In June 2015, our Nation took a step forward when the Supreme Court decided that it was unconstitutional for states to ban same-sex marriage. Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people is intolerable and is not in line with our American values. While this decision was a milestone for the LGBT community, it is clear more must be done to ensure all Americans are treated equally under the law. I have continuously supported legislation that protects those in the LGBT community and works to end discrimination.
I was an original cosponsor of H.R. 3185, the Equality Act, introduced by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), during the 114th Congress. The Equality Act would have prohibited discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation. Specifically, this legislation would have extended anti-discrimination protections in public accommodations, housing, employment, federal funding, education, credit, and jury service. I look forward to cosponsoring this legislation again when it is reintroduced during the 115th Congress.
Similarly, I was also a cosponsor of H.R. 5586, the Customer Non-Discrimination Act, during the 114th Congress. H.R. 5586, introduced by Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), would have amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation. This bill would have expanded the categories of public accommodations to include places or establishments that provide: exhibitions, recreation, exercise, amusement, gatherings, or displays; goods, services, or programs; or transportation services. This bill has yet to be reintroduced in the 115th Congress and I look forward to cosponsoring it again.
It is our responsibility as Americans to treat our neighbors equally and with respect. I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to advance legislation that promotes fairness, justice, and equality under the law.
More on Equal Rights
Last week in Washington, the House voted on removing the deadline for the Equal Rights Amendment and expanding public land protections. I met with the New Jersey Fraternal Order of the Police, representatives of New Jersey community colleges, the NJ Clean Cities Coalition and Transportation Energy Partners, and more. I attended a House Budget Committee hearing and also chaired a Western Hemisphere Subcommittee hearing.
(Washington, D.C.) - Earlier this week, the House passed 2 funding packages that averted another painful holiday shutdown. While the packages were not perfect, they funded vital programs that will help Americans across the country and include landmark funding for essential initiatives.
Last week, the House considered urgent legislation addressing the humanitarian crisis at the southern border and our nation’s fiscal health. I spoke at a House Committee on the Budget hearing focused on climate change and met with stakeholders on international issues ranging from human trafficking to tainted alcohol.
(Washington, D.C.) – Congressman Sires released the following statement today after reports of a State Department policy being used to deny citizenship for the children of LGBTQ+ families under a discriminatory interpretation of Immigration and Nationality Act (INA):
This week in Washington, the House moved forward legislation to progress LGBTQ+ rights and protect access to health care. I met with the Hispanic National Bar Association, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Dominican Republic, and the U.S.-Guatemala Business Council. Additionally, I voiced concerns about the future security of our nation’s infrastructure at a hearing held by the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
Last week in Washington, the House of Representatives voted on historic measures to overturn the President’s veto and establish pay equality for all Americans regardless of gender. I attended two hearings to question Administration officials on difference aspects of the disastrous Trump Budget, as well as chaired the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere hearing on corruption in Latin America.
Last week in Washington, my Democratic colleagues and I supported the introduction of two bills that are priorities for our majority in the House of Representatives. I voted in support of the public release of the Mueller report and attended hearings on the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2020 budget proposal. Additionally, I met with North Hudson Firefighters, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency, and the Ambassador from the Dominican Republic.
Last week in Washington, the House of Representatives voted to restore access to the ballot for all Americans and clean up the ethics of our electoral system. I met with my colleagues on the House Committee on the Budget and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, as well as began fighting for our community in the fiscal year (FY) 2020 appropriations process.
(Washington, D.C.) - Today, Congressman Sires issued the following statement on President Trump's decision to pardon former Sheriff Joe Arpaio who was convicted of criminal contempt of court: