California has always been at the forefront of the fight for equality. Embodying this spirit, Congresswoman Speier is a passionate ally to the LGBTQI community. As a proud member of the LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus and the Transgender Equality Task Force, she champions legislation that pushes our country closer toward true equality for every American. While marriage equality represents a hard-won victory, LGBTQ+ Americans are still at risk of discrimination in housing, employment, federal funding, education, financial services, and more.
In recognition of the work that must still be done, Congresswoman Speier is a cosponsor of H.R. 5, the Equality Act, which passed the House of Representatives and awaits consideration in the Senate. This important bill would directly protect Americans from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. In the 116th Congress, Congresswoman Speier cosponsored the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or religion in child welfare programs and services that receive federal funding, and the Greater Leadership Overseas for the Benefit of Equality (GLOBE) Act, which establishes a plan for U.S. leadership in the protection of international LGBTQI rights. She has also long fought to prohibit conversion therapy and supports legislation that would ban commercial conversion therapy and prevent Medicaid funding from covering this despicable practice.
President Trump’s Transgender Ban
The ex-president's ban on transgender men and women serving in the military was cruel, offensive and wrong. President Biden was right to overturn this policy and Rep Speier applauds the Pentagon’s bold action to expeditiously dismantle the trans ban.
The Trump policy ordered servicemembers to dress like and meet the standards of their gender assigned at birth. It even required individuals who have medically transitioned into their chosen gender to still serve in their birth genders. Over 14,000 trans servicemembers currently help keep our nation safe. Their bravery in putting their lives on the line to protect our country deserves better than this.
As the Chair of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Military Personnel, Congresswoman Speier has led the charge in Congress to overturn this hateful and senseless ban. On February 27, 2019, Congresswoman Speier invited the first five transgender servicemembers to testify openly in front of her Military Personnel subcommittee and share their stories. She introduced bicameral, bipartisan legislation in Congress that would protect the rights of transgender individuals who are qualified and meet standards to join and also serve openly in the armed services. Congresswoman Speier then introduced amendments to enshrine open service into law that were included in the House-passed Fiscal Year 2020 National Defense Authorization Act and the Defense Department Appropriations bill.
While President Biden and Secretary Austin have kept their promises to defend transgender servicemembers who put their lives on the line for Americans, we must ensure that we never backtrack again on basic human decency. Rep Speier will continue to work with her colleagues to establish statutory nondiscrimination protections for our servicemembers.
More on LGBTQI Equality
|3/17/22||Speier, Cicilline Applaud Pentagon Reform to Expedite Name Changes on Transgender Veterans’ Discharge Records|
|1/21/22||Speier, Smith, Takano Call on Secretary Austin and Secretary Cisneros to Launch Historical Review and Survey on LGBTQ+ Military Inclusion|
|6/14/21||Speier, Gillibrand Call on Pentagon to Expedite Name Changes on Military Records for Trans Veterans, Strengthen Special Victims’ Counsel Program|
|3/31/21||Speier Statement on Pentagon Reversal of Trump Trans Ban|
|1/25/21||Speier Statement on Biden Administration Reversing Bigoted Ban on Transgender Servicemembers|
|12/22/20||60 Members of Democratic Women’s Caucus Urge Biden-Harris to Use Executive Action for Bold Gender Equity, Racial Justice Reforms|
|6/15/20||Chair Speier Responds to SCOTUS Landmark Ruling on LGBTQ+ Rights|
|3/12/19||Rep Speier Responds to DoD Implementation of Trump Administration’s Transgender Military Service Ban|