LGBT Rights

Congresswoman Maloney is a longtime and a strong supporter of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. In Congress, she is a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus and a strong supporter of anti-discrimination legislation, including the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, the Student Non-Discrimination Act, the Equality Act, and other federal measures to expand and protect the rights of LGBT individuals. She is also an original co-sponsor of the PRIDE Act. In 1986, then-City Council Member Maloney introduced the first domestic partnership legislation in New York City history.

Select Highlights

  • Equality Act: The Equality Act is comprehensive civil rights legislation that will provide nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people all across this country.
  • PRIDE Act: The PRIDE Act directs the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to improve data collection on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) through the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) and authorizes $25 million to achieve that goal. The data gleaned from the NVDRS is used to inform policy and action plans against suicide and violence.
  • Marriage: Congresswoman Maloney has long supported marriage equality and rejoiced with much of her district, and the country at large, over the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize marriage equality in the United States in June 2015. However, there will inevitably be work ahead as some parts of the country will continue to discriminate against same-sex couples. Congresswoman Maloney is prepared to continue the fight until all couples in the United States truly hold equal rights and opportunities in their marriages and partnerships.
  • Don’t Ask Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010: Congresswoman Maloney sponsored this legislation, allowing gay, lesbian and bi-sexual individuals to openly serve in the military after a law was enacted in 1993 that stated these individuals could only serve if their sexual orientation was not discovered by the military. Now, anyone can openly serve in the United States military regardless of their sexual orientation

  • Adoption: Many adoption agencies in the United States make the adoption process unfairly difficult for same-sex couples when compared to heterosexual couples. Every couple deserves a fair chance to try to adopt a child, and Congress must fight to allow every couple this right. 
  • Education: No student in America deserves to face discrimination because of his or her sexual orientation or gender identity.  Congresswoman Maloney is fighting in Congress to have non-discriminatory legislation passed in order to be sure that no student is denied the right toa good education.
  • EmploymentIn most states, employers are still allowed to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate on the bases of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability or genetic information. Congresswoman Maloney is a strong supporter of the Employment Non Discrimination Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to this list.

  • International Efforts: Congresswoman Maloney is not only a supporter of the American LGBT community, but the international LGBT population. Across the world, gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgender individuals are tormented, discriminated against, imprisoned, and in some cases executed every day. As a human rights advocate, the Congresswoman has openly criticized nations that hold such discriminatory and exclusive policies towards the LGBT community, and calls on each of them to change their intolerant laws.

  • Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act: Starting in 2003 Congresswoman Maloney sponsored the Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act. This bill would provide couples in domestic partnerships, civil unions and same-sex marriages with all the benefits offered currently by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). These essential protections were extended to federal employees and their same-sex domestic partners through an executive order issued by President Obama in 2010. The landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision legalizing same-sex marriage in all 50 states now ensures that all married couples are afforded the same rights and access to benefits that have been denied same-sex couples for far too long, but Congresswoman Maloney is committed to making sure that all families can access basic FMLA leave.
  • Uganda’s proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill: In 2010 the Ugandan Parliament considered discriminatory legislation, called the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, which would make any homosexual act in Uganda punishable by imprisonment and possibly death. Congresswoman Maloney, a longtime proponent for LGBT rights worldwide, lobbied Ugandan officials to reject this draconian law. In her lobbying efforts the Congresswoman wrote a letter to the Uganda Mission to the UN encouraging them to speak with human rights activists, made many public statements in opposition to the bill, and submitted a testimony to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission outlining the significant human rights violations associated with this bill. While the Anti-Homosexuality Bill passed the Ugandan parliament in December 2013, it was nullified by the Uganda Constitutional Court eight months later.


More on LGBT Rights

May 9, 2012 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) applauded President Barack Obama’s statement of support for marriage equality for same-sex couples.  In a statement issued after the President’s statement this afternoon, Congresswoman Maloney said:

Jun 27, 2011 Press Release

NEW YORK, NY – Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan & Queens) released the following statement on yesterday’s passage and signing into law of marriage equality in New York State:

“The Empire State’s marriage equality law marks a huge advance for fundamental civil rights, and I have never been prouder to be a New Yorker than I am right now.


Feb 23, 2011 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) today issued the following statement:

“The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is discriminatory and today President Obama agreed, ordering the Justice Department to stop defending DOMA in the federal courts.

“This decision marks a victory for the LGBT community and for all Americans who believe in civil rights and equality under the Constitution.  Throughout my entire career in public service, no one has ever asked me to defend their marriage -- but countless same-sex couples have spoken poignantly to me of their efforts to secure legal recognition and protections for their own families.  That’s why I applaud today’s move by the Obama administration to stop defending the indefensible.

“While this decision does not repeal a law that should never have passed -- and that I voted against -- those of us fighting for marriage equality can take heart in this significant step  toward a time when all families are treated equally under the law.”


Dec 15, 2010 Press Release
It is time to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue”policy in the U.S. military once and for all. The study recently released by the Pentagon confirms what so many of us have known all along: there is no compelling state interest in barring lesbian, gay and bisexual persons from serving openly in our armed forces.
Dec 1, 2010 Press Release

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) hailed the findings of a comprehensive, nine-month study prepared by the U.S. Department of Defense on servicemembers’ attitudes toward the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy barring openly gay, lesbian or bisexual persons from serving in the military, and again urged the Senate to move quickly to repeal the law.

Aug 5, 2010 Press Release
NEW YORK, NY – Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan & Queens) applauded yesterday’s federal district court ruling that California’s Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriages from being recognized in the nation’s most populous state, is unconstitutional. She issued the following statement:
May 28, 2010 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) hailed the passage last night by the House of Representatives of a measure to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy barring openly gay, lesbian or bisexual persons from serving in the U.S. military.

May 27, 2010 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC --  Rep. Carolyn Maloney made the following statement supporting repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Policy in the U.S. Military:

    It is time to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue”p olicy and to allow lesbian, gay and bisexual persons to serve openly in the military.

Feb 7, 2010 Press Release
(NEW YORK, NY) – Today Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) joined with leading human rights advocates and a prominent member of the clergy to protest the draconian “Anti-Homosexuality Law” proposed in the Ugandan parliament. Immediately following the protest held outside the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Uganda to the United Nations in Manhattan, Congresswoman Maloney delivered a letter to the Mission requesting that representatives of the Ugandan government meet with human rights advocates to discuss the depth and breadth of international opposition to the measure. She was joined at today’s news conference by representatives of leading human rights organizations, including Immigration Equality, the International Gay & Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Human Rights Watch, and Human Rights First, as well as the Reverend Dr. Eugene Callender, former longtime pastor at St. James Presbyterian Church, Manhattan’s oldest African-American Presbyterian Church, who attended Thursday’s Congressional Prayer Breakfast at which President Barack Obama denounced Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Act.
Feb 4, 2010 Press Release
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan & Queens) issued the following statement today thanking President Barack Obama for speaking out against the “Anti-Homosexuality Law” proposed in the parliament of Uganda. The notorious and draconian legislation would apply criminal sanctions – including the death penalty – for the offense such “aggravated homosexuality” or LGBT advocacy.