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U.S. House passes LGBT-inclusive Violence Against Women Act

The U.S. House has passed the already Senate-approved Violence Against Women Act that includes protections for LGBT people.

The House, in a partisan vote, had passed its own version of the act last spring that did not include LGBT protections.

Anti-violence advocates hailed the vote on Feb. 28 as an example of what Republicans and Democrats can accomplish when they work together.

The House vote was 286-138 vote, including support from 87 Republicans. The Senate vote was 78 to 22.

The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT civil rights group, said the measure is the first passed by both the House and the Senate that contains federal non-discrimination provisions that protect LGBT people.

HRC president Chad Griffin said, “There need not be a partisan divide on LGBT issues and this vote shows that we can come together to find common sense solutions to issues facing our community.”

The president has said he’d sign the bill, which prohibits any program or activity funded by the bill from discriminating against a victim based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. The measure also includes LGBT victims in two key VAWA grant programs.

Editor's note: This will be udpated with reactions.

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