Defense Spending Bill Stripped Of Amendment That Would Have Rescinded Obama’s LGBT Protections

A glimmer of good news, for now. The Voice Of America reports:

A compromise version of a massive U.S. defense policy bill omits controversial provisions such as a clause Democrats said allowed discrimination against homosexuals and a requirement that women register for the draft.

The $618.7 billion National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, will likely come up for a vote in the House of Representatives late this week, and the Senate next week, senior committee staff members told reporters at a background briefing on Tuesday.

During months of negotiations, Republicans and Democrats on the Senate and House Armed Services committees agreed to eliminate a “religious freedom” provision Democrats said would have let federal contractors discriminate against workers on the basis of gender or sexual orientation.

The amendment, introduced by Republican Representative Steve Russell, would have overridden President Barack Obama’s 2014 executive order barring federal contractors from discriminating against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers.

RELATED: Back in 2009, then-state Rep. Russell introduced a bill that would have opted Oklahoma out of reporting anti-LGBT hate crimes because, he said, it would hinder the state’s prosecutions of corpse-fuckers. Seriously.

“The federal government should not be creating a special class of people, and that is just what they did when they passed and signed this bill,” Russell said. “All crimes against another person have some level of hate in them, and people can be assured that our laws that protect people against crimes such as murder are sufficient to protect everyone.” Russell said because the government has decided to intervene on issues of morality, he is worried that religious leaders who speak out against any lifestyle could be imprisoned for their speech. “The law is very vague to begin with,” Russell said. “Sexual orientation is a very vague word that could be extended to extremes like necrophilia.” Russell said he is also concerned if someone is attacked and killed for his or her sexual orientation, the suspect could pass the blame onto a religious leader who preached out against the lifestyle of the victim who was attacked.

  • bkmn

    While it is good for now, you know they are preparing to go full on in the next session. It will not be pretty. Be warned.

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      Warned and alarmed.

  • Randy Ellicott

    They only did this since trump has said he will reverse the executive order…

    • Gerry Fisher

      Let them do it in a separate bill, in the light of day, all eyes upon them. Like they did in Indiana and North Carolina.

      • Randy Ellicott

        they dont have to, all trump has to do is issue an executive order nullifying Obama’s…

    • Still a better situation than before. It’ll dispel illusions of Trump being a pro-LGBT president if he takes any explicitly anti-LGBT actions.

      • Randy Ellicott

        you mean aside from making pence VP? Or promising to work to overturn Marriage Equality? seriously illusions are all that matter to these people and nothing we do or say will break them out of their fantasy.

  • Paula

    This is a temporary respite. I think they will quietly get rid of the GLBT service members over a couple years of time. They won’t do it openly because of the uproar and the immediate hole it would make in the armed forces.

    • Silver Badger

      This happened in the government office I used to work for. One by one we were all fired for various crimes and misdemeanors. By the time they got me, one year away from retirement, there was only one openly gay person left. (out of a dozen).

      • Gerry Fisher

        [grumble, growl, gritting of teeth] 🙁

      • Todd20036

        That’s disgusting. I can only hope the PBGC doesn’t pull that shit.
        I’m a fed, but how long will I have LBGT protections.

    • Cackalaquiano

      Yeah, I suspect the Republicans are willing to cave now, knowing they can have an open season field day against us starting next year.

    • I disagree. the military has very quickly adapted to a post DADT world and there is no clamor to go back to the past. if anything is at risk in the military it is probably the new regulations regarding transgender service members. I could see those potentially being roled back or limited. but service for open gay men and woman is much more secure.

      • BobSF_94117

        Historically the military has avoided change for a long time, but one embraced, they hold on tight and don’t go back.

        I’m more worried that the Congress will force them back in various ways. If I were T, I’d be very, very worried.

        • Right. and when it comes to the Senate there were enough GOP votes in favor of repealing DADT that I do not see the appetite for trying to bring it back. but while inclusion of gay and lesbian soldiers is far more established now regulations allowing for transgender service members are brand new and are thus more likely to come under scrutiny.

          • Ninja0980

            Sad to say but I see trans rights taking a step back in all sorts of way.
            If nothing else, (as happened here in NY), I can see trans rights being thrown under the bus if it saves LGB rights.

