House GOP Strips LGBT, Native American Provisions In VAWA

Well, the Senate sent the Violence Against Women Act to the House and – I know this is going to surprise you – the Republicans in that body have stripped out the provisions in the act that they didn’t like. As if we needed any more proof that Republicans don’t give a damn about LGBT women and Native American women.

The House version of the bill has completely removed all mention of sexual orientation and gender identity. As a result, crisis centers that serve the LGBT community could be completely shut out of any federal grants. We know that the GOP hates women but this proves that they hate LGBT women even more.

The Huffington Post has provided a link to the House bill with a section-by-section analysis. Their writer Jennifer Bendery had this succinct analysis:

The House GOP bill entirely leaves out provisions aimed at helping LGBT victims of domestic violence. Specifically, the bill removes “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” from the list of underserved populations who face barriers to accessing victim services, thereby disqualifying LGBT victims from a related grant program. The bill also eliminates a requirement in the Senate bill that programs that receive funding under VAWA provide services regardless of a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. (SOURCE)

The Senate bill’s provisions for the protection of Native American women has been a point of contention among a handful of Senate Republicans. They’ve been calling it “unconstitutional” and in a most insulting statement, Chuck Grassley insinuated that the Native American courts would be incapable of trying a white man fairly.

So the House decided that there should be a provision for an accused rapist/assaulter to take their case to federal court if the feel they are being “treated unfairly.” Oh, isn’t that just typical? Those poor beasts! Heaven forbid the men who beat and rape Indian women feel like they aren’t being treated fairly. I am stunned by this naked favoritism but not at all surprised by it. After all, bullies tend to take care of other bullies.

Washington Senator Patty Murray has been an advocate for the renewal of VAWA and since it was allowed to lapse, has been one of the most vocal proponents of renewing it with the LGBT and Native American protections. She says that the House version “a non-starter” and called on that most rare of animals, moderate Republicans, to stand up to the backwards members of their party. She told reporters:

“It’s not a compromise, it’s an unfortunate effort to exclude specific groups of women from receiving basic protections under the law… The protections included in the Senate for new communities of women are not bargaining chips that can be played with in order to appease the far right in their party. These are badly needed new tools to give women an escape from a life stunted by abuse…It’s time for moderate Republicans in the House to step up and finally force their leadership to stop ignoring the calls of women across the country.” (SOURCE)

Damn right, Patty. The Violence Against Women Act has reduced the incidence of domestic partner homicides. It has established community programs to help battered women. But there are still some men who live in the Stone Age when it comes to how they view women. As property. As lesser beings. As the weaker sex. I think we women have proven time and again that we are none of those things. Some men will just never get it. Can we please get them out of our government?

Photobucket      T. Steelman is a life-long Liberal. She has been writing online about politics since 2007. She lives in Western Washington with her husband, daughter, 2 cats and a small herd of alpacas. How can anybody be enlightened? Truth is, after all, so poorly lit…