House Republicans block vote on LGBT protections after Orlando shooting

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House Leaders Block Vote on LGBT Anti-Discrimination Amendment

House Republicans are yet again blocking the passage of an amendment barring federal contractors from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity — this time by refusing to allow it to come to vote. The same amendment, proposed by New York Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, has been attached to two previous bills, both of which were quashed by Republicans: the first failed to pass after anti-gay Republicans strong-armed their colleagues into changing their votes at the last minute, and the second collapsed a few weeks later.

This third bill was slated to come up for a vote this week, The Hill reports. But the House Rules Committee failed to green-light it for a vote Tuesday night. This time, the timing is significant. Maloney and his supporters argued that passing the amendment in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting, in which a lone-wolf gunman murdered 48 people at a gay club, would show solidarity with the victims.

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ORLANDO, USA - JUNE 13: Pictures of one of the massacre victims left at a make shift memorial at Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, USA on June 13, 2016. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, USA - JUNE 13: Pictures of one of the massacre victims left at a make shift memorial at Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, USA on June 13, 2016. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
People wave rainbow flags and hold portraits on the Place de la Comedie in Montpellier on June 13, 2016 as they pay homage to the victims of a shooting at a gay nighclub in Orlando. / AFP / SYLVAIN THOMAS (Photo credit should read SYLVAIN THOMAS/AFP/Getty Images)
Since he was a boy, Anthony Luis Laureano Disla loved to dance. Early Sunday morning, he was dancing and laughing with his friends at Pulse nightclub in Orlando when a gunman stormed and shot him. Laureano Disla was 25. His obituary is linked in our bio. #PulseShooting #OrlandoUnited #PrayForOrlando #OrlandoStrong
Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon moved from Puerto Rico to Vero Beach, longtime friend Daniel Gmys-Casiano said, and was immediately promoted to manager at a shoe store. He was a protector, confidant and hero, Gmys-Casiano said. Wilson-Leon died in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. He was 37. His obituary is linked in our bio. #PulseShooting #OrlandoUnited #PrayForOrlando #OrlandoStrong
Enrique L. Rios left his home in New York to spend the weekend celebrating a friend's birthday in Orlando. He was killed in the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub Sunday. He was 25. His obituary is linked in our bio. #PulseShooting #OrlandoUnited #PrayForOrlando #OrlandoStrong
To Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, good living was all about looking, smelling and feeling his best, loved ones said. He and his longtime partner, Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, were together at Pulse nightclub early Sunday, and both were among the victims who died in the shooting. Perez was 35. His obituary is linked in our bio. #PulseShooting #OrlandoUnited #PrayForOrlando #OrlandoStrong
#PulseShooting victim Mercedez Marisol Flores lived "her life way she wanted to"
#PulseShooting victim Javier Jorge-Reyes had "a caring heart"
#PulseShooting victim Darryl Roman Burt II: The kind of person always willing to help
#PulseShooting victim Jerald Arthur Wright: part of a tight-knit Disney family
#PulseShooting victim Juan Chavez Martinez remembered as kind boss
#PulseShooting victim Edward Sotomayor Jr.: Travel site brand manager mourned
#PulseShooting victim Stanley Almodovar III: "Amazing person with a good soul"
#PulseShooting victim Kimberly 'KJ' Morris: Bouncer at nightclub always wore a smile
#PulseShooting Juan Ramon Guerrero: Clubgoer went to Pulse with boyfriend
#PulseShooting victim Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz called "wonderful cousin"
#PulseShooting victim Luis Vielma: Theme-park worker was "true friend"
#PulseShooting victim Eric Ivan Ortiz Rivera: Always willing to help
#PulseShooting victim Eddie Justice texted his mother he loved her during shooting
#PulseShooting victim Shane Evan Tomlinson had band performance just hours before he died
#PulseShooting victim Miguel Angel Honorato was Apopka father of 3
#PulseShooting victim Jason Josaphat was a soft-spoken teen excited for the journey ahead
#PulseShooting victim Amanda Alvear wouldn't want hate spread in her name
#PulseShooting victim Brenda Lee Marquez McCool was a mother of of 12
#PulseShooting victim Christopher Sanfeliz was a bank worker from Tampa
#PulseShooting victim Simon Carrillo was a good boss who loved to travel
Shooting victim Jean Carlos Nieves Rodriguez: 'Whatever you needed, you could count on him'
#PulseShooting victim Christopher Leinonen was a gay rights activist
#PulseShooting victim Jonathan Camuy: Great employee of @LaVozKids on @telemundo
Soft-spoken teen #PulseShooting victim Jason Josaphat was excited for the journey ahead
#PulseShooting victim Gilberto Silva was "light, life" of family
#PulseShooting victim Oscar Aracena returned from vacation a day before he died
#PulseShooting victim Tevin Eugene Crosby was a hardworking business owner
Leroy Valentin Fernandez was a natural performer. His zeal for life spilled offstage and f…
The last image friends have of Omar Capo shows the 20-year-old doing what he loves: Dancin…
Shane Evan Tomlinson sang with his band Frequency Saturday night at Blue Martini nightclub…
Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 "He was the type of guy who goes along with anybody."
Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33, worked at a blood donation center and "loved to dance salsa"
#PulseShooting victim Angel Luis Candelario-Padro was in Orlando to start a new life
YOU MATTERED❤@TheTalkSoup: Cory James Connell, 21, #PulseNightclub #Orlando #victims
Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32, worked at Pulse, her aunt called her murder "senseless"
We won't let you go unheard, Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old #PulseShooting
Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old. Rest in Peace. 🌈❤️
Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32, was with his boyfriend, Juan Guerrero, 22, at the club
Akyra Murray -- 18 -- Just graduated. Star basketball player (1,000 points in her career). #6of49 #WeSpeakYourName
Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32, "was always trying to do stuff to make you feel better"
#RIP Martin Benitez Torres, 33, from Puerto Rico was in Orlando with family. #WeAreOrlando
R.I.P. Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old #PulseShooting
Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35, had a son and worked at Disney Live!
Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37, was the owner of D’Magazine Salon and Spa:
#RIP Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 and Luis Conde, 39, were together 13 years. #WeAreOrlando
#Remembertheirnames Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan #OrlandoStrong
Be thou at peace: @USArmyReserve CPT Antonio Davon Brown, Iraq/Afg vet, killed in #Orlando
Rest In Peace handsome, Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old #PulseShooting

"It's hard to imagine that any act that is so horrific could lead to anything positive," he said. "But if we were going to do anything, it would be a very positive step to say that discrimination has no place in our law and to reaffirm the president's actions in this area. Seems to me a pretty basic thing to do."

He compared his legislation with laws passed after the shooting at a historically African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, restricting the use of the Confederate flag symbol. "They also responded by acting and by recognizing that symbols and language matter," he said. "Because hate has no place in our flags, in our workplace, or in our country. And it should have no place in federal law."

House leadership's decision to postpone the vote on Maloney's amendment came the same day Democrats protested Congress's failure to pass gun-control measures following the shooting. After House Speaker Paul Ryan called for a moment of silence for the victims, many Democrats walked out or loudly chanted, "Where's the bill?" "The moment of silence is an act of respect and we supported that, but it is not a license to do nothing," Representative Nancy Pelosi said at the time. "And Republicans have afforded it that power."

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