Federal Legislation

Filed under: Federal Advocacy

The Human Rights Campaign, along with tens of thousands of advocates, works around the clock to lobby members of Congress on critical legislation that would greatly affect the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer Americans.

Legislation and Policies HRC Supports:

Comprehensive and Inclusive Immigration Reform
Undocumented lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people live at the intersection of the LGBTQ equality and immigrant rights movements, making them some of the most vulnerable individuals in our country. According to a study by the Williams Institute, there are close to 1 million LGBTQ adult immigrants, of whom about two-thirds are documented and one-third are undocumented.  Comprehensive and inclusive immigration reform is a critical issue for the LGBTQ community.

Customer Non-Discrimination Act
The Customer Non-Discrimination Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in public accommodations. Additionally, it would update the public spaces and services covered in current law to include retail stores, services such as banks and legal services, healthcare providers, and transportation services.

End Racial and Religious Profiling Act
The End Racial and Religious Profiling Act would prohibit federal, state, and local law enforcement from targeting a person based on actual or perceived race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation without trustworthy information that is relevant to linking a person to a crime.

Equality Act
The Equality Act would provide consistent and explicit anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.

Every Child Deserves a Family Act
The Every Child Deserves a Family Act (ECDFA) would prohibit any public child welfare agency receiving federal financial assistance from discriminating against any potential foster or adoptive family on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.

Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act
Securing credit is critical to some of the most important undertakings in life, including buying a home, going to college, or starting a small business.  Credit decisions should not be based on personal characteristics, such as race and sex, that are unrelated to creditworthiness and our nation’s civil rights laws reflect that.  However, there is no federal law that consistently protects lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people from credit discrimination, and it remains legal in many states to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  As a result, in many places, LGBTQ people can still be denied a mortgage, credit card, student loan, or other type of lending simply because of who they are.

Global Respect Act
The Global Respect Act would provide a means to prevent individuals who violate the human rights of LGBTQ people from entry into the United States.

Healthy Families Act
The Healthy Families Act would help relieve many hardworking Americans who struggle to meet their own health care needs and the needs of their family members by providing employees the opportunitiy to earn a minimum of seven paid sick days per year to care for their families or themselves.

International Human Rights Defense Act
The International Human Rights Defense Act of 2014 would build an unprecedented framework into U.S. diplomacy to protect LGBTQ rights worldwide, creating a Special Envoy within the U.S. State Department who would serve as principle advisor to the Secretary of State on LGBTQ issues.

Juror Non-Discrimination Act/Jury ACCESS Act
The Juror Non-Discrimination Act and Jury Access for Capable Citizens and Equality in Service Selection (ACCESS) Act prohibit attorneys from seeking to strike potential federal jurors based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

LGBT Elder Americans Act
The LGBT Elder Americans Act would broaden the Older Americans Act (OAA) to address the needs of older LGBTQ Americans. 

Real Education for Healthy Youth Act
The Real Education for Healthy Youth Act would provide grants for comprehensive sex education to public or private entities that focus on adolescent health and education or have experience with training sex educators.  Funding would also be provided for teacher training on sex education.  The bill would require, rather than merely encourage, inclusiveness of LGBTQ youth in sex education.

REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act
The REPEAL HIV Discrimination Act would require a review of federal and state laws that impose criminal liability on individuals with HIV.

Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act
The Runaway and Homeless Youth and Trafficking Prevention Act (RHYTPA) would reauthorize essential Runaway and Homeless Youth Act programs, including prevention, emergency shelters, street outreach, transitional living, and assistance in rural areas. Notably, RHYTPA includes much needed updates to the current Runaway and Homeless Youth programs, including an explicit non-discrimination provision that would prohibit any provider of these services from discriminating against youth based on their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability.

Safe Schools Improvement Act
Bullying and harassment of students who are, or are perceived to be, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ) is widespread.  While current federal law provides important support to promote school safety, it does not comprehensively and expressly focus on issues of bullying or harassment, and in no way addresses the challenges faced by LGBTQ youth in our nation’s schools.

Student Non-Discrimination Act
The Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) would prohibit any school program or activity receiving federal financial assistance from discriminating against any public school student on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act
The Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act would amend Federal Trade Commission Act to clarify that providing conversion therapy to any person in exchange for monetary compensation or advertising such services is an unfair or deceptive act or practice.

Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act
The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act would require colleges and universities receiving federal student aid funding to prohibit harassment and to establish a grant program to support campus anti-harassment programs.

Voting Rights Advancement Act
The Voting Rights Advancement Act would strengthen voting rights by expanding and strengthening the government's ability to respond to voting discrimination.

Legislation HRC Opposes:

Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act
The Child Welfare Provider Inclusion Act would undermine the government’s ability to ensure child welfare organizations make decisions based on the best interest of children.

First Amendment Defense Act
The First Amendment Defense Act is tantamount to state sanctioned discrimination and would allow non-profit organizations and businesses contracting with the federal government to circumvent critical federal protections designed to protect same-sex couples and their families from harmful discrimination.

Marriage Constitutional Amendments
The Marriage Protection Amendment and the Restoration of Marriage Amendment (S.J. Res. 12) would amend the U.S. Constitution to roll back marriage equality.