May 19, 2016
Press Release


Washington - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) issued the following statement after voting against anti-LGBT measures in the National Defense Authorization Act and Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act. 

“The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act includes a provision, Sec. 1094, that would create a broad and vague exemption for federal contractors, effectively codifying taxpayer-funded discrimination against LGBT Americans. The House made multiple attempts to remove Sec. 1094 from the bill. A bipartisan group of Members introduced the Dent-Smith amendment to strike the provision and many of my colleagues and I voted in favor of the Motion to Recommit, which would have also stricken the section. Still, some Members of Congress wrongly decided to support this radical discrimination, and the Motion to Recommit failed with Sec. 1094 intact.

Even more disgraceful was today’s rejection of an amendment to the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act that would have prohibited federal contractors from receiving federal funds if they discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. 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.

The truth of the matter is that a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity doesn’t determine their performance on the job; and allowing discrimination in the workplace doesn’t encourage productivity, it drastically harms it. As history consistently illustrates, those who support forms of discrimination are always proven wrong.”

Additional Background

  •          Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which included language in Section 1094 that would create an exemption for federal contractors. This would undermine President Obama’s previous Executive Order, which prohibited federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
  •          Today, during consideration of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, Representative Sean Patrick Maloney introduced an amendment to prohibit discrimination by federal contractors. The amendment ultimately failed.