VICTORY: More than 50 Anti-LGBTQ+ Riders Stripped from Appropriations Bill

WASHINGTON - March 22, 2024 - Due to the work of Congressional equality champions and the relentless advocacy efforts of the Human Rights Campaign and other LGTBQ+ advocacy organizations, more than 50 proposed anti-LGBTQ+ riders were stripped from the final version of a $1.2 trillion funding package that heads for a vote in the US Senate today. Despite demands from MAGA lawmakers in the U.S. House that the critical budget bills be saddled with anti-LGBTQ+ provisions, the bipartisan, bicameral negotiations rejected 51 of 52 of the newly-proposed riders.

"LGBTQ+ people - and the country at-large - secured a victory this week," said Human Rights Campaign Vice President of Government Affairs David Stacy. "MAGA members of Congress have repeatedly threatened to bog the appropriations process down with their anti-LGBTQ+ poison pills, putting the federal government on the brink of a shutdown in the process. But, alongside pro-equality champions in the House and Senate, these dangerous riders that would have had devastating effects on LGBTQ+ people across the country have been rejected. This serves as a critical reminder: the anti-LGBTQ+ agenda is and will continue to be a failing political strategy."

In January, The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) joined the ACLU and 63 other partner organizations to call on Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries to continue rallying pro-equality lawmakers in opposition to the slate of anti-LGBTQ+ riders being advanced by MAGA members of Congress and supported by House Speaker Mike Johnson. In all, 52 new anti-LGBTQ+ provisions were proposed - with 51 suffering defeat. The defeated provisions included those that would have restricted medically necessary health care for transgender people, given license to engage in taxpayer-funded discrimination against married same-sex couples, blocked nondiscrimination and DE&I efforts, and further stigmatized the LGBTQ+ community.

Despite this failed attempt by House Republicans to use the appropriations process to attack LGBTQ+ people, media outlets have reported Speaker Mike Johnson is attempting to claim victory by touting a mean-spirited but limited provision that would continue to allow LGBTQ+ pride flags to be present in almost all cases at embassies except being flown over the exterior of the building. It poses absolutely no limits to other displays of a pride flag, hosting LGBTQ+ events or embassy employees' ability to display Pride flags in their work spaces. A final vote is expected on the package today, after which it will go to President Biden to sign into law.

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.

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