|Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, or Transgendered (LGBT)|
Rep. Eshoo believes all American citizens deserve equality in their personal and professional lives regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Throughout her public service, she has worked for the extension of equal rights, the repeal of discriminatory laws, the elimination of hate-motivated violence, and the improved health and well-being for the LGBT community.
Rep. Eshoo is a member of the LGBT Equailty Caucus which works to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender equality. Click below to read more about:
Rep. Eshoo opposed the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy since it was implemented in 1993. The policy caused the discharge of thousands of servicemen and women, forcing the military to reduce standards of eligibility, including issuing 'moral waivers' to people with felony convictions. Despite the policy, American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan served side-by-side with openly gay members of allied forces, including soldiers from the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Thirteen coalition partners in Operation Enduring Freedom allow lesbians, gays and bisexuals to serve openly, as do eleven coalition members fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom in Afghanistan. Service members have also been working side-by-side to combat terrorism with CIA, NSA, and FBI officers and agents – all of whom can be openly gay, and are also protected from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation.
Rep. Eshoo supported President Obama’s pledge to end the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy and voted for the successful effort to repeal the law on December 15, 2010. The repeal measure was signed by the President on December 22, 2010.
Every year qualified, hard-working Americans in both public and private sector workplaces are denied job opportunities, are terminated, or experience on-the-job discrimination because they are LGBT, yet there is no federal employment law to protect them. In 29 states it is legal to discriminate based on sexual orientation, and in 38 states discrimination based on gender identity is legal.
Rep. Eshoo is a cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a common-sense remedy for this unfair situation. The legislation does not create any “special rights.” It simply ensures that job applicants and employees are judged solely on the basis of their qualifications and performance, not prejudice.
Rep. Eshoo has been a supporter of ENDA since it was first introduced nearly a decade ago, and continues to work to see that this legislation becomes law.
Rep. Eshoo believes that any adult couple should be allowed to marry regardless of their sexual orientation. Individual states have the authority to determine issues related to marriage, just as they have throughout our nation's history.
Most recently, Rep. Eshoo cosponsored the Respect for Marriage Act, legislation that will completely repeal the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which was signed into law in 1996 and which bans federal recognition of same-sex marriage. She voted agaisnt DOMA in 1996 and has continued to fight for its repeal since then.
Our schools should be safe places of learning for all students, including those in the LGBT community. Every day, LGBT students are the targets of discrimination, including bullying and harassment which can lead to academic underachievement and negatively impact their health. When left unchecked, this type of discrimination has lead to physical violence and suicide.
To ensure our public school classrooms are safe places for students to learn and grow, Rep. Eshoo is a cosponsor of the Student Nondiscrimination Act. The bill adds sexual orientation and gender identity to the civil rights protections already guarding students from discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, disability, or national origin. The bill also defines harassment and bullying as discrimination, provides a legal avenue for victims of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and establishes a comprehensive federal prohibition of discrimination in public schools based on perceived or actual sexual orientation and gender identity.
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