Congresswoman Watson Coleman strongly believes that Congress must do more to guarantee equal rights to LGBT individuals. She is committed to fighting for marriage equality, strengthening anti-discrimination laws to cover sexual orientation and gender identity, and combatting homophobia and transphobia both in the United States and around the world. For these reasons, she is a proud member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.
The Constitution guarantees all Americans “equal protection of the laws.” Respect for this principle has guided Congresswoman Watson Coleman throughout her career. In the New Jersey Assembly, she voted in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage because no individual should be denied the right to marry because of their sexual orientation. In the same vein, she joined a group of 211 members of Congress in filing a brief with the Supreme Court in support of a constitutional right for same-sex couples to marry. While many states have joined New Jersey in recognizing same-sex marriage, it is essential that all states and the federal government grant same-sex couples the equal rights and dignity they deserve.
No American should lose a job or be denied access to a public facility because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. Over the past 50 years, Congress has passed numerous laws to prevent discrimination against racial minorities and women. But currently, the law allows most states, stores, restaurants, and other public facilities to discriminate against the LGBT community. Congresswoman Watson Coleman believes this situation must be changed, offering the same protections that exist for other protected classes to LGBT individuals. For this reason, she is an original cosponsor of the Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act, ensuring that no LGBT individual is denied a loan because of who they are. She will continue to work with her colleagues to expand these protections in other areas of law.
Many LGBT youth around the world face bullying and harassment in their daily life. Congresswoman Watson Coleman is committed to finding ways to combat this problem. She has cosponsored the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, which would require colleges and universities to develop policies to fight harassment. Additionally, she is a cosponsor of a resolution supporting the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, which recognizes the suffering so many LGBT individuals face around the world as a result of harassment and discrimination. She also has cosponsored the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, which would ban for-profit, so-called “conversion therapy,” which seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. Congresswoman Watson Coleman voted in favor of New Jersey’s ban on this harmful practice and supports efforts in Congress to ensure that no child endures the abuse of trying to have their sexual orientation or gender identity changed.