How LGBT Job Protection Became the New Confederate Flag
Fight did not start with the Maloney amendment

An amendment preventing federal contractors from discriminating against workers based on sexual orientation or gender identity has traveled a tumultuous road in the House over the past year. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A year ago, debate over the Confederate flag shut down the congressional appropriations process . This year, minutes after the House seemed to put that issue to rest with a vote to lower the flag at federal cemeteries, a new firestorm began.  

An amendment to prevent federal contractors from making hiring decisions based on a person's sexual orientation or gender identity roiled debate on the House floor last week and took down an entire spending bill on Thursday.  

In Reversal, House Backs LGBT Anti-Discrimination Measure
More Republican support for same issue that caused chaos last week on House floor

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., reoffered his amendment to ensure federal contractors cannot discriminate against the LBGT community. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

An LGBT amendment that threw the House floor into a frenzy last week won approval late Wednesday night, meaning that some Republicans switched positions on the discrimination issue yet again.   

The amendment, offered by Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y.,  had failed by a single vote (212-213) last week after a handful of Republicans changed their vote from yes to no at the last minute. Democrats erupted into rage, repeatedly shouting "shame," as the vote was held open after time expired and the number of yes votes slowly dropped.   

More LGBT Amendments to Come, Hoyer Says
Minority whip questions GOP opposition to LGBT nondiscrimination provisions

House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland is promising more amendments on the issue of LGBT nondiscrimination. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House Democrats will keep trying to force floor votes on the issue of LGBT nondiscrimination after an amendment they offered to a spending bill last week failed when Republicans switched their votes, House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer said Tuesday.   

[ Moral Victory on Confederate Flag, Painful Defeat on LGBT Protection ]  

Really, 30 Republicans Switched Sides on LGBT Discrimination
They supported a similar amendment last year but voted no Thursday

Pennsylvania Rep. Charlie Dent, one of only 29 Republicans who supported the amendment, called on his party to oppose discrimination against LGBT people. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats are calling out the seven Republicans who switched their votes Thursday to help kill a measure protecting LGBT workers from job discrimination. But it was really 30 House Republicans who reversed course.  

Last year, 60 Republicans voted for a similar amendment upholding President Barack Obama's 2014 executive order banning federal contractors from making hiring decisions that discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The amendment, which California Democratic Rep. Scott Peters attached to a transportation spending bill, was adopted 241-184 .