HRC Blog

House Passes LGBT-Inclusive Violence Against Women Act

Today the U.S. House passed the Senate-approved version of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) that includes important protections for LGBT individuals.

The  bill was passed 78 to 22 in a bipartisan Senate vote and today's 286 to 138 vote included 87 Republicans.

Today’s victory marks a rare occasion when Republicans and Democrats came together to ensure explicit protections in the federal code for “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”  It is also the first time that any federal non-discrimination provisions include the LGBT community.

President Obama has pledged to sign the bill which prohibits any program or activity funded by the bill from discriminating against a victim based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.  It also explicitly includes LGBT victims in two key VAWA grant programs.  

HRC lobbied to include the language in the Senate bill and urged House members to pass the inclusive language as well.

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