Members of Congress aren’t actually dedicating much time to debating LGBT issues, but LGBT-related amendments — both pro-equality and anti-equality — keep being added to unrelated legislation. The latest move in this partisan back-and-forth comes from Rep. Steve King (R-IA), who this week proposed an anti-transgender bathroom restriction for a budget bill.
King’s amendment to the 2017 legislative branch appropriations bill is short:
None of the funds made available by this Act may be used to encourage, allow, or require any individual to use any bathroom other than the bathroom of the individual’s biological sex.
Because the bill governs all properties under the jurisdiction of Congress, this amendment would prohibit transgender guests to the Capitol, any Senate or House office buildings, or the Library of Congress from using public restrooms that match their gender identity. It directly mirrors the restrictions laid out in North Carolina’s HB2.
The Washington Blade notes that King has filed several other anti-immigration and pro-gun amendments to the bill, but he has not yet commented on why he feels any of the amendments are necessary.
If You Want To Marry Your Lawnmower, Steve King Believes That’s Now LegalLGBT by CREDIT: CREDIT: AP PHOTO/NATI HARNIK Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is one of Congress’s most vocal opponents of…thinkprogress.orgKing’s volley follows a spat that started when Rep. Steve Russell (R) introduced an amendment to the defense budget that would have overturned President Obama’s executive order protecting the LGBT employees of federal contractors. Despite bipartisan opposition, the bill passed the House with its anti-LGBT amendment intact.
Democrats countered by attaching pro-LGBT amendments to other bills. One of them almost passed, but House leadership held the vote open long enough to convince a few Republicans to switch back their votes against it. The amendment eventually passed a week later.