Let me be clear and simple: LGBT rights are human rights. Marriage equality and nondiscrimination in the military, workplace, classroom and healthcare system, based on real or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, are civil rights that must be protected under law.
In fact, I wear as a kind of badge of honor my inclusion as a member of the so-called, “Terrible Ten” - the first ten Connecticut state legislators to sign on as co-sponsor of the civil union bill that passed through the General Assembly in 2005. I am thrilled that today in Connecticut same-sex couples can legally marry, as they also can in five other states and the District of Columbia.
I will continue to support efforts to make equality the law of the land, and stand up against Republican-led attacks to deny personal civil liberties to members of the LGBT or any other community. It is not the government’s place to tell Americans who they can and cannot love.
I've been endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign because of my beliefs and my strong record standing up for the rights of all Americans.
- In addition to the “Terrible Ten,” I am also a proud member of the Equality Caucus in the House of Representatives.
- I have been a leader in the fight against Speaker Boehner’s efforts to use taxpayer resources to defend the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in federal court, even though the majority of Americans don’t support the unconstitutional and discriminatory law. In fact, I have joined many of my Democratic colleagues in filing three amicus briefs defending the plaintiffs challenging the constitutionality of DOMA. I am also proud, original cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act which would repeal DOMA for once and for all.
- When repeal of “Don’t, Ask, Don’t Tell” stood in jeopardy in the Senate during the final days of the 111th Congress, I called on President Obama to do everything within his power as President and Commander in Chief to put an end to this military policy. With my wholehearted support, the President ultimately was able to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.
- In light of a tragic string of suicides by bullied LGBT youth, I supported the Student
- Nondiscrimination Act and the Safe Schools Improvement Act.
- I supported the long-overdue Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which closed gaps in federal law by providing federal assistance in the cases of a hate crime committed against persons because of their gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
- I helped pass the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act, which provides federal funding to care, treat and support nearly half a million people with HIV / AIDS.
- I have been proud to cosponsor bills such as the Employment Non-Discrimination Act and Domestic Partner Benefits and Obligations Act to help protect the rights of the LGBT community.