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Thu May 26, 2016, 08:51 PM

Flap in Congress over gender identity sinks spending bill

Source: Reuters

Politics | Thu May 26, 2016 4:39pm EDT

Flap in Congress over gender identity sinks spending bill

WASHINGTON | BY DAVID MORGAN

The rancorous political debate over sexual identity unexpectedly prompted the Republican-controlled House of Representatives to reject an energy and water spending bill on Thursday after Democrats attached an amendment to protect the rights of transgender people.

The legislation, which would provide funds for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Energy in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1, failed on a 112-305 vote, with 130 Republicans and 175 Democrats opposing the legislation.

The outcome was such a surprise that the House Appropriations Committee initially announced the bill had passed and was forced to retract the statement.

Democrats blamed Republicans for opposing a Democratic amendment to bar federal contractors from government work if they discriminate against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. Democrats failed to attach the same measure to a separate House spending bill last week.

"In turning against a far-reaching funding bill simply because it affirms protections for LGBT Americans, Republicans have once again lain bare the depths of their bigotry," House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement.

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Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-lgbt-congress-idUSKCN0YH2AO

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