Republican congresswoman: Protecting same-sex couples from violence is a ‘side issue’


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Republicans have found themselves in hot water lately after opposing the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) – something that’s usually routine for Congress. The GOP has objected that the bill would include women in same-sex relationships and could let more undocumented immigrants secure temporary visas, and has offered its own version of the bill that drops these sections. 

On Hardball Monday, Chris Matthews hosted Rep. Gwen Moore, a Wisconsin Democrat, and Rep. Kathy McMorris Rodgers, a Washington Republican, to debate the VAWA reauthorization and how the issue might play this November. 

Matthews asked McMorris Rodgers why Republicans objected to including protections for women in same-sex couples.

“Those are side issues that have been attached to this bill,” McMorris Rodgers said.

Matthews seemed genuinely taken aback. “They’re not side issues if you’re getting beat up by your partner,” he responded. “That’s not a side issue, that’s your life!”

“I can’t imagine going back to a district, rural, urban, or suburban and saying to people, ‘I can’t protect wives against their husbands because I don’t want to do anything that suggests equality and gay relationships,” continued Matthews. 

Republican congresswoman: Protecting same-sex couples from violence is a 'side issue'