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 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: