Washington—Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released the following statement on the end of LGBT Pride Month:
“Sunday marks the end of LGBT Pride Month, a chance for us to recognize the influence LGBT people have on our communities. It’s also a time to reflect on how the fight for equality is progressing – and unfortunately it has hit some bumps in the road recently.
“In just the last 18 months, this administration has taken a series of actions that set back years of progress for LGBT equality:
- The Justice Department is expected to argue before the Supreme Court that the Civil Rights Act does not prohibit employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. This reverses earlier EEOC positions and could lead to more discrimination against LGBT employees.
- Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services finalized a rule to allow health care workers and insurance companies to deny treatment to LGBT people based on religious grounds. Earlier this year, HHS revised the Affordable Care Act’s non-discrimination rule to allow discrimination against LGBT people. These changes are not only discriminatory, they’re dangerous.
- In May, the White House came out publicly with its opposition to the Equality Act, a bill to extend civil rights protections to the LGBT community.
- In April, the administration implemented President Trump’s ban on transgender individuals serving in the military.
- In January, HHS approved a request by South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster to allow faith-based adoption agencies to deny LGBT couples the ability to adopt children based on personal religious beliefs.
- Last April, the Justice Department raised the minimum age that LGBT people can be asked questions about their sexual orientation and gender identity. The effect of this change was less data collection on crimes committed against LGBT youth.
“Those are just a handful of the actions this administration has taken to chip away at hard-fought victories for the LGBT community.
“I’ve been a proud and vocal supporter of equality for LGBT Americans for decades, and I remain so today. There are a number of bills I support and Congress should immediately pass:
- The Equality Act is a no-brainer that would prohibit discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation and gender identity.
- The Every Child Deserves a Family Act would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the child welfare system.
- The LGBTQ Data Inclusion Act would require federal agencies to collect demographic information on the LGBT community.
“Equality isn’t a partisan issue, it’s a defining characteristic for our country. It’s something that should be above party politics. That’s why I’ll continue to advocate for these and other bills that will move the fight for equality forward, not backward.”