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VOTE: Find out how to vote where you are today.

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LGBTQ+ Equality

Issues

Fight for LGBTQ+ Equality

People have the right to love who they want to love and get married regardless of their sexual orientation. Incredibly, today in many states, it is still legal to fire someone for being gay. That is unacceptable and must change.

Bernie Signature

Key Points

  • Pass the Equality Act, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act and other bills to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.
  • Ensure LGBTQ+ people have comprehensive health insurance without discrimination from providers.
  • Advance policies to ensure students can attend school without fear of bullying, and work to substantially reduce suicides.

Details

The United States has made remarkable progress on equality in a relatively short amount of time. But there is still much work to be done. In many states, it is still legal to fire someone for being LGBTQ+. Incredibly, it is still legal to deny someone housing or service in the military for being transgender. That is unacceptable and must change. We must end discrimination in all forms.

As president, Bernie will:

  • Pass the Equality Act, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act and other bills to prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.
  • Ensure LGBTQ+ people have comprehensive health care without discrimination from providers. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All would not only confront the massive health disparities faced by the LGBTQ+ community, it would also cover gender affirming surgeries, increase access to PrEP, remove barriers to mental health care and bolster suicide prevention efforts. Bernie’s plan clearly states that LGBTQ+ people cannot be discriminated against by providers or denied health benefits.
  • Protect the rights of LGBTQ+ people around the world by ensuring that written into the core text of all global trade agreements, are strong and binding human rights standards and strengthening the Special Envoy for LGBTQ+ Rights within the Dept. of the State.
  • Advance policies to ensure students can attend school without fear of bullying, harassment, discrimination, and violence, and work to substantially reduce suicides by enforcing Title IX and passing the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act into law to protect the rights of LGBTQ+ students.
  • Support police departments that adopt policies to ensure fairer interactions with transgender people, especially transgender women of color who are often targeted by police unfairly, and by instituting training programs to promote compliance with fair policies.
  • Ensuring Fair Housing for All free from discrimination by strengthening and expanding the Fair Housing Act, increasing enforcement, and creating an independent National Fair Housing Agency. And Bernie will invest nearly $32 billion over the next five years to end homelessness in America. He will provide $500 million in funding to states and localities to provide outreach to the homeless to help connect them to case management and social services to ensure nobody is left behind.
  • End discrimination against LGBTQ+ people by creditors and banks so that people will not be unfairly denied mortgages, credit cards, or student loans.
  • Strongly oppose any legislation that purports to “protect” religious liberty at the expense of others’ rights.
  • Repeal the Trump Administration’s bigoted ban on transgender people from serving in the U.S. military.
  • Make it easier for LGBTQ+ workers to form a union.
  • Ensure the federal recognition of non-binary identities, specifically the inclusion of a third-gender category on government-issued documents.
  • Investigate every murder of trans individuals as a federal hate crime.

Bernie’s Record on LGBTQ+ Rights:

Throughout his life, Bernie has consistently supported equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community.

  • Bernie supported gay rights activists when they held Burlington’s first ever Gay Pride parade in 1983 and celebrated the event by signing a proclamation officially designating it Lesbian and Gay Pride Day.
  • As Mayor of Burlington in 1985, Bernie signed a groundbreaking housing and employment proclamation protecting LGBTQ+ people from discrimination– one of the first of its kind in the country.
  • As a United States Representative, Bernie consistently voted against efforts to weaken non-discriminatory laws and rebuked Congress members who made derogatory comments towards individuals in the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Bernie voted against Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and has been a passionate defender of the right of LGBTQ+ individuals to defend our country and openly serve in the armed forces.
  • He consistently fought against efforts to ban marriage equality, and is the only Presidential candidate to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act in 1996.
  • Bernie has consistently voted against efforts to deny domestic partners from receiving health benefits from their partners plans.
  • He has long advocated for expanding hate crimes legislation to encompass LGBTQ+ individuals and protecting the rights of the transgender community.
  • As a United States Senator, Bernie has co-sponsored many bills to strengthen and expand LGBTQ+ rights to ensure equal protection under the law, including: the Uniting American Families Act, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the International Human Rights Defense Act, the Equality Act, and the bill to designate a LGBTQ+ Equality Day.