Members of the LGBTQ+ community have faced unconscionable hardship and discrimination in this country and around the world. This is unacceptable: no one should be hurt or threatened or denied services because of who they are or who they love.
This year, my colleagues and I have taken unprecedented action to protect LGBTQ+ rights by passing H.R. 5, the Equality Act. In Florida and many other states, LGBTQ+ Americans are still at risk of being fired, evicted and denied services because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Equality Act extends anti-discrimination protections to the LGBTQ+ community with regard to employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding, housing, and public accommodations.
All Americans deserve the same legal status regardless of who they love or how they identify. In addition to the Equality Act, I am working to pass nearly a dozen other bills and resolutions to strengthen protections for the LGBTQ+ community:
· I introduced H.R. 2775, the Protecting LGBTQ Youth Act, to prevent the maltreatment of LGBTQ kids in the child welfare system. Nearly one-third of kids in the child welfare system identify as LGBTQ+. This bill requires the collection of demographic information on sexual orientation and gender identity in instances of child maltreatment and creates funding opportunities for training personnel in best practices in working with LGBTQ+ kids.
· I cosponsored H.R. 3114, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, to prohibit discrimination on the basis of religion, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity by child welfare agencies receiving federal funds.
· I cosponsored H.R. 1643, the PrEP Assistance Program Act, directs HHS to fund grants to help cover the costs of PrEP medication, clinic and lab fees for high risk populations.
· I cosponsored H.Res. 124 opposing President Trump's ban on transgender servicemembers.
· I cosponsored H.R. 3517, Restore Honor to Service Members Act, to correct the military records of servicemembers who were discharged due to their sexual orientation and reinstate their benefits.
· I cosponsored H.R. 1981, the Prohibition of Medicaid Funding for Conversion Therapy Act, to bar Medicaid funds from going to conversion “therapy.”
· I cosponsored H.R. 3280, the LGBTQ Essential Data Act, to expand the CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System to include data on sexual orientation and gender identity.
· I cosponsored H.R. 1450, the Do No Harm Act, which states that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act cannot be used to discriminate.
· I cosponsored H.R. 1857, the International Human Rights Defense Act of 2019, to establish a Special Envoy for Human Rights of the LGBTQ+ Peoples.
· I cosponsored H.R. 3509, LGBTQ Data Inclusion Act, to require the collection of self-disclosed information on sexual orientation and gender identity in federal surveys, such as the Census.
LGBTQ+ rights are human rights. I’m proud to be working to ensure the LGBTQ+ community is treated with dignity under our law and in our culture.