Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A Republican congresswoman from North Carolina was among several who voted against a last-minute effort on Wednesday to push federal LGBT employment protections through Congress.

Rep. Virginia Foxx, a Republican who represents northwest North Carolina, joined six other Republicans in the House Rules Committee in voting against an amendment offered by Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.) and openly gay Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.). The amendment would have essentially added the long-languishing Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to the fiscal year 2015 defense authorization bill.

Hastings joined three other Democrats in voting for the amendment; Polis was absent during the vote, as was Republican ENDA co-sponsor Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), one of only eight House Republicans to sign on in support of the legislation.

The Washington Blade‘s Chris Johnson has characterized the amendment attempt as a “a last-ditch effort … before Congress adjourns this year.” When legislators come back in January, both the House and Senate will be controlled by Republicans.

In late 2013, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed a version of ENDA by a 64-32 vote. The House hasn’t brought it up.

A version of ENDA has been introduced in nearly every session of Congress for the past two decades.

 

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.