Don’t Let the 43 Republicans Who Voted for Obama’s Transgender Agenda Spin Their Vote

There is no good reason why Republicans joined with Democrats to ratify Obama's 2014 executive order and vote for his transgender agenda.

US President Barack Obama speaks at a press conference during the first day of the Group of Seven (G7) summit meetings in Ise Shima on May 26, 2016.

By Ryan Anderson Published on May 27, 2016

On Wednesday, 43 Republican members of Congress joined the Democrats to vote for President Barack Obama’s transgender agenda. Now they’re trying to spin their vote.

These 43 Republicans voted for the Maloney amendment, which ratified Obama’s 2014 executive order barring private businesses who do contract work for the government from engaging in what the government considers to be “discrimination” on the basis of “sexual orientation and gender identity” in their private employment policies.

As I pointed out in an earlier Daily Signal article, “discrimination” on the basis of “gender identity” can be something as simple as having a bathroom policy based on biological sex, not gender identity.

New York City is now fining people up to $250,000 for “gender identity” “discrimination” if they use the wrong pronoun. Meanwhile, “discrimination” on the basis of “sexual orientation” can be something as reasonable as an adoption agency preferring married moms and dads for orphans, than other arrangements.

Congress should not be ratifying Obama’s radical transgender agenda and imposing these outcomes on private employers just because they contract with the government. All Americans should be free to contract with the government without penalty because of their reasonable beliefs about contentious issues. The federal government should not use government contracting to reshape civil society about controversial issues that have nothing to do with the federal contract at stake.

Those supporting the Maloney amendment and Obama’s transgender agenda have created some rather novel arguments in their defense. Here are some, along with my responses.

Claim: The Maloney amendment simply affirms existing law. Companies that do work for the federal government must apply the same hiring practices as the federal government.

Reality: The Maloney amendment ratifies Obama’s executive order and codifies it in law through each appropriations bill it is attached to. The appropriate response to Obama’s executive order, as I argued two years ago, is for Congress to reject the order, not ratify it in law.

There is no good reason why 43 Republican members of Congress should be working with the Obama administration to force private businesses that do contract work for the government to embrace the government’s radical transgender agenda. Nothing in the Constitution requires this.

Claim: The Maloney amendment applies only to federal agencies. It is not about gender identity policy for the public at large.

Reality: The Maloney amendment applies to private businesses that do contract work for the government, not to federal agencies only.

The Maloney amendment applies “gender identity” policies to all of those private businesses — and it establishes a precedent to extend them beyond businesses that do contract work for the government to all businesses.

Claim: What’s the big deal? Pre-existing religious liberty protections will take care of the problems with the Maloney amendment.

Reality: The Maloney amendment creates bad public policy. Maloney says that acting on the belief that we’re created male and female, and that male and female are created for each other, now equals “discrimination.” Yes, existing religious liberty protections may provide some protection. But they do not adequately protect against the damage of Maloney, because there is no way to sufficiently protect liberty if government elevates “sexual orientation and gender identity” to a special legal status, as Princeton University professor Robert P. George and I explain.

Furthermore, religious liberty protections provide no protection for non-religious concerns about privacy and safety and transgender bathroom policies. Secular contractors can have concerns about Obama’s radical transgender agenda, too, and they have no protection.

This sort of argument — “we created bad policy, but hey, there are existing religious liberty protections” — is akin to what the Obama administration said with the Obamacare Department of Health and Human Services contraception mandate. Anyone who has seen how that has played out for the Little Sisters of the Poor can see how the Maloney amendment and other “sexual orientation and gender identity” policies will play out.

Liberal activist judges will do all they can to ensure that sexual orientation and gender identity policies will trump religious liberty protections, and trump concerns for privacy and safety. This is why Congress should not be elevating sexual orientation and gender identity as a protected class garnering special legal privileges.

Here is a list of the 43 Republicans who voted for the amendment:

Justin Amash, Mich.

Susan Brooks, Ind.

Mike Coffman, Colo.

Ryan Costello, Pa.

Carlos Curbelo, Fla.

Rodney Davis, Ill.

Jeff Denham, Calif.

Charlie Dent, Pa.

Mario Diaz-Balart, Fla.

Bob Dold, Ill.

Daniel Donovan, N.Y.

Tom Emmer, Minn.

Michael Fitzpatrick, Pa.

Rodney Frelinghuysen, N.J.

Chris Gibson, N.Y.

Joe Heck, Nev.

Will Hurd, Texas

Darrell Issa, Calif.

David Jolly, Fla.

John Katko, N.Y.

Adam Kinzinger, Ill.

Leonard Lance, N.J.

Frank LoBiondo, N.J.

Tom MacArthur, N.J.

Martha McSally, Ariz.

Pat Meehan, Pa.

Luke Messer, Ind.

Erik Paulsen, Minn.

Bruce Poliquin, Maine

Tom Reed, N.Y.

David Reichert, Wash.

Jim Renacci, Ohio

Tom Rooney, Fla.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Fla.

John Shimkus, Ill.

Elise Stefanik, N.Y.

Fred Upton, Mich.

David Valadao, Calif.

Greg Walden, Ore.

Mimi Walters, Calif.

David Young, Iowa

Todd Young, Ind.

Lee Zeldin, N.Y.


Copyright 2016 The Daily Signal

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  • Puddleglumm

    Thankfully no one from my state of Arkansas but these jokers should be voted out of office.

  • Seanb

    My congresswoman McSally voted Aye. She is in a tough re-election fight. She will need to explain this vote. The excuse better be that she was drunk.

    • BanIgnorance

      Agreed. Better a drunk than a sober person who promotes sexual deviance.

  • Luvthablues

    F–king RINOS…….kick them out of office!

  • Staci Woodruff

    Hmmm. Will Hurd of the 23rd congressional district in TX. This district spans from San Antonio to El Paso along the border of TX and Mexico. Doesn’t he have more pressing issues with which to concern himself? Ugh.

  • My Congressman, Dan Donovan, 11th distrct in NY, is on the list. I just sent him an angry email. I am infuriated. Unfortunately what choice do I have if when he runs for re-election? None really. I may stay home.

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