      • Paula

        I hope you’re right. I know several G&L service members. Most of them are lifers. It would be a tragedy if they were forced out.

        • same here and to apply to my own military service as well. Personally it is something I would have worried about far more under a President Cruz then a President Trump, but even then the political backlash over forcing gay men and women out of the military would be immense and would be opposed by a strong majority of the county.

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      We are in for a CAT-5 shitstorm and not just ” us “.

  • The Sentinel

    “for now”

    • tristram

      Exactly. Trump has pledged to reverse all of Obama’s “illegal executive orders” on his first day in office, So the Repubs in Congress don’t have to override something that’s about to be terminated by our new POTUS.

  • Acronym Jim

    Okay, now that I know Oklahoma has a serious problem with corpse fucking, I wonder how many dead Oklahomans voted in the election.

    • lattebud

      Dead in what way? Emotionally? Mentally? Physically?

      Well, at least the dead won’t be fucked by Trump’s administration

      • Ragnar Lothbrok

        The Alt- Dead

  • crewman

    Where is any proof that LGBT protections is actually hurting anyone? Hint: ‘Not being able to target and discriminate against people I deem inferior because of my religion’ is not a valid reason.

    • BobSF_94117

      A handful of servicemen (it’s always the men) have been reprimanded and or suspended. A couple chaplains and a couple mid-level types, IIRC. They were punished for expressing their “deeply held religious beliefs” about how icky we are.

    • Jerry

      Reason and proof? We’re talking about Republicans here…reason, proof, facts are irrelevant.

  • Ragnar Lothbrok

    “The law is very vague to begin with,” Russell said. “Sexual orientation is a very vague word that could be extended to extremes like necrophilia.”

    Fuck these people.

    • Joe in PA
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    • NowVoyager

      Yes…and following their convoluted anti-logic…”Religious Freedom” could be extended to human sacrifice as well. I mean, after all, “Religious Freedom” is about as “vague” an assertion as you can get. The Chicken Little “sky is falling” manipulations of the easy-to-stampede herd on the Right is as stifling as it is predictable.

    • Gigi

      If we were to review this guy’s computer history, what do you think we’d find?

      • Ragnar Lothbrok

        NON-consented freaky monkey sex.

    • “I don’t know what ‘sexual orientation’ means, but let me explain to you what I BELIEVE it can mean.”

      Remember: their beliefs triumphs facts.

  • Kelly Lape

    “Russell said he is also concerned if someone is attacked and killed for his or her sexual orientation, the suspect could pass the blame onto a religious leader who preached out against the lifestyle of the victim who was attacked.”

    No fucking shit asshole. That’s the FUCKING POINT. Religious hate speech inspires hate crimes you dumb mother fucking Nazi Republican piece of shit.

  • Jerry Kott

    Even thought we have been invaded by the Living Dead, it isn’t your Grandpas America anymore. There is still some sanity left.

    • HZ81

      Well, until the 20th of January. Then, the tire fire spreads.

      • Jerry Kott

        We can’t stop banging our Drums!

    • BobSF_94117

      They’re pretending to behave until the EC votes and there’s no turning back.

      • Jerry Kott

        I can’t challenge what you are saying. It is important to remember this is War and not some battle zone skirmish. Diligence is required.

  • Dreaming Vertebrate

    Fun Facts: Oklahoma derives its name from the Choktaw words okla and humma meaning – red people.
    Due to a serious problem with rampant necrophilia, the state is also informerly known as the Sooner state, short for – the sooner you’re dead, the sooner you’re f#*ked.

    • Silver Badger

      This is why Oklahoma is such a popular Republican tourist state! The only thing that comes close is Branson.

      • Jerry

        I remember a family trip going through OK in 1979…there’s only so much oil wells, tumble weeds and scorpions that one can take.

        • Dreaming Vertebrate

          … and now the scorpions and tumble weeds are running the state.

          • Paula

            They’re the smarter ones.

        • PeterC

          And earthquakes, which they share with Kansas.

          • Jerry

            I don’t think they had the earthquakes in 1979…but the trip through OK and northern panhandle of TX was pretty miserable.

  • Joe in PA

    Do MEN still need to register for the draft? That seems like an odd provision. It this one of those ridiculous things added and then used as “negotiation”: see, we got rid of this, so you should get rid of that.

