Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act Could Help LGBT Americans Realize American Dream

by HRC Staff

Bill introduced in Senate would prohibit discrimination in the provision of credit based on sexual orientation or gender identity

WASHINGTON– With no federal law protecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination in securing credit, thousands of Americans face unfair challenges in buying a home, going to college, or starting a small business.  To ensure all qualified people have access to the financial credit necessary to build a productive life, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) today introduced the Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act (FDCA) in the U.S. Senate and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) introduced the bill in the House of Representatives.  FDCA would amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) to prohibit discrimination in the provision of credit based on sexual orientation or gender identity. 

"Securing credit is critical to some of the most important undertakings in life, yet many LGBT Americans can be denied credit simply because of who they are,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “Credit decisions should not be based on personal characteristics unrelated to creditworthiness.  FDCA will help LGBT people realize the American dream.”   

“Obtaining credit is a critical step for many looking to buy a home, go to college, or start a small business,” said Senator Murray. “And since equal protection under the law is a fundamental right in our country, no one should suffer discrimination when trying to secure a roof over their head or a high quality education. I’m proud to introduce this legislation with Representative Israel to end this unfortunate practice that continues to hurt people in the LGBT community.” 

“The ability to secure credit is essential to keeping our economy moving and ensuring that everyone from small business owners to middle-class families can grow and prosper,” said Rep. Israel  “However, there are currently no federal protections in place for LGBT Americans who face discrimination when applying for credit. It’s time for us to change this, and that’s why I introduced legislation to prohibit lenders from denying credit based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”  

Only 12 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws broadly prohibiting credit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Ten states and D.C. prohibit gender identity-based discrimination in credit transactions.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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