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24 April 2012

Repudiation: Republican Opposition to the Violence Against Women Act

Yet another annoying rant by Eugene Delgaudio caught my attention. Sometimes (rarely) he is almost correct.
I need you to forward this to as many friends as you can.
We don’t have much time to act and it will take the support of every possible pro-Family American if we are going to make a difference.
You see, right now the U.S. Senate is debating the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) -- but with pro-homosexual amendments.
The Radical Homosexual Lobby wants to create a special law for homosexuals and transgendered using VAWA as cover.
Okay, let's stop here for a moment.  The Senate Bill to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 has sixty co-sponsors and is being considered by the Senate.  I have tried searching through the three hundred and eighty-eight pages of the reauthorization for gay, lesbian, homo, and sexuality and there are zero matches for each of these.  Expanding my earlier search to include all instances of trans did have matches.  The matches were for transitional housing, transportation, and transfer from one home or shelter to another.  I finally got somewhere will a search for gender.

The answer begins on page 199 of the bill:
4 ‘underserved populations’ means populations who face
5 barriers in accessing and using victim services, and
6 includes populations underserved because of geo-
7 graphic location, religion, sexual orientation, gender
8 identity, underserved racial and ethnic populations,
9 populations underserved because of special needs (such
10 as language barriers, disabilities, alienage status, or
11 age), and any other population determined to be un-
12 derserved by the Attorney General or by the Secretary
13 of Health and Human Services, as appropriate.’’;
So the definition of who may be protected from violence in the Violence Against Women Act is being expanded.  It does not seem to me that protection against violence is "pro-homosexual" as much as pro-human.
In reality this altered VAWA is just a back-door attempt to create a special class of federally-protected citizens.
An excellent idea, but it just isn't true.  Federal protections are a legal designation that is not included in this legislation.  Further, since the reauthorization includes illegal aliens, it is not only about citizens.  It is about protecting human beings from domestic and sexual abuse.

Something closer to Mr. Delgaudio's concerns can be found on pages 205 and 206.
13 ‘‘(13) CIVIL RIGHTS.—
14 ‘‘(A) NONDISCRIMINATION.—No person in
15 the United States shall, on the basis of actual or
16 perceived race, color, religion, national origin,
17 sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph
18 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual
19 orientation, or disability, be excluded from par-
20 ticipation in, be denied the benefits of, or be sub-
21 jected to discrimination under any program or
22 activity funded in whole or in part with funds
23 made available under the Violence Against
24 Women Act of 1994 (title IV of Public Law 103–
25 322; 108 Stat. 1902), the Violence Against
1 Women Act of 2000 (division B of Public Law
2 106–386; 114 Stat. 1491), the Violence Against
3 Women and Department of Justice Reauthoriza-
4 tion Act of 2005 (title IX of Public Law 109–
5 162; 119 Stat. 3080), the Violence Against
6 Women Reauthorization Act of 2011, and any
7 other program or activity funded in whole or in
8 part with funds appropriated for grants, cooper-
9 ative agreements, and other assistance adminis-
10 tered by the Office on Violence Against Women.
Unlike Mr. Delgaudio's allegation, the nondiscrimination designation for gender identity and sexual orientation is limited to programs funded by the Violence Against Women Act.  There is no change outside of it.

An excellent explanation can be found in an article in the Washington Post.
Enacted in 1994, VAWA has twice been reauthorized by Congress with unanimous Senate support. This year Senate Republicans opposed the bill in the Judiciary Committee because of provisions that extend protections to gays, lesbians, transgendered people, Native Americans and battered immigrant women. They essentially accused Democrats of using the cloak of battered women to force approval on what they see as controversial social issues. “Maybe then they could accuse you of not being supportive of fighting violence against women?” Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) told the New York Times. Mr. Sessions and other Republicans on the committee voted for an alternative version that they characterized as a clean reauthorization without unnecessarily political provisions.
A comprehensive committee report convincingly details gaps in current programs as identified by law enforcement officers, victim-service providers, judges and health-care professions. No one — gay or straight, man or woman, legal or undocumented — should be denied protections against domestic abuse or sexual violence. The proposed changes are by no means radical. They include a provision that would bar a shelter from turning away a lesbian who has been beaten by her female partner and adjustments in funding formulas to better address the needs of male victims of domestic and sexual violence.
Some changes, such as increasing the number of temporary visas for battered immigrant women, are supported by law enforcement. And the need to do more to protect Native American women is supported by a regional survey by University of Oklahoma researchers that showed that three out of five Native American women had been assaulted by their spouses or partners and a nationwide survey that found that one-third of all Native American women will be raped in their lifetime.
It will be good to reach a time when such legislation is not needed.  But we do have groups of people, most notably women, who have not received adequate protection when attacked.  The Violence Against Women Act is needed for them and other groups who are correctly identified in the proposed reauthorization.

According to the Hill, the Democrats and Republicans might reach some consensus, although it might be for a short term bill instead of something that would stand for several years.  Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson introduced an alternative reauthorization yesterday.  The Republican alternative is not likely to get far.

Links to my repudiations of Eugene Delgaudio and his lies about various legislation:
19 December 2011, Original Pedantic Political Ponderings post.
11 January 2012, FollowUp 1.
14 January 2012, FollowUp 2.
16 February 2012, FollowUp 3.
15 March 2012, FollowUp 4.

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