President Barack Obama signed into law the expanded Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). The new law expands protections to LGBT Americans and to Native Americans. The last VAWA lapsed after the Republicans refused to even consider it, and the House GOP tried to pass a watered down version that caused a lot of controversy.
Even though the Republicans voted against the final version, 130 Republican Representatives are currently claiming to have supported it. Representative Steven King issued a statement saying “I supported VAWA in 2005, 2012, and today I voted in support of the House version to see that victims of domestic violence and sexual assault have access to the resources and protection when they need it most.” He hopes that no one notices that he voted for the watered down Republican version and not the final.
New York City Anti-Violence Project’s Executive Director Sharon Stapel, who met with VP Joe Biden today, stated “This legislation includes LGBT people in truly historic, unprecedented ways. For the first time in history, federal law includes LGBT anti-discrimination provisions, a huge victory for the LGBT communities and a great step forward for LGBT inclusion in our nation’s laws. By including LGBT people in VAWA, we can say to all survivors of violence: you matter and there is support for you.”
Stapel went on to say “President Obama has shown great leadership today in including LGBT survivors of violence in VAWA, our nation’s response to intimate partner and sexual violence. I was proud to thank him and Vice President Biden for their work on behalf of LGBT people. We are grateful to all of the advocates and survivors who worked so hard to make this inclusive bill a reality.”