By John Mack Freeman
This week, the House of Representatives voted 277 to 147 (mostly along party lines) to approve the 2017 defense authorization bill. Included in that bill is a measure that would allow religiously-affiliated contractors to discriminate against GLBT people. This measure was put forward by Steve Russell and is targeted at undermining an executive order from President Obama that sought to end this sort of bias. Via Washington Blade:
Prior to vote on the final passage, Assistant Minority Leader Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-N.Y.), who’s gay, jointly introduced a motion to recommit that would have removed the anti-LGBT language. Additionally, the measure would have prohibited The Citadel, a prominent military academy, from continuing to fly the Confederate Flag The motion to recommit failed by another party-line 243-181.
Clyburn said on the House floor the motion to recommit wouldn’t kill the bill, nor send it back to committee, but amend the package before proceeding to final passage.
“This amendment would fight discrimination in the military, which erodes obedience, unity, commitment and a spirited corps,” Clyburn said.