Metro Weekly

GOP congressman “disturbed” at Trump DOJ’s position on civil rights

Rep. Scott Taylor says discrimination against LGBTQ individuals is "on the wrong side of history"

Scott Taylor – Photo: Kristie Boyd, U.S. House of Representatives.

“I am very disturbed with the Department of Justice’s arguments against civil rights for LGBTQ individuals.”

–U.S. Rep. Scott Taylor (R-Va.), responding to the U.S. Department of Justice stating that the Civil Rights Act does not protect LGBTQ people from discrimination.

“The notion that it is okay for LGBTQ individuals to be discriminated against, or that these protections cannot coexist with religious protections is shortsighted and on the wrong side of history,” Taylor said in a statement released Thursday.

Taylor also vowed to fight for expanded LGBTQ rights by advancing his own civil rights legislation. A first-term congressman, Taylor recently introduced the Fair & Equal Housing Act, which would amend the Fair Housing Act of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to its list of protected classes.

The bill would prohibit discrimination against people based on their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, handicap, familial status, or national origin in the sale, rental, or financing of housing. It currently has 17 cosponsors, including six other Republicans.

Taylor also issued a separate statement saying that he was “troubled” that the Department of Defense seemed unaware of President Trump’s recent proposal to ban transgender troops from serving. He noted that military leaders are currently reviewing their policies, and, as such, the proposed ban is “premature.”

“There are heroic military members willing to put their lives on the line and give the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf, regardless of their gender identity,” Taylor said. “I support the ability for those who meet all military requirements, medical and otherwise, to have the opportunity to serve our great country.”

However, Taylor recently voted in favor of the Hartzler amendment that would prohibit federal funds from being used to cover transition-related care for transgender service members. He said in that same statement that he voted for the amendment “on the basis of individual medical readiness, which should always be a priority for the military.”

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John Riley is the local news reporter for Metro Weekly. He can be reached at jriley@metroweekly.com