LGBTQ Projects Killed By Republicans In Appropriations Markup

LGBTQ Projects Killed By Republicans In Appropriations Markup
Out Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) (screen capture)

An LGBTQ-related earmarks fight erupted as House Republicans killed three projects submitted by Democrats that would provide services to the LGBTQ community including an affordable housing project for seniors.

From Roll Call:

The three earmarks total $3.62 million, with two in Massachusetts and one in Pennsylvania. The projects were eliminated as part of a Republican en bloc amendment that advanced a range of Republican cultural priorities, including a provision that would ban flying gay pride flags over government buildings. The vote was along party lines, 32-26.

The earmarks that are set to be stripped include two in Pennsylvania: $1.8 million that Rep. Brendan F. Boyle requested for an expansion project at the William Way Community Center in Philadelphia and $970,000 that Rep. Chrissy Houlahan requested for a transitional housing program at the LGBT Center of Greater Reading.

The third project is $850,000 that Rep. Ayanna S. Pressley, D-Mass., requested for LGBTQ Senior Housing Inc. to convert a former Boston Public School building into 74 units of affordable housing for seniors.

Out Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) could barely withhold his ire calling the elimination of funding for LGBTQ organizations “insane.”

“If you were to take away earmarks because they went to the NAACP or the Urban League, you would rightfully so be called racist bigots. But when you do it to the LGBT community, it’s another fricken day in Congress.”

“Did I share with you when I used to get the article when I first ran for office when they wrote ‘dead faggot’ over your face and sent it to you in the mail?

“Or the time when I wasn’t out yet, left a gay bar, and two people followed me and beat me with a baseball bat until I was bloodied and unconscious and called me a faggot?

“This is what you guys do by introducing amendments like this.”