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House Republicans unveiled their own version of the Violence Against Women Act today with little to no fanfare. You might wonder why they decided to unveil their bill on the House Rules Committee website and not at a big news conference showcasing to women that they are serious about their security. They might have done this because they already know how controversial their bill will be and they are most likely going to try to jam it through as quietly as possible.
Some of the key differences in the House Bill:
NO protection for LGBT victims of domestic violence
Removes "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" as under served populations and disqualifies them from accessing victim services
Removes language from the Senate bill that requires programs that receive funding under VAWA to serve LGBT victims
Excludes LGBT victims from the STOP (Services, Training, Officers, and Prosecutors) program which assists law enforcement officials in addressing domestic violence
So, it seems like the House Republicans only want to stop violence against women that are like them and need not worry about our lesbian and transgender individuals in this country. The biggest shock to me is that the NeoCons in the Republican party keep doing these kind of things even though the political winds are changing towards our gay and lesbian citizens. They keep fighting a battle that is destined to be lost, but insist on fighting it until the end. I can only hope that we push back hard against these charades and teach them once and for all that everyone in this country--gay, straight, transgender, etc. deserve EQUAL protection under the law.