Ahead of a Thursday vote on an energy and water spending bill that included an LGBT amendment, one Republican member of Congress began reading from the Bible during a Republican caucus meeting, prompting several members to leave.
Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA) read a passage from the Bible denouncing homosexuality, suggesting that members who supported the LGBT amendment would violate their faith, according to reports in The Hill, Roll Call, and Politico. An aide to Allen told Roll Call that the congressman did not specifically mention the upcoming vote that included the LGBT measure.
Allen’s comments upset some members, who walked out of the Republican policy meeting in protest.
“It was f—ing ridiculous,” one Republican member in the room told The Hill.
“A good number of members were furious,” a Republican told Politico about Allen’s remarks. “There was some Scripture that was read and the like.”
The meeting took place after several Republican members voted for an amendment to an energy and water spending bill that affirms an executive order from President Obama barring federal contractors from discriminating against LGBT employees. The amendment failed last week as an amendment to a Veterans Affairs spending bill when Republican members switched their votes to defeat the measure. But the amendment then passed Wednesday night.
Ultimately, when the House voted on the energy and water spending bill on Thursday, the legislation failed with numerous Republican lawmakers voting against it over the LGBT amendment.
The bill’s failure threatens to derail House Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) push to restore the appropriations process. Ryan on Thursday afternoon said that the House would continue with the appropriations process despite the setback.