The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) has been something of a catalyzing issue as of late in US politics. For those who aren't already aware, the act goes to protect women from domestic violence and abuse, and other crimes against women; seemingly a non-polarizing issue.
Originally passed in 1994, the bill needs to be reauthorized by Congress to stay in effect. This bill has been updated with the times to include language that would specifically include lesbians and transwomen for protection. With this proposed change in the bill it was passed in the Senate with support by both parties.
After reaching the house however, it seems Republicans are not having the new support offered for gender and sexual minorities. The bill was introduced on Friday February 22, 2013 which removed the specific language that would include lesbian and transwomen under the bill. While this removal does not specifically make such parties to be unprotected, it opens the doors for states which receive funding under the act to not offer protection or deny protection to such parties.
Is this idea of protection from violence and crime something that should be limited because of ones sexual orientation? Is it something that should be limited because one is transgender or transsexual or some other kind of gender minority? I would think that even those who don't agree with such practices would agree that they shouldn't be subject to violence, that they should have protection codified in the law, and that they should have a means of compensation. If we can agree on that (which I think isn't too radical an idea) then why should we exclude such groups from VAWA?
Read more here.