What do Republicans always say? Support the troops? Even with support for same-sex marriage reaching historical highs, Republicans still don’t get it: you look like an A-hole when you do something so slimy as to deny same-sex veterans their benefits. Yet, the Senate GOP did just that when they filibustered a bill to finally end discrimination against same-sex veterans.
The bill, sponsored by New Hampshire Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, only got 53 votes, 7 shy needed to clear the 60 vote hurdle. Eight Republicans sided with every Democrat: Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire), Shelley Moore Capito (West Virginia), Susan Collins (Maine), Ron Johnson (Wisconsin), Mark Kirk (Illinois), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Jeff Flake (Arizona) and Rob Portman (Ohio).
Of the Republicans who voted for the bill, only four – Murkowski, Portman, Collins and Kirk – have publicly expressed support for same-sex marriage. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California), and Republicans Marco Rubio (Florida), Lindsey Graham (South Carolina), Dean Heller (Nevada), and Jerry Moran (Kansas) did not vote on the measure.
Because of restrictions in federal law, veterans in same-sex marriages who live in states that don’t honor their marriage receive smaller monthly disability payments and aren’t eligible to qualify for a VA home loan with their spouse. In some cases, these veterans’ spouses and kids are also ineligible for VA medical care.
I guess not every Republican in the Senate is a complete lying, hypocritical jerk. Some Republicans, like Texas Senator John Cornyn, voted against the amendment because he believes the impending Supreme Court ruling will make the bill’s efforts moot. Ayotte, Moore, Capito and Johnson all said their vote was due to the fact the issue has to do with “fairness under the law.”
I guess Republicans like veteran John McCain (Arizona) doesn’t know what it truly means to support the troops. Nor do they know what fairness under the law is. I’m surprised the Senate doesn’t vote to strip away benefits for same-sex couples in Congress.
So the next time I hear a Republican accuse President Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry or any Democrat in the House and Senate of being against the troops or our veterans, I will happily remind them that it is indeed the Republicans who have turned their backs on veterans.