A top Republican senator has rejected an amendment that would have forced the U.S. to extend protections for gay and transgender Americans.
Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said the amendment is “the least offensive thing that could have been put forth,” but he also said that he’s not sure that the GOP should support the bill that was proposed by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).
“I would say this amendment would have been the least offensive,” Graham told the Hill.
“I’m not sure we need to be pushing it.
But I would just say this: This is not the time for us to be making statements.”GOP senators voted down the amendment after NOM said it would take it to the floor for a vote if the amendment failed.
The amendment would not have prohibited discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations and credit card processing, according to NOM.
The White House is also opposed to the amendment, which would have made it harder for employers to fire employees for being LGBT.
The Hill’s Aaron Blake reported that White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the White House supports the LGBT civil rights bill.
“The President is for civil rights,” Spicer told reporters Thursday.
“He supports the bill.”
Spicer also told reporters the White the president does not support discrimination in employment.
“The President does not believe that the Department of Labor has an official position on whether or not discrimination is against the law,” Spicer said.
Spicer was responding to a question from reporters about the House GOP’s failure to pass the civil rights measure.
The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff of California, would have created an office of LGBT civil protections within the Department for the first time, and included provisions for people to sue the federal government if they were discriminated against in employment or housing.
The Republican-led House voted 219-202 on Thursday.
The Senate, on the other hand, voted to proceed with the bill without a single Democratic vote.NOM has proposed amendments to the bill in the past.
In 2015, the organization filed an amendment to prevent the government from prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
The group also filed an identical amendment to repeal a provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prevents discrimination based upon race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, disability, genetic information, and marital status.
A spokesperson for the NOM did not immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment.