EXCLUSIVE: Collins spells out demands for supporting LGBTQ Equality ActShe said that the proposed bill is a starting point and she want to add amendments…
By Chris Johnson
March 12, 2021
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), whose support for the Equality Act is seen as crucial to winning Republican votes for the LGBTQ non-discrimination bill, is breaking her silence on the proposed revisions she’s demanding in exchange for her support.
Annie Clark, a Collins spokesperson, laid out the proposed changes this week after the Maine senator previously told the Washington Blade she won’t co-sponsor the Equality Act as she did in the previous Congress. Collins at the time said she wanted a revision, but didn’t specify what she was seeking.
Identifying three general areas where Collins seeks changes, Clark said Collins articulated them to the Equality Act’s supporters in the previous Congress.
One change would essentially grant additional leeway for religious institutions to turn away LGBTQ people. Further, the changes would allow domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters and school sports teams to take sex into account when deciding to place transgender people in sex-segregated areas.She wants to place them above the law in her home state state that does not have a religious exemption. In other words in Maine if a homeless shelter is getting government funding they could turn us away from the shelter.
Her other changes are...
So what she wants to do is throw us under the proverbial bus. She wants to strip the protections that her home grants us.
- Sen. Collins also has concerns about some of the language pertaining to religious organizations, and thinks that faith-based community partners, like Catholic Charities, and the important services they provide should not be unfairly excluded from receiving federal funding.
- In addition, she has been a leading advocate for girls’ and women’s sports, and also transgender rights, and she believes this complex issue needs further study.”
The Senate Democrats are having none of it.
In addition to articulating Collins’ proposed changes, Clark added some implicit criticism of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the lead sponsor of the Equality Act, for refusing to make changes to the bill that were promised in the previous Congress.With the filibuster I give the Equality Act zero chance of passing, repealing of the filibuster I give the bill a fifty-fifty chance of passing because it will only take one Democrat to say no.
“Unfortunately, the sponsor of the Equality Act was unwilling to make any changes to the bill whatsoever,” Clark said, “Sen. Collins has, therefore, decided not to cosponsor it at this time.”
Then there are some Democrats who think the same way.
A handful of Democrats in deep red states have joined forces with anti-trans extremists to support measures harming trans youth.LGBTQ NationCommentary by John GallagherMarch 14, 2021Thanks to a concerted effort by Republicans and anti-LGBTQ groups like the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), trans kids across the country are being banned from sports and bathrooms, while the few with access to trans-affirming health care are facing the possibility of losing it.[…]Just last week, an anti-trans amendment to the COVID-19 relief bill came close to passing the Senate. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 49 for, and 50 against, adding it to the bill. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) crossed the aisle to vote in support of it. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AR) crossed the aisle to vote against it.In South Carolina, state Rep. Cezar McKnight (D) not only supports, but actually wrote the measure that would ban doctors from giving trans youth puberty blockers and other gender-affirming treatment. Doctors who violate the ban would face a felony conviction that carries a 20 year sentence and loss of medical license.
So don’t expect the Equality Act to sail through it is going to take a long battle… We are in it for a long haul.
And even if it did pass expect a long court battle all the way up to the Supreme Court.