The Late US Senator Was a Trailblazer and Champion for Equality
WASHINGTON – In response to today’s news of the passing of U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization, honored her legacy as a champion for LGBTQ+ equality and trailblazer in politics.
The longest-serving woman in the US Senate and lead sponsor of the landmark Respect for Marriage Act, which secured federal protections for same-sex marriages, Sen. Feinstein passed away at age 90.
“Senator Feinstein’s passing is a loss for us all,” said Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson. “She was a fearless champion for equality, tireless fighter for justice, and paved the way for a new generation of women in leadership. Her history is our history. We mourn her loss, but we carry her legacy forward by committing to the fight for equality and justice without exception.”
In her time as a United States Senator, Feinstein amassed a sterling record of support for the LGBTQ+ community, voting against the Defense of Marriage Act, the Federal Marriage Amendment, and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” while voting in favor of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, and the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” She was an original cosponsor of the Equality Act and a lead sponsor on the Respect For Marriage Act, which was signed into law by President Biden in 2022.
Senator Feinstein’s tenure in the US Senate was marked by numerous trailblazing roles. She was the first woman to serve as Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, first woman to chair the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, and first woman to chair the Senate Intelligence Committee During that tenure, she was an unwavering advocate for women’s rights, championing the Violence Against Women Act, gun violence prevention, and reproductive freedom.
Prior to her time in the Senate, Feinstein was the first woman to serve as Mayor of San Francisco, a role she took on after the assassination of Harvey Milk, with whom she served on the board of supervisors, and then-Mayor Mascone.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ+ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
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