Republican Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas says he opposed the Violence Against Women Act because it contained protections for transgender individuals.
“This is a truly bad bill,” he said in an article published by the National Review on Monday. “This is helping the liberals, this is horrible. Unbelievable. What really bothers — it’s called a women’s act, but then they have men dressed up as women, they count that. Change-gender, or whatever. How is that — how is that a woman?”
Despite its name, the Violence Against Women Act contains protections and services for both male and female victims of domestic abuse, stalking and sexual crimes.
The latest version of the bill sought to remove barriers that prevented LGBT victims from accessing certain services.
The bill created a LGBT-focused grant program to support law enforcement, prosecution, court and victim services. It also recognized LGBT individuals as an “underserved population” and prohibited shelters from denying access to individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.
After voting against the Violence Against Women Act in February, Stockman said the bill was “wrapped up in good intentions and a feel-good name,” but wasn’t good law.
President Barack Obama signed the bill into law earlier this month.
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