Home Politics Joe Manchin enrages fellow Democrats over LGBTQ ‘equality’ bill

Joe Manchin enrages fellow Democrats over LGBTQ ‘equality’ bill

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Joe Manchin enrages fellow Democrats over LGBTQ ‘equality’ bill

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin revealed on Monday that he will not support the Equality Act unless there are changes to the legislation. The bill is intended to enshrine federal protections for the LGBTQ community. Manchin is now the only holdout among Democrats in the senate and he is even getting criticism from his home state colleagues. 

The senator from West Virginia is perhaps the most conservative Democrat in Congress. He said that he believes the bill should allow more local control after talking to officials in his state. The bill extends federal protections to constituents on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

“I strongly support equality for all people and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. No one should be afraid of losing their job or losing their housing because of their sexual orientation,” Manchin said. “I am not convinced that the Equality Act as written provides sufficient guidance to the local officials who will be responsible for implementing it, particularly with respect to students transitioning between genders in public schools.”

The West Virginia Democratic Party was unhappy by Manchin’s comments. In a statement, the party said “we simply cannot allow West Virginia to deny equality and protections for our LGBTQ community.”

“If this past Legislative Session didn’t prove that we need to fight against discrimination and hate even harder in West Virginia then I don’t know what does,” the party said. “The LGBTQ community endured countless remarks of hate and ignorance while bills that were crafted to protect them never made it up for a vote. Senators Joe Manchin and [Republican West Virginia Sen.] Shelley Moore Capito need to lead by example and vote in support of The Equality Act.“

Manchin made it known that he will continue working with the bill’s leaders to write a version that he can support. Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) and Manchin are the only congressional Democrats that do not support the legislation. Democratic leaders unveiled the bill last week and it is expected to be considered by the House later this year.

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The Republican Senate is unlikely to address the measure; Susan Collins of Maine is the only GOP co-sponsor. But if Democrats take back the Senate in the election next year, they may need Manchin’s vote, depending on how divided the senate remains. 

Credit: Politico

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