Just one year ago, in a historic 5 to 4 ruling, the Supreme Court guaranteed marriage equality as a Constitutional right. Yet, today, the LGBT community is under renewed and relentless attack. Several states have enacted laws authorizing discrimination of lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered Americans, David Cicilline is fighting for even greater protections for LGBT individuals in workplaces, schools, and public accommodations.
As one of only seven openly gay members of Congress, and a co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, David has been a vocal and passionate advocate in defense of equal rights for all Americans. And, while the Supreme Court may have legalized same-sex marriage, LGBT individuals still face the very real threat of being denied fundamental rights and access to services. Recent studies underscore the reality of this threat, with a majority of LGBT individuals in America reporting that they’ve experienced discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That’s why David has introduced the Equality Act, legislation backed by the Obama Administration, that would create clear and lasting protections against the discrimination of LGBT Americans in employment, housing, public accommodations, government funding, education, and more.
As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, David is fighting to ensure U.S. foreign policy is holding governments abroad accountable for their failure to prevent violence against LGBT individuals. He’s introduced the Global Respect Act, a bill that would help prevent international violators of LGBT human rights from entering the United States, and enhance U.S. State Department tracking and reporting of violence and other human rights violations against LGBT individuals in foreign countries.
Back at home, David has joined with his colleagues in a call to action for several federal departments and agencies to enhance protections for LGBT individuals in our community. He’s urged the Department of Education to develop and finalize guidance clearly detailing the obligations of schools to protect LGBT students from discrimination – ensuring our youth and students are safe from bullying and harassment. And he’s urged the Social Security Administration to make certain it has all the necessary and appropriate systems in place to ensure it is treating all marriages equally and administering benefits fairly to all individuals.