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HRC Head Denounces Antigay Bill's Lone Democratic Supporter

HRC Head Denounces Antigay Bill's Lone Democratic Supporter

Chad Griffin and Dan Lipinski

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski's cosponsorship of a bill to protect marriage equality opponents from discrimination penalities is 'an attack on our families,' Chad Griffin says.

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At an event in Chicago over the weekend, Human Rights Campaign president Chad Griffin had some choice words for a Windy City congressman who happens to be the only Democrat cosponsoring the anti-LGBT First Amendment Defense Act.

U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski's support of the bill is "an attack on our families ... and his own constituents," Griffin told the crowd at HRC's Chicago gala Saturday night, Windy City Times reports. The legislation would prevent federal agencies from penalizing individuals, businesses, or organizations for taking actions based on religious or moral opposition to marriage equality, essentially providing a license to discriminate against same-sex couples.

If the bill becomes law, it will cause "a complete breakdown of protections" against discrimination, said Griffin (pictured above, left, with Lipinski at right).

Its passage would probably happen only if Republicans control both houses of Congress and the presidency. A nearly identical bill introduced in 2013 went nowhere. The new legislation has been endorsed by the Republican National Committee and some GOP presidential hopefuls.

At the gala, Griffin also noted that HRC's federal legislative priority in the near future will be passing the Equality Act, a comprehensive bill that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and a variety of other venues. It will likely be "the biggest legislative battle in the history of our movement," he told the gathering.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel opened the event by noting the progress in LGBT rights since 1997, when Bill Clinton became the first sitting president to address an HRC gathering, Windy City Times reports. Other speakers at the event included marriage equality plaintiff Jim Obergefell and gay pro football player Michael Sam. Several local elected officials -- but not Lipinski -- were among the 650 guests.

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Trudy Ring

Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.
Trudy Ring is The Advocate’s senior politics editor and copy chief. She has been a reporter and editor for daily newspapers and LGBTQ+ weeklies/monthlies, trade magazines, and reference books. She is a political junkie who thinks even the wonkiest details are fascinating, and she always loves to see political candidates who are groundbreaking in some way. She enjoys writing about other topics as well, including religion (she’s interested in what people believe and why), literature, theater, and film. Trudy is a proud “old movie weirdo” and loves the Hollywood films of the 1930s and ’40s above all others. Other interests include classic rock music (Bruce Springsteen rules!) and history. Oh, and she was a Jeopardy! contestant back in 1998 and won two games. Not up there with Amy Schneider, but Trudy still takes pride in this achievement.