If you read the press release from Congressman Keith Rothfus’s office, you would believe that he thinks it is “important to prevent and prosecute violence against women.” This is true–unless you’re a women who is a lesbian, immigrant, or Native American.
While Congressman Rothfus did in fact vote for the Republican version of the bill, he did not vote for the expanded protections that the Senate adopted by a vote of 78-22.
The Senate version of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 passed the House with Republican and Democratic support by a vote of 286-138.
The bill that Congressman Rothfus supported failed.
The Senate bill expands the 1994 Violence Against Women Act in the following ways:
[The legislation] creates and expands federal programs to assist local communities with law enforcement and aiding victims of domestic and sexual abuse. Most notably, the bill goes further by offering protections for gay, bisexual or transgender victims of domestic abuse, as well as allowing American Indian women who are assaulted on reservations by non-Indians to take their case to tribal courts, which otherwise would not have jurisdiction over assailants who do not live on tribal land.
In contrast, the House bill does the following:
[The House bill eliminates] “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” from a list of “populations” that face barriers to receiving victim services — and strip[s] certain provisions regarding American Indian women on reservations.
For 138 House Republicans, women in America deserve protection against violence, but only if they are straight and if they are citizens.
The Republicans who took a stand and voted for the final version have shown they learned that trans-vaginal probes, “legitimate rapes,” and “natural defenses against abortion” don’t go over well with voters or conform with reason.
Republicans like Rothfus only reinforce the anti-women fringe philosophy of the modern Republican Party.