McCollum Commemorates 2016 LGBT Pride Month
As Minnesotans celebrate Pride this weekend and people throughout the United States mark LGBT Pride Month, I am once again reminded of how proud I am to be a strong ally of the LGBT community.
From my 1993 vote in the Minnesota State House protecting LGBT Minnesotans from workplace discrimination to celebrating last year's Supreme Court decision ushering in marriage equality across America, the progress we have made in advancing the rights of the LGBT community has been remarkable.
However, as the Orlando massacre showed, LGBT Americans continue to face discrimination and, at times, violence. In addition to supporting gun violence prevention measures that disarm hate, I have joined my colleagues supporting the Equality Act and many other bills that protect LGBT Americans from unjust discrimination.
Those bills include:
- H.R. 3185: Equality Act — Amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include protections that ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex in the areas of employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit, and the jury system.
- H.R.2449: Every Child Deserves a Family Act — Prohibits adoption or foster care placement service entities that receive federal assistance (or that contract with entities receiving such assistance) from using the sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status of a prospective adoptive or foster parent, or from using the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child to delay or deny placement.
- H.R. 2450: Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act —Prohibits sexual orientation or gender identity conversion therapy from being provided in exchange for monetary compensation.
- H.R.846: Student Non-Discrimination Act of 2015 — Prohibits public school students from being excluded from participating in, or subject to discrimination under, any federally-assisted educational program on the basis of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or that of their associates.
- H.R. 1421: Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2015 — Requires colleges and universities receiving federal aid to establish an anti-harassment policy prohibiting the harassment of enrolled students based on their actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion.
- H.R.197: Respect for Marriage Act — Repeals DOMA in its entirety and ensures that the U.S. Code reflects that every married couple is entitled to the federal benefits and protections that are offered by the federal government to legally wed couples.
- H.R. 2976: Amend the Code for Marriage Equality Act of 2015 — Amends the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), the Social Security Act (SSAct), and other federal laws (including provisions concerning workers' compensation, retirement benefits, disability and death benefits, insurance, inheritances, or immigration) to replace: (1) references to "wife" or "husband" with references to "spouse"; and (2) references to "husband and wife" or "husband or wife" with references to "married couple" or " married person."
- H.R.3793: LGBT Elder Americans Act of 2015 — Aims to broaden the Older Americans Act (OAA) to address the needs of older LGBT Americans.
- H.R.5373: LGBT Data Inclusion Act — Requires federal surveys to include data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity.
- H.R.1933: End Racial Profiling Act of 2015 — Prohibits federal, state, and local law enforcement from targeting a person based on actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation without trustworthy information that is relevant to linking a person to a crime.
- H.R. 5265: Transparency in Taxpayer-Funded Discrimination Act — Requires that institutions who apply for exemption from civil rights laws, which allow them to legally discriminate against LGBT student, be listed on the Department of Education’s website. It also requires institutions that apply for or receive an exemption to list this information clearly on their websites.
- H.R. 2368: Global Respect Act — Requires the Executive Branch to biannually send Congress a list of foreign persons responsible for, complicit in, or who incited extrajudicial killing, torture, or other gross violations of human rights based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Denies or revoke visas to individuals placed on the list, with waivers for national security or to allow attendance at the United Nations.
- H.R.590: International Human Rights Defense Act of 2015 — Builds a framework into U.S. diplomacy to protect LGBT rights worldwide.
We've come too far to turn back now, and we must continue to act to ensure equality for LGBT Americans.