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 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.
Jan 21, 2010 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) today submitted the following statement to the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality legislation:

I would first like to thank Chairman McGovern and Ranking Member Wolf for holding this important hearing today. The recent developments in Uganda have sent shockwaves throughout the international community and for good reason.

Apr 28, 2009 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) today introduced H.R. 2132, the
“Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act,” which would amend the landmark 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act to permit leave to care for a domestic partner, child of a domestic partner, same-sex spouse, parent-in-law, adult child, sibling, or grandparent if that person has a serious health condition.
Apr 16, 2009 Press Release

New York – Today Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) joined with Governor David A. Paterson and other elected officials and advocates to announce her strong support for the Governor’s move to provide full legal recognition to same-sex marriages in New York State. In a statement released at today’s announcement by the Governor that he would be introducing a marriage equality “program bill” in the New York State Legislature, Congresswoman Maloney said:

“The right of consenting adults to marry their loved ones is inherent in the ideal of 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' upon which our great nation was founded. Anything less than full marriage equality for same-sex couples constitutes separate and unequal treatment.

Nov 7, 2007 Press Release
WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) today voted for H.R. 3685, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), landmark legislation that would prohibit employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation.  The bill passed the House by a vote of 235-184.  Congresswoman Maloney submitted the following statement on the bill into the official congressional record:
Jun 20, 2007 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC - Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan & Queens) today introduced H.R. 2792, the "Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act" (FMLIA) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation includes couples in domestic partnerships, civil unions, and same-sex marriages under the terms of the landmark 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act. The Human Rights Campaign, a leading national advocacy organization for LGBT rights, strongly supports the bill.
Jul 19, 2006 Press Release
(WASHINGTON, July 20, 2006) Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-Manhattan & Queens) delivered the following remarks in the U.S. House of Representatives today regarding H.J. Res. 88, the Republican-led effort to pass a constitutional amendment to bar same-sex marriage laws from being enacted in any state in the nation:

I rise in strong opposition to H.J. Res. 88.

Instead of spending time working on the issues that really matter to the American people, we are here debating a proposed amendment that would write discrimination into the Constitution.

We do this even after the Senate failed to pass a similar amendment.

So let’s be clear, regardless of what the vote is today, this amendment is going nowhere. 

This makes our time on this even more pointless.

What this debate really is about is dividing our country and riling up the base for a Republican party increasingly concerned about their election prospects this November.

And the Republican leadership is willing to trample on our Constitution in order to do so and no issue is worth paying such a price.

Instead of debating discrimination and dividing our country, why don’t we spend our time
working to make health care more affordable, work to lower gas prices and achieve energy independence, raise the minimum wage, cut the cost of college, or work to ensure our hardworking constituents a dignified retirement?

Why is it that my Republican colleagues who talk so much about family values refuse to allow our families to earn a livable wage, refuse to fix the prescription drug program and turn their backs on our children by raising the interest rate on all student loans?

We must resist this divisive use of this House to score a few political points.  We must reject this effort.  We need real leadership that will bring our country towards a new direction.

There is a new direction that our country must go in that will help American families and address the issues that impact them every single day.

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