    • Joe in PA

      Edit to add, yes, yes men do still need to register. Who knew? But apparently women registering has been in the works for a while…or at least the discussion of it.

      http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/10/12/women-likely-have-register-draft-army-secretary-says.html

    • madknits

      Yes. It was reinstituted when I was about 17, so let’s say around 1978. Men who do not register for the draft cannot get federal financial aid for college or grad school. When I was in divinity school, there were special funds for consciencious objectors.

      • Silver Badger

        Did your school offer classes in Fudge and Peanut Brittle as well as Divinity?

        • Joe in PA

          Wow, I haven’t thought of ‘divinity’ candy in YEARS. In our house, it was only made at Christmas time. My mom used to make a better version with maple flavor and walnuts. Thanks for that trip down memory lane. 😉

        • madknits

          Tee hee. I went to Harvard, dear, not the Boston Cooking School. Though Fanny Farmer was a Unitarian, and is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery.

        • Oh! I adore divinity! Fudge not so much, but oh yes to nut brittle.

    • TampaZeke

      Yes, men do still have to register. It’s the law. All college students have to sign an affidavit certifying that they have “registered with Selective Service or they haven’t for one of the following reasons”; the first reason is “I am female”.

      I’ve always found it amazing that no one has seemed to notice or care that there was such an official, institutional, required form of sex discrimination or that it’s never brought up when discussing sex and gender discrimination.

      • TampaZeke

        Every post office used to have large posters that said, “If you are a male turning 18 you must register with Selective Service, It’s fast, It’s easy, It’s the LAW”

        They made it sound like it was a privilege.

      • Phil

        In applying to work at a university, I had to sign the same affidavit and be prepared to show proof of my own registration – in 1980!

        • TampaZeke

          The equality activist in me found that to be untenable but when I would complain about it to people they would look at me like I was crazy. Even most feminist wouldn’t touch it. I can remember when the ERA was trying to be passed, they made it very clear that equal rights didn’t mean women would be drafted or sent into combat. I think such contradictory messaging actually did damage to a right and worthy amendment to our constitution.

          • Friday

            The draft issue was being used as a wedge by the very people claiming women were inherently unsuited to combat. Most people for equal rights still didn’t want *anyone* drafted.

          • TampaZeke

            The “I don’t want anyone being drafted” was a cop out when this specific topic came up. People were already being drafted in the real world so the only question was, “if we’re going to have a draft, who should be eligible?” If the draft was ended then the question of it being sexist became moot but that option was never offered.

            It’s like how people said, “I don’t think the government should be endorsing ANY marriage” as a cop out when talking about marriage equality for gay people, especially when it was spoken by a person who was married (sometimes multiple times). Married Libertarians were particularly guilty of this. The government already endorses marriage. The only question is “as long as they are endorsing and codifying marriage should some couples be excluded simply because of their sex and gender pairing?”

          • Friday

            Yes, it’s the same. Kind of my point, and doubly so against Libertarians. It’s just in the case of the draft, it was more of a *real* wedge they tried to drive that way.

  • Hector Lugo

    I think women should register for the draft unless they are the primary caretakers of children, a provision that should also apply to men… Why not? Isn’t that equality?

  • abqdan

    Not sure why women shouldn’t register for the draft, if men have to. I think the whole concept is bad, but women should be treated equally with men. They are now equal in the forces, being able to serve in any way men are, including on the front line. Let’s register everyone, or no-one (preferably the latter…)

  • abqdan

    Let’s not kid ourselves – that protection, and others like it, will be gone the moment Trump takes office. And the first amendment defense nonsense will be enacted. These are pay-back measures for the faithful deplorables.

  • Rebecca Gardner

    $618,700,000,000.00 for murder, and destruction.
    $0 for education, food, housing, health care and everything good for people.

    • Todd20036

      To be fair, it’s not like education helped half of America at this point.

      • The_Wretched

        Only because they mostly missed out. The least educated are the most ardent on Trump.

    • Treant

      That first figure is more what’s going into Trump’s pocket. Even the Army will need to sell cookies next year.

      • Silver Badger

        Treant, inquiring minds want to know, is the shelter you spoke of on another JMG thread in a warehouse?

        • Treant

          That’s the one with the shirtless, long-haired dock workers, yes. It’s one of my favorites.

