By Andrew Harmon
Originally published on Advocate.com May 16 2012 8:06 AM ET
The White House on Tuesday threatened to veto the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) should protections for LGBT victims remain absent from the bill's language.
The House version of the bill’s reauthorization “fails to include language that would prohibit discrimination against LGBT victims in VAWA grant programs,” according to a White House Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) that lists other perceived major flaws, including the removal of certain protections for immigrants and individuals living in subsidized housing.
“No sexual assault or domestic violence victim should be beaten, hurt, or killed because they could not access needed support, assistance, and protection,” the statement released by the Office of Management and Budget read.
Late last month, the Senate passed its version of the bill with specific LGBT provisions. Should that language not be adopted in the final version of the bill, White House advisors would recommend that President Obama veto the bill, according to the Tuesday statement.
Also on Tuesday, the White House condemned GOP-led efforts in the National Defense Authorization Act to bar on-base weddings for same-sex couples, as well as a sweeping conscience clause for chaplains that the administration called overbroad in its language and “potentially harmful to good order and discipline.”
The amendment regarding same-sex wedding ceremonies, authored by Rep. Steve Palazzo (R-Miss.), is similar to efforts last year to prohibit such events on military facilities. The antigay amendment was ultimately stripped from the final version of the bill last year.
Full White House statement on the NDAA antigay provisions:
Protection of Certain Religious and Moral Beliefs:
The Administration strongly objects to sections 536 and 537 because those provisions adopt unnecessary and ill-advised policies that would inhibit the ability of same-sex couples to marry or enter a recognized relationship under State law. Section 536 would prohibit all personnel-related actions based on certain religious and moral beliefs, which, in its overbroad terms, is potentially harmful to good order and discipline. Section 537 would obligate DOD to deny Service members, retirees, and their family members access to facilities for religious ceremonies on the basis of sexual orientation, a troublesome and potentially unconstitutional limitation on religious liberty.