House Republicans Attack LGBTQ+ Community in Draft Spending Bills


WASHINGTON, D.C. – With Pride Month just getting started, House Republicans have added at least 15 poison pill policy riders to their draft spending bills that attack the LGBTQ+ community – with same-sex marriages, transgender Americans, drag queens, and pride flags among their growing list of culture war targets.

The Clean Budget Coalition, which is tracking these measures, is calling on Congress to remove all of these harmful measures. So far, they include:

  • Five poison pills that foster discrimination against same-sex marriages. Specifically, these measures would prohibit denial of funds to anyone who discriminates against a same-sex couple as long as they claim a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage should be a union of one man and one woman;
  • Five poison pills that ban gender-affirming care – including surgeries, hormone treatments, medications, and anything that “promotes transgenderism” such as counseling;

  • Three poison pills that ban pride flags at federal facilities both domestically and abroad; and
  • Two poison pills that ban drag queens, alleging in the legislative text that drag performances “bring discredit” upon the military.

“Why are MAGA Republicans banning drag queens in the federal budget? Why are they shielding bigotry against same-sex partners and harassing transgender Americans? The answer is simple: to appease their radical authoritarian base,” said Lisa Gilbert, executive vice president of Public Citizen and co-chair of the Clean Budget Coalition. “Instead of writing spending bills that ensure people are safe, healthy, and housed, House Republicans are trying to roll back more than half a century of progress toward freedom and equality for everyone. All of these toxic poison pills must be removed from any final spending package.”

“In their first six appropriations bills, House Republicans are repeating last year’s tired playbook of choosing to undermine bipartisan work by bullying and targeting LGBTQ+ people, especially queer and trans youth,” said Melanie Willingham-Jaggers, executive director of GLSEN. “Legislators need to consider the message this sends to the next generation, when those in power choose the politics of hate over efforts to strengthen our communities. We urge appropriators to reject toxic policies that undermine access to care and civil rights protections for the LGBTQ+ community.”

“States across the country are targeting LGBTQ+ people and our families with a flood of new and extreme laws that ban our books, criminalize our health care, and endanger some of the most vulnerable youth in our country today,” said Mike Zamore, senior director of policy and government affairs for the ACLU. “These riders try to bring this campaign of hatred to every state in the nation, threatening health care access for transgender people wherever they live, making schools less safe for transgender students, and attempting to censor constitutionally-protected speech. Members of Congress must oppose these efforts and pass a clean budget in support of a government that is a protector of our freedom, not an enemy against it.”