House Of Hate: The GOP’s War On Equality

Earlier this month, the Senate affirmed that all Americans deserve basic civil rights in the workplace regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity by passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.

Backed by a large majority of voters who believe it should be illegal to fire somebody because they are gay, 64 senators – including 10 Republicans – came together in support of the bill, which social conservatives have bitterly opposed since it was first introduced in the 1990s. Now, the only thing standing in the way of long-overdue protections for LGBT workers is House Speaker John Boehner, who has declared his opposition and signaled that he may not even allow a vote on it.

Boehner has justified his stance by falsely suggesting that any workplace discrimination is already illegal, but past statements by many members of his party reveal another factor at play: the homophobia and bigotry of extreme House Republicans. Among other ugly views, conservative House members have described homosexuality as “personal enslavement,” compared being gay to “somebody who has love for an animal,” and warned that LGBT rights are “a threat to the nation’s survival.”

The choice for Boehner is clear. He can listen to the American people and recognize that everybody deserves equal rights in the workplace, or he can acquiesce to the far right and turn the people’s House into a House of Hate.

Read more after the jump.

GOP Glitch: Failed War On Obamacare Stuck On Repeat

The Republican Party is historically unpopular after shutting down the government in a futile attempt to defund the Affordable Care Act. In fact, with a favorability rating of just 24 percent, Republicans are far less popular than the health care law, which a majority of Americans support or would like to make stronger. Yet the backlash against them has not convinced Republicans to give up their desperate crusade to take away people’s health care.

On Tuesday, the House Ways and Means Committee is holding a hearing on the glitches in the Affordable Care Act’s recently launched insurance marketplaces. A memo from the committee’s Republican majority contends that the “significant and ongoing problems with the launch of the Exchanges further exacerbates the challenges facing American families.” However, a look back at President Bush’s Medicare Part D expansion shows Republicans – including members of the very same committee holding today’s hearing – defending the need to give new health care programs enough time to succeed. For example, as current chairman of the Ways and Means health subcommittee Kevin Brady (R-TX) said, “I think it needs to be understood that in a major reform, an improvement of a program like this, there are bound to be glitches.”

While the past conduct of these Republican committee members makes it abundantly clear that the hearing has nothing to do with improving people’s access to health care, the overall record of Republicans in Congress provides even more evidence that they are not genuinely concerned with the difficulties of obtaining health insurance. House Republicans have voted nearly 50 times to repeal or defund the Affordable Care Act without offering any realistic replacement. Furthermore, Republicans have repeatedly approved radical budget proposals that would privatize Medicare and gut health care programs for children and the poor.

Read more after the jump.