As a member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, Congresswoman Slaughter is a strong supporter of LGBTQ individuals and is committed to fighting discrimination wherever it exists.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer individuals are our loved ones, neighbors, friends, and integral members of our community. Congresswoman Slaughter believes that every American deserves equal rights under the law, including people who identify as LGBTQ. She stood up for LBGTQ rights early in her career, even when equality issues were politically unpopular because it was, and is, the right thing to do.
- Marriage Equality: Congresswoman Slaughter believes that all Americans should have the right to marry the person whom they love, regardless of their gender or sexual orientation. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender families are just like all other American families. They pay taxes, participate in their communities, raise children, and therefore should be treated equally under the law. The Supreme Court’s monumental June 2015 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges found that the Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantee same-sex couples the right to marry and have their marriage recognized by the government. As one of only 67 members of Congress who voted in 1996 against the Defense of Marriage Act, which denied federal benefits to same-sex couples, Congresswoman Slaughter was pleased to see the Supreme Court finally rule to extend marriage equality to all Americans. Congresswoman Slaughter is thankful for the trailblazers in LGBTQ equality, including New York’s Edie Windsor, who helped make same-sex marriage a reality in so many states.
- Non-Discrimination: No one should be fired from their job because of who they are. Congresswoman Slaughter was proud to be an original co-sponsor of the Equality Act in the 114th Congress, which would have given LGBTQ employees protection from discrimination in the workplace. House Republicans blocked the bill, but Congresswoman Slaughter will continue to fight for LGBTQ non-discrimination policies in the workplace.
- LGBTQ Homeless Youth: Congresswoman Slaughter is deeply concerned about poverty and homelessness in Rochester, including the unique challenges faced by LGBTQ youth. According to statistics from the Williams Institute, 40 percent of the homeless youth served by agencies identify as LGBTQ. Figures from the Center for American Progress show the average age for homeless LGBTQ youth in New York is between 13 and 14 years old. This status quo is unconscionable, and Congresswoman Slaughter will fight for LGBTQ inclusive solutions to address the cycle of youth homelessness.
- Same-Sex Families: Too many children are without a home, shuffled between temporary and foster homes. Congresswoman Slaughter believes that loving, same-sex families should have the freedom to adopt children, no matter where they live. As a co-sponsor of the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, Congresswoman Slaughter advocates for full adoption rights for LGBTQ individuals.
- Opposing the Defense of Marriage Act: In 1996, Congresswoman Slaughter was one of the few members of Congress to vote against the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act.
- Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”: LGBTQ individuals have always served our country bravely. Congresswoman Slaughter was proud to cast her vote to repeal the discriminatory “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which previously barred gay and lesbian individuals from serving openly in the military.
- Protecting LGBTQ Individuals from Hate Crimes: Congresswoman Slaughter was a proud co-sponsor of the Matthew Shepard Act, which expands federal hate-crime law to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability.
- Reauthorizing LGBTQ-inclusive Violence Against Women Act: As an original author of the Violence Against Women Act, Congresswoman Slaughter was proud to be a lead advocate for a LGBTQ-inclusive reauthorization of this transformative legislation in 2013.
- Uniting American Families Act: Congresswoman Slaughter was a co-sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act in the 113th Congress. This legislation would allow citizens and legal permanent residents to sponsor their “permanent partners” for residency, applying the same standards to gay and lesbian couples currently enjoyed by heterosexual couples seeking to bring their foreign spouse into this country. While the legislation unfortunately did not pass, Congresswoman Slaughter will continue to work for equal protection for all families.
- Standing Up for International Civil and Human Rights: Congresswoman Slaughter is an original co-sponsor of House Resolution 263, which supports the goals and ideals of IDAHOT, the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. It encourages governments, international bodies, and international organizations to prioritize the health and human rights of LGBTQ people.
More on LGBTQ
WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (NY-25) today urged President-elect Donald Trump to rescind the appointment of Stephen Bannon to White House Chief Strategist. Bannon’s ties to the White Nationalist movement have been well-documented, and he has a history of repeatedly and aggressively pushing stories that promote anti-Semitism, xenophobia, and racism.
WASHINGTON, DC — As the US Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision supporting equal marriage, Congresswoman Louise Slaughter issued the following statement:
“This historic decision affirms all American families and I applaud the Supreme Court for acting to recognize the individual’s right to marry whomever they choose regardless of their sexual orientation,” said Rep. Slaughter. “I am proud to fight for the equality of our LGBTQ friends and loved ones throughout the nation.”