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GOP Congressman Reads Anti-LGBT Bible Verse to Denounce Colleagues as Sinful

Congressman Rick Allen
Congressman Rick Allen

Rep. Rick Allen's action caused several fellow Republicans to walk out of a policy meeting.

A Republican congressman read colleagues a Bible passage condemning homosexuality during a meeting Thursday, in an apparent denunciation of those who voted for an LGBT nondiscrimination amendment to an energy spending bill Wednesday night.

Rep. Rick Allen of Georgia read the passage at Republican lawmakers' regularly scheduled policy meeting at the Capitol, The Hill reports, implying that the pro-LGBT vote was sinful. In response, several congressmen walked out.

One legislator, not identified by The Hill, called Allen's action "fucking ridiculous." A congressional aide added,"A lot of members were clearly uncomfortable and upset."

The Hill also did not identify which Bible passage Allen read. Allen and his staff did not respond to the publication's request for comment, and an aide to House Speaker Paul Ryan, the top-ranking Republican in the chamber, declined to comment.

The LGBT amendment has been a source of contention. It was designed to put into law President Obama's 2014 executive order that bars companies doing business with the federal government from discriminating against employees on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. An executive order can be changed by a future president.

The amendment, offered by Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, who is gay, failed on a 213-212 vote as part of a defense spending bill last week after several Republicans who had initially supported it decided to vote against it, leading House Democrats to chant "Shame." But the House then passed the amendment Wednesday night as part of an energy spending bill, but Thursday voted to kill the entire bill, even though the overall bill was Republican-backed. The Republicans have a majority in the House.

Some Republicans decried the Democrats' attempts to attach the measure to spending legislation. "This is not about LGBT rights. It's about shipwrecking the appropriations process," GOP Rep. Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina said after Thursday's vote, The Hill reports.

Democrats saw it differently "House Republicans' thirst to discriminate against the LGBT community is so strong that they are willing to vote down their own appropriations bill in order to prevent progress over bigotry," said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, according to The Hill.

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