The quintessential adjective used around the world to describe what it means to be an American is the word, ‘free.’ Freedom means freedom for everybody. Our country and our community is also made stronger by our diversity, citizens of different backgrounds coming together to make our country stronger and even better.
LGBTQ Americans are part of the fabric of our society and should be free to exercise the rights guaranteed to every American by the Constitution to participate fully in our society and pursue every opportunity. That is why I co-led and voted for the Equality Act, which would protect Americans from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
In Congress, I have fought to make sure every American is treated equally and that their civil rights are protected. In that spirit, I voted for the Voting Rights Advancement Act to reauthorize the Voting Rights Act so that pre-clearance covers states and localities with a recent pattern of discrimination and that the right to vote is guaranteed for every American.
I also have supported measures like the Allied Health Workforce Diversity Act and Combating Sexual Harassment in Science Act to make sure that underrepresented communities have a fair shot of achieving their own American Dream.
Hate and intolerance have no home in our community. I have supported bipartisan legislative efforts, like the National Opposition to Hate, Assault, and Threats to Equality (NO HATE) Act, to strengthen federal laws against hate speech, threats, and attacks, and improve reporting and expand assistance and resources for victims of hate crimes. We must do whatever we can to close gaps in existing hate crime reporting and strengthen the national response to these despicable crimes.