Senate rejects Republican version of VAWA without LGBT protections

This version of the Violence Against Women Act would have taken the word "women" out of a major grant program

Topics: Chuck Grassley, Violence Against Women Act, U.S. Senate, LGBT, domestic violence, Undocumented immigrants, Native Americans,

Leading up to the Senate vote on the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization, a version of the bill that stripped protections for LGBT women, undocumented immigrants and Native American women was defeated.

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, introduced the scaled-back version of the bill, which failed by a vote of 34-65. Among the 34 Republicans to vote for the bill were Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., the only female senator who is not a co-sponsoring the version of the VAWA that will likely be voted on on Monday.

The new protections for LGBT, immigrant and Native American women were a big reason why Republicans opposed the reauthorization bill in the last session of Congress. VAWA had been allowed to expire in September, 2011, and stalled several times over the course of 2012.

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From the Huffington Post, Grassley’s version would also reorient the law to focus on men as well:

In addition to stripping out the tribal jurisdiction provision, Grassley’s legislation differs in several key ways from Leahy’s bill. It would remove the word “women” from VAWA’s largest grant program, effectively broadening the scope of the original 1994 law to include male victims of violence, who face far less victimization than their female counterparts. Grassley’s proposal would also take out protections for LGBT victims of domestic violence and place new restrictions on U visas, which are given to immigrant victims of domestic violence who help law enforcement officials to identify and prosecute their abusers.

 

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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