Search form

Scroll To Top
News & Opinion

Exclusive: Gay House Representative Celebrates Amendment Win, But Warns of More Challenges

Sean Maloney

New York Rep. Sean Maloney gets the votes he needs to protect LGBT employees from discrimination after House bungles earlier vote.

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind for Rep. Sean Maloney.

The openly gay New York congressman last week lost an amendment to the defense bill--by one vote--that would have stopped LGBT discrimination in federal contracts. Following the debate, fellow Democrats shouted "shame!" across the chamber while Republicans cheered.

However, Maloney regained ground on Thursday after a similar amendment to protect LGBT workers from employment discrimination passed as part of the energy and water bill. Forty-three Republicans crossed the aisle to help Maloney snag the majority.

"It felt great to win that battle and to do it with a bipartisan majority in the House," Maloney told Out. "But remember, we are working in a rigged process."

After the uproar following the defense bill, House Speaker Paul Ryan talked about changing the debate rules for amendments so that all legislation had to be printed and distributed before debate. The move seemed out of character for Ryan--what Maloney said, "at this point, [it] isn't about process. It's about hiding."

On his Republican support, Maloney highlighted the effect of LGBT support outside Washington.

"Republicans went home to their districts, and something amazing happened. They got eviscerated by own constituents for supporting discrimination against LGBTs," he said. "Those who switched their vote really got the message loud and clear, and they knew they had to clean that up."

More appropriations bills are coming up, which means more opportunities for Republicans and Democrats to spar over LGBT employment protections.

"We should stop this conversation in the budget process," Maloney said. "The Republicans had the idea to insert anti-gay legislation into the budget process. Let's stop that."

He calls for the Equality Act to come to the floor, a broad LGBT discrimination bill that has been stalled in committee for months.

"Conservatives are twisting themselves into knots to maintain discrimination against LGBT people under the law," Maloney said. "We need to stop trying to rig the process and just let people vote."

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Michael Lambert