Minnesota Representative Tom Emmer (R-CD6) and Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-CD3) have found themselves in hot water with conservatives around the state as news comes in that the two joined 41 other Republican members of congress in voting for H.R. 5055: Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriation Act, 2017.
While the bill itself was relatively uncontroversial, conservative groups and constituents were angry for their continued support of the bill after Representative Sean Maloney (D-NY) included House Amendment 1128, which states: “Amendment, as offered, prohibits the use of funds for government contractors who discriminate against LGBT employees. As amended by the Pitts amendment, the Federal government must not contravene the 1st Amendment, the 14th amendment, or Article I of the Constitution as it deals with contractors.”
Simply put, the amendment states that the United States Government cannot conduct deals with contractors who discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community.
Even though the bill failed to pass the House of Representatives, the fact that both Representatives Emmer and Paulsen chose to break with the majority of GOPers on the issue of transgender rights has lead to a flurry of angered reactions by conservative groups against the two congressmen.
Maggie Gallagher set her sites on Rep. Emmer in a piece with the National Review stating that Rep. Emmer changed his stance on gay rights in the aftermath of his lost bid for the Governor’s seat. Overall, Gallagher referred to the 43 Republicans as traitors.
The National Organization for Marriage has promised an intense campaign to educate voters on their representatives and how they voted in an email to followers.
Constituents on Facebook made sure to make their displeasure known to the Representatives in comments on posts asking why they would vote for the bill and not protect their children.
The anger portrayed by conservative groups and constituents may be hasty as voting records for both Representatives Tom Emmer and Erik Paulsen has shown them to hold conservative views on both marriage and LGBTQ+ rights.
Rep. Paulsen was glitter-bombed in 2011 after accepting the friend of the family award from the Minnesota Faith and Freedom Coalition. He also has a voting history of opposing gay marriage. As of 2014, he has been a part of a bi-partisan effort to increase employment protections for the LGBTQ+ community.
Rep. Emmer has been very vocal about his views of LGBTQ+ rights since his run for Governor as he opposed LGBT-inclusive anti-bullying measures, opposed gay marriage, opposed LGBT surrogates, and opposed domestic partner benefits.
Alpha News has reached out to the offices of Emmer and Paulsen and will continue to provide coverage of this story. Subscribe to Alpha News as we continue to bring you coverage of the 2016 elections.