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Public Statements

Issue Position: Equal Rights

Issue Position

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* President Obama believes that America prospers when we're all in it together, and he's expanded opportunity for every American by taking steps to level the playing field so that everybody plays by the same rules.

* President Obama signed the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," allowing gay men and women to serve openly in our armed forces.

* The President signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, making progress in a decades-long battle for women to get equal pay for equal work.

* The Department of Justice revised the Americans with Disabilities Act rules to ensure newly designed, built, or renovated public facilities are accessible to all Americans.

Progress on Women's Equality

Alongside the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, President Obama has introduced a range of measures to make progress for women's equality.

He explicitly banned employment discrimination based on gender identity within the federal government, helped to increase participation by women and girls in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math), and passed the Affordable Care Act, which prevents insurance companies from discriminating against women.

Progress for the LGBT Community

The repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is just one example of the progress we've achieved together over the last three years. The Obama administration was the first to provide hospital visitation rights to same-sex couples and declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional.

Hate Crimes Prevention Act

Fact: President Obama signed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act into law. The Act allows the Department of Justice to prosecute crimes motivated by a person's actual or perceived gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.

Americans with Disabilities

The Department of Justice revised the Americans with Disabilities Act rules to ensure newly designed, built, or renovated public facilities are accessible to all Americans. The President also signed the Christopher and Dana Reeve Paralysis Act into law--landmark legislation to improve the lives of Americans living with paralysis.


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