Home News Kline only MN Congress member to vote against LGBT nondiscrimination, again

Kline only MN Congress member to vote against LGBT nondiscrimination, again

Kline only MN Congress member to vote against LGBT nondiscrimination, again


During a series of controversial votes in the House in the last two weeks, Republican Rep. John Kline is the only member of the Minnesota congressional delegation to vote against protections for LGBTQ workers.

Last week, Rep. John Kline was the only Minnesota member of Congress to vote against stripping anti-LGBTQ discrimination out of a defense spending bill, and on Wednesday he was the lone Minnesota vote against a LGBTQ nondiscrimination amendment to a water and energy bill.

The defense bill vote generated headlines last week when a pro-LGBTQ amendment was offered by Rep. Sean Maloney, a Democrat from New York. The amendment had earned enough votes to pass by the time the clock ran out, but Republicans allowed their members to switch enough votes to let the amendment fail. Allegations that Republican leadership bullied moderate Republicans into switching their vote swirled.

In the end, Minnesota Reps. Tim Walz, Erik Paulsen, Betty McCollum, Keith Ellison, Tom Emmer, Rick Nolan, and Collin Peterson voted for the pro-LGBTQ amendment.

Then on Wednesday an energy and water spending bill failed to pass the House after an amendment was passed to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in federal contracting.

The amendment was offered by Maloney and Reps. Emmer and Paulsen were among 43 other Republicans who voted to pass it. Rep. Peterson, a Democrat who has generally voted against pro-LGBTQ legislation also voted for the amendment. The remaining Democrats from Minnesota, Ellison, McCollum, Nolan, and Walz, also voted for the amendment. That leaves Kline as the only Minnesota vote against prohibiting discrimination.

But, the Maloney amendment caught some amendments of its own. Rep. Bradley Byrne, a Republican from Alabama, offered an amendment to protect “religious liberty” and Rep. Robert Pittenger, a Republican from North Carolina, offered an amendment to block the Obama administration from denying federal funds to his state due to HB2.

Paulsen, Emmer, and Kline voted in favor of those two amendments which have been described by civil rights groups as anti-LGBTQ. All of Minnesota’s Democrats voted against the amendments.
Then on Thursday, the water and energy bill was up for a final vote. Kline, Paulsen, Emmer, and Peterson voted for final passage. But, the bill failed after anti-LGBTQ Republicans joined with Democrats, many of whom objected to the provision concerning North Carolina.

In the end, the bill was defeated due to the pro-LGBTQ measure. In fact, just prior to the vote, in a meeting of Republicans, Rep. Rick W. Allen of Georgia, read Bible verses aloud — verses that proscribed penalties for homosexuality.

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Andy Birkey has written for a number of Minnesota and national publications. He founded Eleventh Avenue South which ran from 2002-2011, wrote for the Minnesota Independent from 2006-2011, the American Independent from 2010-2013. His writing has appeared in The Advocate, The Star Tribune, The Huffington Post, Salon, Cagle News Service, Twin Cities Daily Planet, TheUptake, Vita.mn and much more. His writing on LGBT issues, the religious right and social justice has won awards including Best Beat Reporting by the Online News Association, Best Series by the Minnesota chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, and an honorable mention by the Sex-Positive Journalism awards.


  1. Well if you have Republicans in your state, you have mendacious, and Ignorant people ready to do their part, and Mr Kline is one of ours. He is PO’d about the world finding out the Republican’s made up LIE of the “Bathroom Myth,” to scare people an take away from doing proper state business. Just another Republican Bigoted Bully.

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