Washington – Last night, Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-5) voted against H.R. 4909, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). An amendment containing broad language that allows for clear discrimination against LGBT people in the federal workplace was added to the NDAA earlier this week. Meanwhile, a bipartisan amendment, cosponsored by Rep. Schrader, to strike the amendment from the bill was rejected.
“I am incredibly disappointed that our bipartisan amendment was not even allowed a vote; for all the gains in equality we’ve made in the last several years, this represents a giant step backwards in civil rights,” Rep. Schrader said. “Oregon has been a leader in anti-discrimination and equality for the LGBT community, and I’ve been proud to stand up alongside my home state to fight for equal rights. The inclusion of the anti-LGBT language in the NDAA bill, similar to recent discriminatory legislation our country has seen at the state level, takes us on a sharp turn backwards. Congress should make it absolutely clear that there is no room anywhere for this kind of anti-LGBT intolerance or discrimination, especially in the federal government. There should be zero tolerance for taxpayer funded discrimination in the workplace.”
A motion to recommit, which would have effectively removed the Russell Amendment from the bill, failed to pass this afternoon, leaving the discriminatory language in the NDAA bill.