LGBT Equality

The recent rise in attacks on the LGBTQ+ community has made it painfully clear that Congress must do more to guarantee equal rights for LGBTQ+ individuals. To ensure that LGBTQ+ Americans receive equal protection under law, Congress must codify the right to marriage equality, strengthen anti-discrimination laws to cover sexual orientation and gender identity, and do everything in its power to fight anti-LGBTQ+ bigotry at home and abroad.   

I’ve been committed to LGBTQ+ equality since my days in the New Jersey State Assembly, where I was proud to cast my vote to legalize same-sex marriage. Soon after I came to Washington, I joined the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus and joined 211 Members of Congress in filing a brief with the Supreme Court in support of a constitutional right to marriage equality. Although the Court decided marriage equality was a constitutional right in 2015, today’s far-right Court threatens to reverse that decision. For that reason, I am an original cosponsor of the Respect for Marriage Act, which would prevent the Court from stripping away that right by writing marriage equality into federal law.  

The fight for equality extends beyond marriage. LGBTQ+ Americans face discrimination across nearly all aspects of life. Currently, the law allows stores, restaurants, and other public facilities to discriminate against the LGBTQ+ community. The same protections that exist for other protected classes do not exist for LGBTQ+ Americans, and that is unacceptable. I introduced the Customer Non-Discrimination Act to ban discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in public facilities. I’m also an original cosponsor of the Equality Act, which would ban anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination in education, employment, housing, and more.   

While the entire LGBTQ+ population faces discrimination in their daily lives, LGBTQ+ youth are among the most vulnerable. In our current moment, some of the most powerful elected Republicans in the country have embraced legislation that directly targets LGBTQ+ students’ right to exist as their authentic selves. We cannot allow their attempts to erase progress to succeed. I cosponsored the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, which would put an end to the hateful practice of so-called “conversion therapy,” which seeks to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. I voted to ban this practice in New Jersey, and I hope Congress follows suit. Additionally, I cosponsored the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act, which would require colleges and universities to develop policies to combat homophobia and transphobia on campus.  

The right to love who you love without fear of persecution is non-negotiable. I will not stop fighting until that right is guaranteed to all Americans. It is my mission as a public servant to ensure that the arc of American history bends toward harmony, not hatred.