“I am a firm believer in the need to guarantee and protect the civil rights of all individuals. Despite some of the progress we have made towards this goal, discrimination still exists in our society. At the federal and state level, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community has been the focus of several attempts to limit the rights and benefits of individuals and enshrine discrimination into existing policies and laws - and even the Constitution. That is just flat out wrong, and I will strenuously oppose any such effort. Rather than seeking to divide us, our government and our leaders should be working to encourage greater tolerance and understanding. As your representative, I pledge to you that I will do my part.”
- Congresswoman Barbara Lee
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Congresswoman Lee is a founding member of the new Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus co-chaired by Chairwoman Tammy Baldwin and Chairmen Barney Frank, Jared Polis, and David Cicilline. She is proud to stand with 96 bi-partisan members to continue the work of ensuring that every American is treated equally under the law no matter their race, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Congresswoman Lee has demonstrated resolve to protect the civil rights of all individuals with her support for:
- Same-Sex Families: She believes that loving and committed same-sex couples should have the right to get married, receive legal recognition of their marriage in the eyes of the government, and exercise all the legal benefits associated with their marriage. I also believe that same-sex couples should not be discriminated against if they wish to adopt children and provide a loving home to kids who may otherwise be left in foster care systems.
- Partner Benefits: She believes that current federal benefits for individuals which exclude LGBT couples from receiving equal treatment under the law are unfair and discriminatory. I am a strong supporter of legislation that would extend benefits to domestic partners.
- Prosecution of Violent Crimes: She strongly supported expanding the federal definition of a hate crime to include sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability. This new definition will in turn require vigorous prosecution and harsher criminal penalties for those who willfully commit violence based on sexual orientation.
- Military Service: She believes that the U.S. military should not discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity. She has co-sponsored legislation which repeals the current Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy, and allows LGBT service members to serve openly.
- Immigration: She believes that same-sex partners of United States citizens and same-sex partners of lawful permanent residents should have the same immigration rights that legal spouses of U.S. citizens enjoy.