Amidst the diversionary tactics Republican congressional candidate Brendan Doherty attempted to perpetuate Wednesday, the root cause of his opposition to expanding and strengthening the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) for some of society’s most vulnerable populations – Native Americans, immigrants and members of the LGBT community – has become apparent.
In response to a media inquiry from Ian Donnis, a political reporter for WRNI, regarding concerns related to VAWA, the Doherty camp told Donnis:
“To the extent that federal funds are directed to investigate and prosecute violence against male transgender individuals, it should not be part of VAWA.”
“Every victim of domestic violence deserves equal access to services, regardless of ethnicity, gender, identity or sexual orientation. A victim is a victim; and all individuals should be treated equally,” said RI Democratic Party spokesperson Bill Fischer. “Expanding and strengthening VAWA would extend protections to domestic violence victims who are most vulnerable.”
The Senate passed bipartisan legislation to expand and reauthorize VAWA, which had 68 votes, including the support of every Republican woman Senator. It also had widespread support among anti-domestic violence groups. GOP House leadership has blocked the Senate bill from becoming law.
“Today we understand what Doherty meant when he told the Providence Journal in September that he was against reauthorizing and expanding the Violence Against Women Act because of the legislation’s ‘protections for people in other walks of life,’” said Fischer. “Unfortunately, Mr. Doherty has decided to support his Republican colleagues on this important issue and embrace the right-wing cultural values of exclusion.”