May 17, 2019

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Votes to Pass Historic Equality Act to End Discrimination Against All LGBTQ Americans, Introduces Resolution Recognizing International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) voted to pass H.R. 5, the Equality Act, to ensure that all LGBTQ Americans are granted the full protections guaranteed by federal civil rights law, in addition to introducing a resolution in support of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia (IDAHOT).

“Through struggles and sacrifices, generations of tireless LGBTQ Americans have worked to forge a more just and equal future for themselves and all Americans,” said Rep. Lee. “As we prepare to mark Pride Month, it is an honor to join my colleagues to pass the Equality Act to finally, fully end discrimination against LGBTQ Americans in California and across the country.  This landmark legislation reaffirms that freedom from discrimination is a fundamental civil right that belongs to every American, and that no Californian or any American should ever lose their job, their home, or live in fear simply because of who they are or whom they love.

“Whether here at home or around the world, homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia are alive and well – and it is up to us to speak out. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), homophobia can affect physical and mental health, including increased risk of depression and suicide. These prejudices can also result in limited access to high-quality health care, income, and employment status for the many people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ).

“Worldwide, nearly 3 billion people live in countries that criminalize same-sex activities. LGBTQ individuals in these countries live in a climate of fear, and are often threatened with discrimination, imprisonment, and violence. From Hungary to China, 25 countries have introduced prohibitive provisions that prevent sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) organizations from advocating for LGBTQ rights, stifling their political voice.

“Here in the United States, despite advances made in achieving marriage equality for same-sex couples, LGBTQ people still face hatred and discrimination. Nearly one-third of students who identify as LGBTQ drop out of high school due to violence, harassment, and social isolation. Forty percent of homeless youth in America identify as LGBTQ.

“Let us use today to commit ourselves to stopping homophobia, transphobia and biphobia and all the forms of discrimination it produces.” 

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