WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ), the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer ( LGBTQ ) civil rights organization, responded to news that the U.S. House passed a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act ( VAWA ) by calling upon the Senate to do the same.
"It is essential that Congress reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act this year. Since first enacted in 1994, VAWA has made a significant impact in providing support and safety to all victims of sexual and domestic violence," said David Stacy, HRC Government Affairs Director. "Despite the progress we've made, sexual and domestic violence remain an ongoing problem that requires continued action. That's why it is shameful and bizarre for House Republican leadership to paint transgender women as dangerous in order to try to defeat this important legislation. The House rejected this false and defamatory fear-mongering and the Senate should follow suit."
The Violence Against Women Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Clinton in 1994 and received reauthorization from strong bipartisan majorities in 2000, 2005 and 2013. Despite opposition by House Republicans in 2012 due to its protections for LGBTQ people, Native women, and undocumented immigrants, it was ultimately reauthorized in 2013.
Last month, HRC applauded pro-equality members of the House Judiciary Committee for voting down last-minute, harmful, and unnecessary amendments to VAWA that would have undermined existing critical protections for transgender people facing violence, and would have allowed federally funded organizations to refuse to provide services to some individuals —including members of the LGBTQ community — because of personal beliefs.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.