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Public Statements

Issue Position: LGBT

Issue Position

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The government should not infringe upon matters dealing with personal liberty and individual autonomy. The Fourteenth Amendment protects the rights and liberties of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans equally under law.

I have fought against discrimination against LGBT Americans as well as voted against a proposed constitutional amendment that would prevent marriage equality. Amendments to the Constitution are relatively rare, and previously they have been used to protect and expand liberties, not to limit individual freedoms.

I support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009. This legislation would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identification. Under this legislation, employers would no longer be able to base any employment decision on a worker's sexual orientation or gender identification. Effectively, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009 would extend Title VII protection to LGBT Americans in the same manner the statute protects women and racial minorities. It is inconsistent with American principles of liberty, equality and fairness to allow any form of discrimination.

I recently voted for the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which passed both houses of Congress and was signed into law by President Obama on October 30th, 2009. The Act amends current federal anti-hate crime laws to include crimes against individuals because of their actual or perceived gender or sexual orientation. This is a crucial step toward ensuring that all Americans are protected under the law from discrimination and bodily harm.


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