Transgender and Gun Rights Are Sticking Points for Violence Against Women Act

Transgender and Gun Rights Are Sticking Points for Violence Against Women Act

Gun Rights

Sarah Silbiger/The New York Times WASHINGTON — The House Judiciary Committee voted along party lines on Wednesday to approve a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act after Democrats turned back Republican attempts to gut protections of transgender people and restrict some gun ownership. The measure will soon head to the full House, but the partisan sparring, particularly over provisions that would require prisons to house transgender people based on the gender they identify with, will continue. That promises to make a once broadly bipartisan law, first passed in the years after the Anita Hill hearings in 1991, rancorous. Protections for gay, bisexual and transgender people have been included in the Violence Against Women Act since the last reauthorization in 2013. The current proposal to reauthorize the act includes additional provisions that would require an expansion of those protections and require the Bureau of Prisons to consider the safety and protection of transgender prisoners when giving housing assignments. Multiple amendments offered by Republicans on Wednesday, however, sought to eliminate the gender identity and sexual orientation language. Representative Debbie Lesko, Republican of Arizona and a survivor of domestic violence, offered an amendment that would prohibit service providers from putting women and children in situations where they have “grounds to fear for a violation of privacy or for his or her safety.” Ms. Lesko cited concern that the measure would be “forcing organizations to take in men in women’s shelters.” “If this is called the Violence Against Women Act, it is […]

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