BREAKING: House Passes LGBT-Inclusive Version Of Violence Against Women Act

congressThe GOP-controlled House of Representatives has passed Senate Bill S.47, which re-authorizes the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), by a vote of 286 to 138. This bi-partisan version of the measure includes protections for LGBT people, as well as undocumented immigrants and Native Americans.

Those provisions had been stripped from an earlier House version of the bill.

“In a landmark shift in national politics, the House today, for the first time in history, passed sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination protections,” said Terra Slavinof the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. “In each and every state in the country, sexual orientation and gender identity will now no longer be a legitimate basis for denial of VAWA victim services.”

Sharon Stapel, Executive Director of the New York City Anti-Violence Project, added that the legislation, “says to all survivors of violence:  you matter and there is support for you.”

President Obama is expected to sign the bill into law.