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 and transgender Americans.

Legislation and Policies HRC Supports:

Comprehensive and Inclusive Immigration Reform
Undocumented lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people live at the intersection of the LGBT 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 LGBT 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 LGBT community.

End Racial Profiling Act
The End Racial Profiling Act of 2015 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 LGBT 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 and transgender (LGBT) 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, LGBT 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 LGBT 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 LGBT rights worldwide, creating a Special Envoy within the U.S. State Department who would serve as principle advisor to the Secretary of State on LGBT 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.

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 LGBT youth in sex education.

Repealing Ineffective and Incomplete Abstinence-Only Program Funding Act
The Repealing Ineffective and Incomplete Abstinence-Only Program Funding Act would strike Title V, Section 510 of the Social Security Act from the statute and transfer funding to the Personal Responsibility Education Program state-grant program, which would provide information on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Repeal Existing Policies that Encourage and Allow Legal (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.

Respect for Marriage Act
The Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) repeals the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in its entirety and ensures that every married couple has the certainty that federal benefits and protections will flow from a marriage valid where it was performed, even if that couple moves or travels to another state.

Revising World Bank Safeguard Policy
The World Bank has begun a two year process to review and update its safeguard policies.  These next generation policies should be LGBT-inclusive and prevent the LGBT community from being left behind as the World Bank strives to accomplish its missions to eradicate poverty and create more shared prosperity.

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 or transgender (LGBT) 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 LGBT youth in our nation’s schools.

Student Non-Discrimination Act
The Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) prohibits 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 amends 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:

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.