This decade has seen more advances in LGBTQ rights than ever before, and Gil is committed to continuing the important fight for equality. The Supreme Court in Obergefell v. Hodges gave all Americans the fundamental right to marry, regardless of sexual orientation. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed, allowing LGBTQ service members to openly serve in our U.S. Military. The Shepard and Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed, which, for the first time, included language that protects sexual orientation and gender identity into federal hate crimes law. In California, we banned conversion therapy on minors, a state law that has been upheld twice in court. Yet, the LGBTQ community in America still faces many challenges.
In schools all over the nation, LGBTQ youth are still bullied because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, and many are forced into conversion therapy. Every day, violence and discrimination are aimed at people in the LGBTQ community. Transgender service members are in constant fear of being discharged for openly serving in the U.S. Military. Gil will work to establish programs and pass legislation that promotes safe school environments. Gil supports a federal ban on conversion therapy for minors. Gil believes that it is time to pass comprehensive federal non-discrimination policies that protect every American from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Gil will support bipartisan legislation that will protect transgender service members from discharge as a result of their gender identity. In Congress, Gil will fight for full legal protection for the LGBTQ community.
PROTECT THE RIGHTS OF LGBTQ YOUTH
We have seen that LGBTQ youth are more likely to be subjected to bullying and violence in schools, which puts them at an increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. A national survey showed that 8 in 10 LGBTQ youth were harassed in school. That number is far too high, and it is imperative that our schools provide a safe environment for LGBTQ youth to learn and grow. Gil supports programs that provide educators with the tools that they need to protect students from harassment. He knows we need to also provide schools with the resources to succeed in school and in their futures. Gil believes that educators throughout the country must work together to identify best practices for providing a safe school environment. Every student should feel safe when stepping into a classroom to learn.
Archaic practices, such as conversion therapy, should never be forced on minors. Gil supports legislation, such as the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, which puts a federal ban on conversion therapy for minors. Our country needs to follow in the footsteps of states like California, Nevada, New Jersey, and all the others that have banned this horrendous practice. For years, Republicans in Congress have blocked attempts to pass the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act and other conversion therapy restrictions. Gil will work with his fellow members of Congress to show the success of similar legislation in California and promote the need for a federal ban on conversion therapy for minors.
PASS COMPREHENSIVE FEDERAL NON-DISCRIMINATION
When President Obama signed an executive order prohibiting discrimination against federal contractors who identify as members of the LGBTQ community, our nation took a big step towards social equality. Gil will build on the progress of the Obama administration by expanding that non-discrimination policy to protect all employees, students, and consumers in America. When Congress introduced legislation to ensure that taxpayer dollars are prohibited from being used to discriminate against the LGBTQ community, Washington Republicans voted against it, showing yet again that he opposes equality for LGBTQ Americans.
Gil supports a comprehensive federal non-discrimination policy that includes protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Every American should be given the opportunity to pursue the American Dream, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. That means that every American needs equal access to the services and benefits in this country.
Currently, dozens of states lack a comprehensive non-discrimination policy, leaving millions of Americans open to discrimination when seeking employment and educational opportunities, purchasing a home, and even securing goods and services. Washington Republicans have repeatedly voted against legislation, such as the Sexual Orientation Employment Nondiscrimination Act, which would have extended protections against discrimination nearly a decade sooner. Gil knows that a comprehensive federal non-discrimination policy is the only way to close the gap and give every American equal access to the opportunity to achieve the American Dream.
SUPPORT TRANSGENDER AMERICANS
Although we have made strides in protecting the rights of the LGBTQ Community, the rights of transgender individuals are constantly being attacked by Republicans across the country. Since 2015, over 100 anti-transgender bills have been proposed all over the United States. Those bills restricted access to public facilities, such as restrooms, by defining gender as the gender listed on a birth certificate. Republicans made attempts to restrict transgender students from fully participating in school and even ban transgender service members from defending our freedom. Courts and legislators have been successful at blocking all but 2 of the many bills that have been proposed. Gil will fight to repeal any law that discriminates against transgender Americans and he will block any future attempts to implement a discriminatory law. Gil supports legislation that aims to provide equality to transgender Americans, not take it away.
While states like North Carolina have passed legislation that restricts restroom access for transgender individuals, the Trump administration is trying to impose bans on transgender participation in the military. Washington Republicans are attempting to dismantle the progress that our nation has made over the last decade with out of touch policies and rhetoric. The repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was a long overdue step towards equality for the LGBTQ community, but the Trump administration continues to threaten those successes and strip transgender individuals of the opportunity to achieve the American Dream. Gil stands behind the federal court’s decision to block President Trump’s transgender military ban. Gil will ensure that his fellow veterans are afforded equal access to VA benefits regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. Gil will stand alongside the LGBTQ community and push for the priceless rights and equality that is owed.