  • SoCalGal20

    I’m sure Congressional Republicans have bigger plans for us LGBT folks.

    OT but Dolly Parton and Pentatonix were on The Voice last night and performed that new version of Jolene. Miley Cyrus joined them (she’s Dolly’s goddaughter and a judge on The Voice this season).

    http://www.ew.com/article/2016/11/30/miley-cyrus-dolly-parton-jolene-voice?xid=entertainment-weekly_socialflow_twitter

  • Michael R

    Corpse fucking ?
    Now you know what your wife feels like .

    • Silver Badger

      Necrophilia has long been a problem in Republican power circles. Bannon’s obviously been dead for years!

  • TampaZeke

    Women SHOULD register for the draft. If we’re going to have Selective Service then all able bodied citizens should have to register and be eligible for the draft.

    • Silver Badger

      They are much more aggressive than men are. I always thought they were excluded from the draft because men are afraid of them.

      • Friday

        You may have a sample bias from places like this. ‘Aggressive’ wouldn’t be the word. Violence just isn’t a fucking football game to us. Serious is serious.

        • Silver Badger

          I wish I could introduce you to my mother. She’s gone now, but the sheriff in Missouri still talks about having to draw his weapon on her when he wanted to check her farm for an escaped felon. My sisters are worse. Trust me. If captured, suicide before being turned over to the women.

          • Friday

            That’s still not certain ideas of ‘aggressive.’ Actually as a kid in a violent childhood, my big sister usually didn’t get involved. Throw a switch (usually involving me actually being down and outnumbered,) and she’d roll in like a Panzer brigade though, tendency to be fixated on makeup and normalcy and complete lack of training and experience and all.

            Don’t mistake ‘aggression’ and ‘ferocity’ for each other. ‘Aggression’ isn’t a quality people who know me would likely apply to me, but yes there are plenty of circumstances where it’s clear I will drop the unhallowed shithammer of the ever-loving Morrigan on certain arses. (Pardon the phrasing, don’t know how else to say that right now.)

    • Treant

      So I’ve always thought. Equal rights cuts both ways.

    • Friday

      I agree. Unintended side-effect would be people getting *pregnant* to avoid it, but that’d suit the Right just fine.

      Still, even as someone they wouldn’t let serve without lying, (before even DADT so that was my country asking me to lie in an oath and be considered a criminal) I’ve never been OK with others being subject to a draft I’m not.

    • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

      We don’t have a draft anymore and its probably not coming back. That being said, back in the 80’s 31 Flavors Ice Cream parlor handed out selective service registration cards and promised kids a free cone if they signed up. I and many of my female classmates did just that. Which might explain partly why the US government now thinks I’m a retired marine.

      • TampaZeke

        Whether or not we currently have a draft is not the issue. The issue is we still have male only Selective Service that all males must sign up for upon turning 18. Those registered with Selective Service have signed up for the draft in the even that one is instituted.

        • Platos_Redhaired_Stepchild

          But if we got rid of the draft, MRAs like yourself wouldn’t be able whine about all our “female privilege” anymore.

          Oh, and women aren’t allowed to sign up for the draft because the military wants to exclude them from combat. Only people with combat experience are promoted to the top brass. Which is why women are still excluded from combat and the draft. Not because women are cowards.

          • TampaZeke

            Wow. Where did that come from? You inferred that I was complaining about female privilege and that I think women are cowards from what I wrote? You need to read my comments again and figure out why it is that you would make such assumptions about me. Women are excluded from the draft for a number of reasons and they are ALL based in misogyny, particularly a bogus belief that women are too weak and childlike, physically, mentally and emotionally, to handle war. That doesn’t change the fact that Selective Service is sexist against women AND men just as DADT was discriminatory against gay AND straight people.

            I am a proud life-long feminist. I have a very long record here at JMG to back up that claim. You should learn more about people before you go on an insulting rant against an ally.

  • Michael R

    Can you imagine all businesses moving out of red states ? Tee hee .

    • Silver Badger

      “Imagine there’s no heaven…”

      • Dreaming Vertebrate

        And no religion, too
        Imagine all the people
        Living life in peace…

        • Silver Badger

          Are you old enough to remember what an uproar that song caused in the Evangelical circles?

          • Dreaming Vertebrate

            The song has become an anthem of sorts for atheists like this little green dino. It’s truly beautiful.

