an earlier Republican amendment already in the legislation. The Republican amendment is itself a response to President Obama's 2014 executive order forcing a bill which never made it to the House floor, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

c-span-screen-cap_5-20-16-1 Click image to watch C-Span's video of the vote.

Oklahoma Representative Steve Russell proposed the Republican amendment to provide exemptions to Obama's executive order. The amendment is far from ground-breaking. It merely states the the federal government shall grant exemptions to "any religious corporation, religious association, religious educational institution, or religious society that is a recipient of or offeror for a Federal Government contract, subcontract, grant, purchase order, or cooperative agreement."

It then references already settled law, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as the basis for such protections. This amendment is restating the rights of faith-based organizations to the "free exercise of religion," even if they receive federal funds or have contracts with the federal government.

Some Democrats, such as California Representative Mark Takano, voted against the funding bill merely because it included this exemption for religious organizations. He announced a "twitter rant" (his own words) about this "anti-LGBT language."

 

Democrats have chosen to force these two issues to loggerheads -- religious organizations cannot make their own hiring and firing decisions based on their own principles, if those decisions might skew against a group of people whom Democrats wish to make a protected class.

When Republicans disagree, and choose to take a stand for religious freedom as based in the First Amendment, Democrats will cause a scene.

Next Page: Why the voting got so heated, and who the real "bigots" are.