Amy On The Issues

LGBTQ Equality Plan

Our country has made enormous advances in protecting LGBTQ rights in recent years. But President Trump and Republicans in Congress continue to threaten the progress we’ve made, and federal, state, and local laws continue to allow and even promote discrimination toward LGBTQ Americans.

I will be an ally to the LGBTQ community in Congress, working hand-in-hand with LGBTQ leaders to achieve equality once and for all.

Pass the Equality Act

No one should be fired from their jobs, refused housing or health care, or denied services because of who they are or whom they love. Yet in the majority of states, LGBTQ individuals lack such basic legal protections. 

I am proud that House Democrats passed the Equality Act in 2019. This historical legislation would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination across all walks of public life—including in employment, credit, education, housing, jury selection, federally-funded programs, and public accommodations. I will co-sponsor the Equality Act in Congress and fight to make these vital protections law.

Ensure Access to Healthcare

Health care is a human right. Every American—including LGBTQ Americans—must have access to high-quality, affordable care. This is especially true now as we combat COVID-19. The pandemic poses an especially great risk to LGBTQ people, who are more likely to be exposed to the virus at work and almost one-fifth of whom are uninsured. 

In Congress, I will fight to:

  • Protect and strengthen the Affordable Care Act so everyone has access to quality, affordable care, including by providing Medicare to all who want it.
  • Provide free COVID-19 treatment to all who need it.
  • Address the discrimination, disparities, and inequities that prevent transgender individuals from accessing health care. 
  • Protect Title X and restore Planned Parenthood’s historic role as a core provider of Title X services, including to low-income LGBTQ individuals who rely on Planned Parenthood to receive basic reproductive and preventative care.
  • Lift the ban on blood donations from gay and bisexual men, which is discriminatory and not based on science.

Treat and Prevent HIV and AIDS

Ending HIV and AIDS is possible—but reaching this goal will require bold leadership and investment in America and around the world. I will lead efforts in Congress to implement a national HIV/AIDS strategy to expand treatment and prevention and ensure that Americans living with HIV and AIDS are free from stigma and discrimination. 

In Congress, I will fight to:

  • Immediately bring down the cost of PrEP and PEP and ensure universal access to and coverage for these life saving medications.
  • Stand up to pharmaceutical companies who price-gouge and limit access to PrEP.
  • Protect the budget of programs that serve people with HIV and AIDS, including the Ryan White program and programs in veterans, housing, substance use, corrections, and other federal agencies.
  • Boost funding for medical science and innovation, providing more resources for therapeutic treatment and cures research and for medical research agencies like the National Institutes of Health.
  • Review and repeal federal, state, and local laws that criminalize HIV status and provide best practices for replacing them with policies that are evidence-based and medically-accurate.

Prevent Bullying and Harassment 

Bullying and harassment of LGBTQ students sadly remains widespread, and existing federal programs do not address the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ youth. As a mental health advocate and former public school teacher, I know how important it is that we address and prevent bullying and harassment and provide all students access to mental health and wellness services from the earliest grades. 

In Congress, I will fight to:

  • Enact the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which would require that schools receiving federal funding adopt codes of conduct specifically prohibiting bullying and harassment on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability, or religion.
  • Increase funding for school counselors, nurses, and psychologists, so that every child has access to a range of community services to help them thrive.
  • Provide mental health literacy and biased-based bullying trainings for teachers and school personnel.

Address Prevent Anti-LGBTQ Violence 

Violence against LGBTQ people has grown in recent years, impacting especially communities of color. At least 26 transgender women of color were killed in 2019, which was the deadliest year on record for transgender people. Congress must provide the leadership needed to end this epidemic of violence—and to address the stigma and lack of opportunity that prevent LGBTQ Americans from living safe and secure lives.

In Congress, I will fight to:

  • Require that law enforcement agencies report hate crime data, so we can better target violence-prevention measures.
  • Encourage states to pass laws protecting LGBTQ individuals from hate crimes.
  • Fund and improve anti-bias education and training programs for law enforcement agencies.
  • Improve the safety of transgender individuals within the justice system.
  • Advance commonsense gun-violence prevention measures, including to require universal background checks, enact an extreme risk protection law, and close loopholes that allow abusive partners to buy or own firearms. 

Support LGBTQ Families

While LGBTQ families have won important protections in recent years, far more work remains to ensure their safety and equality in states across the country.

In Congress, I will:

  • Continue to unequivocally support marriage equality.
  • Support religious freedom while opposing efforts to use religion as a license to discriminate.
  • Work to ensure that publicly-funded adoption agencies make adoption and foster care decisions based on children’s best interests, without discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Cosponsor the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, which will help prevent LGBTQ minors from being subjected to so-called “conversion therapy”—a devastating practice that can have lasting consequences for youth mental, physical, and emotional health.

Stand Up for LGBTQ Veterans and Servicemembers

No qualified American should be excluded from military service due to their gender identity, and no honorably-serving member should live under the threat of discharge simply because of who they are. In Congress, I will work to ensure that transgender service members are allowed continue to serve in or join the military. I will also fight for justice and fair treatment for veterans discharged from service due solely to their sexual orientation or gender identity. We must grant honorable discharges and benefits access to these veterans—and prevent bias from being used to undermine our military our hurt our veterans community.