California Democratic Congressional Delegation Statement on Republican Vote to Ensure Anti-LGBT Discrimination

May 20, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – California Democrats, led by U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), issued the following statement after House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy forced Republican Members on Thursday to change their votes to reverse adoption of a measure to prevent federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT individuals:

California Congressional Delegation Chair Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19):

"In the midst of a chaotic and shocking display of intolerance by my Republican colleagues, I was appalled to see fellow Californian, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, personally pressuring Republicans on the House floor into changing their votes to permit discrimination against LGBT individuals. Four California Republicans – Reps. Denham, Valadao, Walters, and Issa – obeyed Mr. McCarthy and switched their vote.

"Californians are better than this. Californians do not abide bigotry, hate, and intolerance. And Californians do not send Members of Congress to Washington so that they can browbeat colleagues into supporting prejudice and discrimination.  On the contrary, many public and private entities across California have made  their voices heard by pulling business from States and localities – like North Carolina – which permit or encourage discrimination.  It's important for Californians to know the Republican Majority Leader in the House played the key role in enacting discrimination against the LGBT community - and that four California Republicans did what they were told and switched their votes."

Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra (CA-34):

"Equality for all prevailed on the House floor yesterday…until House Republicans twisted arms."

Rep. Mike Honda (CA-17):

"My Republican colleagues should be ashamed, particularly those from California who chose fear and discrimination over the open, accepting nature of our state. Taking a stand against discrimination in the workplace is something that I have been proud to do during my time in Congress. I would encourage all of my colleagues to have the same pride in protecting all Americans from discrimination. Unfortunately, rather than supporting the rights we all deserve, several Representatives from our state were convinced, by Leader McCarthy's and his underlings, to change their vote away from protecting LGBTQ Americans who simply want to work for companies that support our brave military.  Endorsing that kind of discrimination is unacceptable to me. Changing your vote to let it happen is even worse."

Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33):

"The rejection of Mr. Maloney's amendment to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act was nothing short of disgraceful.  When the voting time expired, the amendment was slated to pass. However, Speaker Ryan chose to disregard his previous promises of regular order and held the vote open so that he could convince some in his party to change their affirmative votes. It's shameful that some would go to such great lengths to attack the LGBT community."

Rep. Pete Aguilar (CA-31):

"Yesterday, a majority of House Republicans voted to allow discrimination against LGBT Americans. They sacrificed their morals and responsibility to uphold the Constitution in favor of playing party politics. There is no justification for their cowardly actions -- equality is not something that should be up for debate in this country."

# # #