Decision Maker Response

Kirsten E. Gillibrand’s response

Jun 24, 2019 — As Senator, I have committed to doing everything I can to ensure that LGBTQ individuals have equal rights at every level of society. I was proud to sign on as an original cosponsor of the Equality Act, and I’m grateful to Taylor for using her voice on this issue and encouraging others to use theirs in this march for equality.

Here’s why the Senate has to pass this legislation now: Despite all the hard-fought progress America’s LGBTQ community has made in recent years to overcome bigotry, hatred, and even violence, there is still no federal law in the books that explicitly protects civil rights for LGBTQ Americans.

Without that law – and with more and more of President Trump’s hand-picked, anti-LGBTQ judges being appointed to our federal courts – our LGBTQ community will continue to be at risk of discrimination, without a guarantee that they’ll have any legal recourse to fight back in federal court. In other words, our country is failing to stand up for LGBTQ Americans, and that is shameful.

So let’s pass the Equality Act once and for all.

I believe we can get it done because I know how much we’ve already accomplished. We are about to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall, which sparked a half-century of progress for LGBTQ rights. Those heroes continue to inspire us today as we stand on their shoulders. I was proud to lead the fight in the Senate to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, and end President Trump's hateful ban on transgender troops in our military.

We have a lot more work to do. Fighting for civil rights is never convenient, and it’s never easy. But it is always worth the fight.