Yesterday, the House passed the Matthew Shepard Act as part of the ($680 billion!) Defense Department spending bill. In a 281-146 vote, some 131 Republicans and 15 Democrats opposed the measure. But as one Republican in particular explains, he voted against it not because he doesn’t want American troops to have the equipment and supplies they need to fight seventeen wars at once, but because he doesn’t want the gays to have laws that protect them. His name is John Boehner, and he’s the Republican Minority Leader.
“Radical social policy” is what Ohio’s Rep. Boehner calls the hate crimes legislation, faulting Democrats for attaching LGBT protections to a military issue. It’s the only way they could get it through, Boehner claims, snidely.
And maybe he’s right. (We like to think not.)
But Boehner’s “OMG this is an abuse of power” shtick is so tired, because it’s just another round of he-said-she-said in an arena where Democrats and Republicans alike attach “pet” measures to larger legislation. Rather than help give our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, and fathers and mothers the money they need to stay safe and fight wars overseas, he’d prefer to let queers be attacked as usual. This is partisan politics at its worst.