MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace declared Thursday that she is “knocked over” by how the Republican Party is “going in the wrong direction” after only three House Republicans voted in favor of the Equality Act.
Wallace was joined by Democratic New York Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney on her broadcast of “Deadline: White House” and discussed the passage of the Equality Act by the House of Representatives, as well as the lack of Republican support for the bill. (RELATED: Biden Vows To Pass ‘Equality Act’ During His First 100 Days In Office)
“The House voted 224-206, there were three Republicans who joined all Democrats in supporting the Equality Act. This, too, though, represents the mainstream of American thought, and this seems just like another perfect example of Republicans being out of step,” Wallace began.
“I have been with my husband for 28 years, 22 of those before we were married. We’ve raised three children during that nearly three decades,” Maloney responded. “I was thinking about my family when I spoke on the floor today, when I presided for the second time over the passage of the Equality Act. Two years ago, when we did this, eight Republicans supported it. Today, it was three. They’re going the wrong way.”
Maloney went on to say that the majority of Americans think “it’s wrong to fire LGBT people just because of who we are or who we love,” but only three out of more than 200 Republicans “would support equality for LGBT Americans.”
“This is a caucus that is dangerously out of step with where the American people are on this,” he added.
Wallace then claimed that when she worked in Republican politics, “many Republicans didn’t view equality as important until one of their children came out.” She added that even some Republican politicians “struggled to come out” because of what the party “stood for culturally.”
“I take your point and I’m knocked over by it, that we’re going in the wrong direction in the Republican Party. How is that happening?” she continued. “Where is, sort of, the delusional echo chamber coming from for the Republicans on this topic?”
Maloney answered by explaining that he remembered when Michael Steele was Chairman of the Republican National Committee and he knew “a bunch of gay guys” who worked there that could go to work and “hold their heads up” because they worked for a supportive chairman. He added that many of them assumed that the party was “going to come around” to believe that “discrimination is wrong against LGBT people,” but that it just isn’t happening.
“How are they going to handle issues of importance to America if they are not grounded in reality. And on the Equality Act, their arguments were embarrassing and farcical,” he continued. “They were fear mongering in lies, things about abortion, and people getting married in their churches, and none of which is included in this bill. It’s just inclusion in the Civil Rights Act and has the same religious protections that we’ve always had in the civil rights statutes. No more, no less. No new thing here.”
The House passed the Equality Act on Thursday, making this the second time that the bill was passed by the chamber. It was passed with the purpose of preventing “discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation.” Republicans largely opposed the bill, with some blasting it as “an attempt to force unreasonable mandates” and “restrictions” on American people and institutions. It will now head to the Senate where it will need a 60 vote majority to pass.