          • Silver Badger

            Thank you for your response. I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t answer the question. That’s ok. I understand completely. It can be hard embracing one’s inner old fart!

          • I”m old enough that I should remember that, but somehow dont. However, I can imagine just how loudly they screeched.

  • Gigi

    And wouldn’t you know it – he looks like a major corpse-fucker.

    • Dreaming Vertebrate

      Lol ! True!!

    • OSG

      Kellyanne Conway better watch her back.

      • TrollopeReader

        ewww.

      • Gianni

        Kellyanne really should be on the front line. She’s literally bulletproof.

  • SoCalGal20

    OT: Well this is a problem. And it can’t be blamed on Trump, though I expect things will get way worse with him.

    Canadian photojournalist Ed Ou was detained by U.S. Customs for 6 hours, had pages of his diary copied, and had the sim cards on his phones tampered with or copied when he refused to provide information about his contacts. He was headed to the #NoDAPL protests at Standing Rock but he also does photojournalism in the Middle East and other locations around the world. After detaining him for 6 hours they refused to let him enter the U.S. The ACLU has filed a complaint. As much as I adore Obama in general, this sort of thing is unacceptable.

    https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/does-what-happened-journalist-us-canada-border-herald-darker-trend

    • The_Wretched

      I just keep mentally comparing the Standing Rock situation with the Malheur Wildlife refuge.

  • Tom Kiley

    Rather than waste time/energy/capital trying to actively fight for its inclusion here, they’ll probably just rescind (or let lapse … not sure exactly how that works) Obama’s Executive Order. It’s much easier for them to make the case that Executive Orders are ‘overreach.’ Even though Trump will probably keep a few, and maybe add a few of his own.

    I’m saying, they probably just found a path of less resistance to meet the same end :-

  • Robincho

    I didn’t realize they declared a winner in the Rahm Emanuel Separated-At-Birth Contest…

  • Dagoril

    They wanted to force women to register for the draft? Almost like they are planning for a lot of wars or something…

    • Friday

      They were trying to make a ‘poison pill’ point, basically.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    “All crimes against another person have some level of hate in them”

    If he actually believes that then we should get rid of anything less than murder one because the different distinctions depend on intent.

  • Jack

    I like his hair.

    • Gianni

      It’s certainly better than Trump’s mess.

  • paris

    No draft for the ladies? They must be livid. Ra ra equality.

    • Friday

      Frankly, I *do* have problems with subjecting *anyone* to a draft I’m not myself up for, but when I was that age they still wouldn’t have *let* me fight on both anti-LGBT counts and that one.

    • Crow on a Top Hat

      The draft is stupid. Why force people who don’t want to fight and exclude those who do based on gender and or orientation.

      • Friday

        The sticky part of that, which is shown up by rich people like Trump and Dubya getting deferments and joke assignments, is that without a draft, only the poor die when the oligarchs vote us into war. The sexism is actually kind of secondary to that. When I was a teen I knew damn well from experience I could more than hold my own with the boys in a fight, …it’s also OK if that’s not universal.

    • andrew

      The draft is not coming back for men or women. The all volunteer military is working just fine. The need for massive land armies for wars like WWI and WWII is a thing of the past.

  • Ninja0980

    This asshole is a former member of the Army and likes to talk about how he fought for everyone’s freedom.
    He should clarify he fought for the “freedom” of people he thinks are worthy, which sure as hell isn’t the LGBT community.
    He is a disgrace to the uniform several of my family members have worn, simple as that.

  • Gianni

    “Sexual orientation is a very vague word that could be extended to
    extremes like necrophilia.” Russell said he is also concerned if someone
    is attacked and killed for his or her sexual orientation, the suspect
    could pass the blame onto a religious leader who preached out against
    the lifestyle of the victim who was attacked. DON’T EVER THINK YOU’VE HEARD IT ALL!

    • Friday

      “No, it’s not, sir, you’re just that much of a willfully-ignorant perv.”

      • Gianni

        I believe you’ve misinterpreted my answer. I was highlighting the idiocy of the man’s statements. You certainly went into attack mode, didn’t you?

        • Friday

          I was addressing the pol in the article. 🙂

  • Gregory In Seattle

    I have no problem with women being required to register for the draft. Either make the law equal, or eliminate registration entirely.