This month, the U.S. Senate made history when they renewed the Violence Against Women Act and included provisions that provided resources for LGBT victims of domestic violence. But last week, House Republicans made it clear they were on a different page.
The new version of VAWA, put forth by Republicans in the House of Representatives, takes away the previously-listed protections for LGBT people, undocumented immigrants, and Native American women.
“This is simply unacceptable and it further demonstrates that Republicans in the House have not heard the message sent by the American people,” said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who co-authored the Senate version. (It passed 78-22, with all female senators—regardless of party affiliation—voting for it.)
VAWA was first passed in 1994, thanks to then-senator Joe Biden. In addition to providing resources to domestic-abuse groups, it declared that a woman’s past sexual history couldn’t be used against her in a sexual-assault trial, and that women shouldn’t be forced to pay for their own protection or rape exam.
Unbelievable. The House version of the bill will come before a committee tomorrow. Let’s see what happens.