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Issue Position: Judiciary - Gay Rights

Issue Position

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Representative Waxman has fought hard to protect the rights of gays and lesbians and build safer, more tolerant communities. As a Vice Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, he is doing all he can to advance LGBT equality and is an original cosponsor of the following measures:

* H.R. 3567, The Respect for Marriage Act of 2009, would repeal Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which defines marriage as between "one man and one woman as husband and wife" for the purposes of federal law.

* H.R. 3017, The Employment Non Discrimination Act, would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

* H.R. 1283, The Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2009, would overturn the policy against gays and lesbians in the U.S. armed forces and prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

* H.R. 2517, The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009, would require that all federal employees and their domestic partners be entitled to collect the same benefits available to married federal employees and their spouses.

* H.R. 1024, The Uniting American Families Act of 2009, would permit U.S. citizens and Green Card holders to sponsor permanent partners for permanent resident status according to the same rules that apply to spouses.

Representative Waxman has been an original cosponsor of the Matthew Shepard Act since it was first introduced in 1999. This important legislation, which was signed into law at long last on October 28, 2009, expanded the federal definition of hate crimes to include crimes based on perceived religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability. This law will provide much-needed federal assistance to local law enforcement to more effectively identify, investigate, and prosecute hate crimes.

Representative Waxman was the lead author of the Ryan White Comprehensive AIDS Resources Emergency (CARE) Act and has led congressional efforts to combat HIV/AIDS in the U.S. and abroad.


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