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Paul Ryan in Struggle to Keep GOP From Dividing Over LGBT Rights

Paul Ryan in Struggle to Keep GOP From Dividing Over LGBT Rights
(Wire Services Photo) 

By    |   Thursday, 26 May 2016 04:16 PM

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is facing a battle between Democrats and his fellow Republicans over LGBT rights.

Before a planned vote on an energy and water bill, House Republicans met to point out their frustrations with language that would ban discrimination against LGBT employees of federal contractors, according to the Washington Post. 

Georgia Rep. Rick Allen offered a prayer at the meeting, which some at the meeting took to imply that those who voted in favor of LGBT rights went against Biblical teachings. At least one person stormed out of the meeting after Allen's prayer, the Post reported.

The spending bill failed, including the LGBT language that was introduced by openly gay New York Rep. Sean Maloney. Ryan apparently placed blame on Democrats for the failure.

"What we learned today is that the Democrats were not looking to advance an issue but to sabotage the appropriations process," Ryan said, the Post reports.

Democrats were concerned about language in the spending bill to block the federal government from punishing North Carolina over its bathroom law requiring transgender people to use the bathroom corresponding to their birth certificate.

Conservatives are taking aim at President Barack Obama's call to ensure protection for LGBT employees of federal contractors, and for public schools to ensure access to locker rooms that correspond to gender identity.

The Post reported that an apparent tactic of conservatives is to attach measures they favor to important spending bills, such as a measure that would exempt religious groups from following Obama's LGBT directive.

Democratic Rep. Steve Israel, of New York, cited independent voters as reasoning for his party to focus on the LGBT measures.

"Democrats are being given a huge opportunity to put Republicans on the record on issues that alienate most independent, moderate voters," Israel said in the Post report.

"Every time that Republicans give us the opportunity, we’re going to take it," Israel said.

In apparent response to the LGBT vote, House Republicans are aiming to require spending bill amendments to be pre-printed, so that members can review details before the vote.

Some in the GOP are going against the party’s usual stance by supporting LGBT rights, according to the Huffington Post. Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, of Florida, has a transgender son, and said, "Every transgender person is part of someone's family."

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Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is facing a battle between Democrats and his fellow Republicans over LGBT rights.
paul ryan, struggle, top, divide, gay, rights
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2016-16-26
Thursday, 26 May 2016 04:16 PM
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