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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Violence Against Women Act: Why Is Senator Roy Blunt Still Opposing? LGBT Protections?

Posted By on Tue, Feb 19, 2013 at 6:00 AM

click to enlarge Roy Blunt. - SAM LEVIN
  • Sam Levin
  • Roy Blunt.

One of the more heated battles in D.C. this year so far centers around the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, a measure that provides protection for victims of domestic violence. Congress failed to extend it last year, but it's now under consideration at the House -- after it passed through the U.S. Senate last week.

With no help from Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, a Republican.

Blunt was in the minority of GOP senators who voted no. Republicans have objected to added protections for LGBT people, Native Americans and undocumented immigrants.

Daily RFT asked Blunt why he opposed -- does he not support LGBT protections?

"My prediction is I will vote for the extension of the Violence Against Women Act when it happens," Blunt says in response to our question at the end of his St. Louis press conference last week on mental health. "But when it happens, they will have worked out the Indian reservations issues -- and the other issues that are real problems in that bill."

He adds, "The bill that was on the Senate floor will not ever become law."

Is he concerned with the specific LGBT protections, we ask in a follow-up question.

"I think I just answered the question," he replies, adding, "See you all," as he makes his way out the door of the center where he had staged the news conference.

Roy Blunt addresses reporters. - SAM LEVIN
  • Sam Levin
  • Roy Blunt addresses reporters.

Blunt was one of 22 senators to oppose the bill, up against the 78 that voted in favor of it last week.

Critics of this small minority opposing the measure argue that they are pandering to the extreme right-wing viewpoints; for example, a Post-Dispatch editorial, highlighting Blunt's no vote, says, "Voting against help for people whose sexual or ethnic orientation frequently make them targets for violence won't make them go away."

While Blunt's conservative viewpoints aren't all that surprising -- he has fought against bill to bar employers from discriminating against gays and lesbians -- his vote against VAWA comes at a time when the measure is getting support from GOP politicians as well.

Continue for information on Senator Claire McCaskill's support of VAWA.

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