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House reverses course on LGBT rights for federal contractors

WASHINGTON – The House has reversed itself and approved a measure aimed at upholding an executive order that bars discrimination against LGBT employees by federal contractors.

The 223-195 tally reverses a controversial vote last week on the gay rights measure. Then, GOP leaders twisted arms to defeat the legislation, causing several supporters to switch their vote, leading Democrats to erupt in protest.

Openly gay New York Democrat Sean Patrick Maloney returned to attach the measure to a funding bill for the Energy Department. Several Republicans rethought their opposition.

Maloney said last week’s vote “snatched discrimination from the jaws of equality.”

Earlier, the House voted 227-192 to block several federal agencies from retaliating against North Carolina over its controversial law that requires transgender people to use the bathroom of their original sex.