July 12, 2016 at 9:30 am EDT | by Kevin Naff
GOP celebrates Orlando massacre
Raúl Rafael Labrador, Raul Labrador, Idaho, United States House of Representatives, Republican Party, gay news, Washington Blade, First Amendment Defense Act

Rep. Raúl Rafael Labrador (R-Idaho) has introduced the First Amendment Defense Act in the House. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key).

The Republican Party has trafficked in overt racism for the past year and today its true feelings for LGBT Americans are once again laid bare: On the one-month anniversary of the Orlando massacre that claimed 49 lives, the GOP-led House is holding hearings on an anti-LGBT bill.

Just one month after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history that targeted LGBT people, House Republicans are pushing a bill to allow businesses to discriminate against their gay employees.

Just one month after offering the usual hollow “thoughts and prayers” for victims, House Republicans have reverted to type, dishonoring the lives lost and returning to their ugly politics of division.

They are shameless and cruel. Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) introduced the odious First Amendment Defense Act in the House and Senate, a hateful measure that would prevent federal government action against individuals and businesses that oppose same-sex marriage on religious grounds. Among the many intended consequences of the bill, as highlighted Monday by HRC, it would allow businesses to withhold benefits from LGBT employees; allow companies to deny time off to an employee to care for a same-sex spouse; and permit housing discrimination against same-sex couples.

The GOP’s presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump naturally supports the bill.

Meanwhile, in Cleveland, party leaders are assembling another hate-filled platform crammed full of attacks on LGBT people, immigrants and other groups. One month removed from Orlando and the platform includes language seeking to overturn the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, among other anti-LGBT attacks.

It’s beyond comprehension that any LGBT person would support the racist circus that is the modern Republican Party. All thinking people must rise up against this sick lot and send them to the political wilderness until saner heads one day prevail.

Kevin Naff is the editor and a co-owner of the Washington Blade, the nation’s oldest and most acclaimed LGBT news publication, founded in 1969.

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