In a controversial move, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) has celebrated the passage of her amendment, known as Boebert Amendment No. 146, to the Fiscal Year 2024 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration Appropriations Act. This amendment bans the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from conducting educational programs aimed at fostering inclusivity and safety for LGBTQ+ employees in the workplace. Boebert, known for her conservative stance, describes this amendment as a means to prevent what she calls “Biden’s rogue bureaucrats” from promoting what she refers to as “woke courses, books, and study guides” that, in her view, “defy Congressional intent and mandate leftist indoctrination.”
Boebert’s objections are centered around specific topics covered in the materials, including “Pride Leadership: Strategies for LGBTQ+ Leaders,” “The Queer Advantage: Conversations with LGBTQ+ Leaders,” “Out and Proud: Approaching LGBT Issues in the Workplace,” and “Gender Ambiguity in the Workplace.” While her amendment narrowly passed by just three votes in the House, with one Democrat, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (D-PA), voting in favor, its prospects in the Senate and during reconciliation remain uncertain.
This move is part of a larger trend among some House Republicans who have been inserting anti-LGBTQ+ amendments into major spending bills, hoping to gain bipartisan support for overall funding while advancing their positions on LGBTQ+ issues. Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) successfully added anti-LGBTQ+ amendments to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill, barring the agency from discussing LGBTQ+ topics on its social media accounts.
The LGBTQ+ community and their allies have strongly criticized these amendments as discriminatory, with Rep. Adam Smith (D-WA) arguing that they undermine the ability to ensure equal treatment within the military. The controversy surrounding these amendments highlights the ongoing struggle for LGBTQ+ rights in various areas of government policy.
In a statement, a spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) expressed concern about the direction some House Republicans are taking, noting that such legislation could have repercussions in the upcoming congressional elections, as they may alienate moderate voters and overshadow pressing economic concerns for middle-class families.