I am a founding member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, because I believe that we must work to prevent and end discrimination against individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Unfortunately, many people suffer from discrimination throughout their day, whether it is at school, in the workplace, hospitals and even walking down the street. I have joined with my colleagues in the LGBT Equality Caucus and other members of the House of Representatives to support a number of initiatives addressing discrimination where it is felt.
We must end discrimination in the workplace, in access to benefits like Social Security and health care, and in immigration policies. I am a long-time supporter of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and my own office employment policy includes language that bans hiring discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender self-image or identity.
I am committed to the idea that consenting adult couples should be able to enjoy all of the protections afforded by marriage, regardless of their sexual orientation.
I believe the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed in 1996, is unconstitutional and needs to be struck down. During my time in Congress, I investigated the impact of DOMA on same-sex families in Illinois, and seeing the human toll of this law has strengthened my resolve that it must be repealed. I have long believed that individuals who love each other should be able to enter into and enjoy the benefits of marriage. These rights need to be recognized and I will continue to work hard every day to help that happen, whether in Congress or in the courts.
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