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Congressman Steve Israel

Representing the 3rd District of NEW YORK

Israel, Carson, Polis, Cicilline, Takano Announce Resolution Against Discrimination of LGBT Americans

Apr 13, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – House Democratic Policy and Communications Committee Chair Steve Israel (D-NY), Congressman André Carson (D-IN), Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO), Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) and Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA) today announced a resolution expressing the sense of Congress that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people should be protected from discrimination under the law.  Congressman André Carson (D-IN), the lead author, will introduce the resolution later this week in response to the recent so-called “religious freedom” law passed in Indiana.

“The recent examples of legislation in Indiana and Arkansas are not where we are as a country, and it is not who we are as a community,” said Rep. Israel.  “It is important that Congress weighs in on this issue, and that’s exactly why we are announcing this resolution.  Our goal here is to make it known that we will not accept states discriminating against individuals who are Lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.” 

“For far too long, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans have been forced to live in the shadows because of who they are,” Rep. Carson stated.  “It is long overdue for Congress to ensure that all Americans, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity, know that they are valued members of our society.  From housing to employment to education, they deserve to live their lives like any other American.”

“Recent events in Indiana and Arkansas have shown that some people will continue to choose to discriminate until Congress acts to provide LGBT Americans with equal protections in all 50 states,” said Rep. Polis.  “That's why I'm proud to join Representatives Carson, Cicilline, Israel, and Takano today in urging Congress to send the message that discrimination in any form, no matter what state it occurs in, is wrong.  A person’s right to basic equality under the law shouldn’t depend on what state they live in.”

“No American citizen should be fired, or denied housing, the ability to attend school, to apply for a mortgage, or to serve on a jury because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Rep. Cicilline said.  “That’s why I have been working, along with Senator Jeff Merkley and leaders in the LGBT community, to draft a comprehensive non-discrimination bill that ensures LGBT individuals are afforded the same protections against discrimination as every other American.  I am looking forward to working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure LGBT Americans are finally guaranteed the same rights and liberties that all of us hold sacred.”

Rep. Takano said, “As of 2015, dozens of states and hundreds of cities have passed LGBT non-discrimination laws.  Yet, Congress has not, despite being sworn to uphold the Constitution.  The same Constitution that says no state shall, ‘deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.’  With several states seeing an organized effort to deny LGBT Americans their rights, Congress must take action.  The resolution introduced today declares that LGBT Americans should be protected under the law and that discriminating against someone strictly because of who they love or what they look like is not in line with who we are as a nation.”