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Washington Blade: LGBTQ News, Politics, LGBTQ Rights, Gay News: Rep. Pocan condemns House GOP’s anti-LGBTQ markup of military appropriations bill


U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.) condemned his Republican colleagues’ inclusion of anti-LGBTQ provisions in a markup on Tuesday of the Fiscal Year 2024 Military Construction and Veterans’ Affairs appropriations bill.

The congressman, who chairs the Congressional Equality Caucus and serves on the House Appropriations Committee, told the Washington Blade in a written statement, “Republicans are hell-bent on attacking the LGBTQ+ community,” adding that Tuesday’s markup was “no different.”

“Republicans adopted an amendment to deny access to medically necessary care to transgender veterans, prohibit pride flags from being flown at VA facilities, and even allow discrimination against LGBTQ+ people,” Pocan said.

“Everyone, especially our veterans who fought and served this country, should have the freedom to access the care and services they need—free from discrimination,” he said.

“There are 1 million gay and lesbian veterans and more than 130,000 transgender veterans. LGBTQ+ veterans have served our country with honor, but today, Republicans demonstrated they have no interest in honoring LGBTQ+ veterans’ service,” Pocan said.

In Committee, Pocan took aim at his Republican colleagues.

“Most of the other provisions in this amendment have very little to do with a MilCon bill,” such as the Republican members’ language “about abortion and gender affirming care, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and apparently, the fear of some cloth — banning pride flags at our veterans facilities across the country,” the congressman said.

“At some point anti-woke is also anti-sane, and we look ridiculous,” Pocan said. “There is an article in Newsweek magazine in the last 48 hours talking about how all of this anti LGBTQI+ stuff that is going on is exactly out of Vladimir Putin’s playbook.”

“What we need to remember is there are 65,000 Active Duty people in the military right now who identify as LGBTQI+, a million veterans who have served our country who identify as that,” the congressman said, adding that “we should be saying ‘thank you.’”

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