Our current civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination only protect a limited number of individuals. While discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin is outlawed, gender identity and sexual orientation are not explicitly protected from discrimination in crucial areas like the workplace, housing, education, voting, and social services.
For a country that celebrates freedom and fairness for all, it’s immoral that our current laws do not adequately protect the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination, harassment, and violence in the same way that race and religion are protected.
Discrimination of the LGBTQ+ community in workplaces has led to unequal pay for equal work. The wage gap further explains why LGBTQ+ families are more likely to live in poverty and be at risk of experiencing homelessness, especially LGBTQ+ youth.
Transgender people in particular have historically faced huge amounts of systemic discrimination and stigma. Despite advancements in other areas of LGBTQ+ protections and recognition of rights, trans people continue to face serious barriers to their wellbeing and safety. Strict voter ID laws that disproportionately disenfranchise transgender voters play a role in their inability to be properly represented, leading to a silencing of their voices in our government. We must pass legal protections for these individuals in the voting booth.
For these reasons, I support the Equality Act and the Do No Harm Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity as classes protected against discrimination and prevent the defense of “religious freedom” in discrimination cases.
Passing legislation that protects the LGBTQ+ community is an important step in achieving true equality for all Americans.
Problems to be Solved
- checkSexual orientation and gender identity are not protected classes, leaving millions of Americans vulnerable to discrimination.
- checkOur current laws do not adequately protect communities that are most vulnerable to violence and discrimination.
- Cultural attitudes can evolve very quickly, we saw it with gay marriage and I’m hopeful that we’ll see it with the Equality Act as well. To me, it’s unconscionable that sexual orientation is not a protected category under our existing Civil Rights Act.
- checkProtect LGBTQ+ Americans from discrimination
- checkPrevent employers and businesses from illegally discriminating against protected classes
As President I will...
- Work with Congress to pass the Equality Act, the Do No Harm Act, and any legislation extending protected status to individuals based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Restore the Voting Rights Act to protect against voter ID laws that can deny transgender individuals access to the ballot box.
- Reverse the Trump administration’s ban on transgender people serving in the military.
- Appoint LGBTQ+ individuals to senior posts in my administration.