“All Americans deserve the same basic rights as everyone else – that’s why I have fought so hard for equality for all LGBT Americans. I believe that marriage equality extends one of our most basic rights of citizenship to all Americans – that is, the right to marry the person you love.”
– Rep. Adam Schiff
A vice chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, Rep. Adam Schiff actively supports the rights of all citizens to be treated equally under the law regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, as well as furthering human rights for LGBT people around the world.
Working to End Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation or Gender Identity
Many LGBTQ Americans still lack basic legal protections in states across the country. The patchwork nature of current laws leaves millions of people subject to uncertainty and potential discrimination that impacts their safety, their families, and their day-to-day lives.
Our nation’s civil rights laws protect people on the basis of race, color, national origin, and in most cases, sex, disability, and religion. But federal law does not provide consistent non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity. The need for these protections is clear – nearly two thirds of LGBTQ Americans report having experienced discrimination in their personal lives.
Rep. Schiff is an original co-sponsor of the bipartisan Equality Act, which would provide comprehensive, federal nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ individuals in employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service. The Equality Act would amend existing civil rights law—including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Jury Selection and Services Act, and several laws regarding employment with the federal government—to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics.
Schiff will continue to support this legislation until it becomes law.
Supporting the Full Integration of LGBT Servicemembers into the Military
Rep. Schiff was proud to support the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy. With the repeal of this discriminatory policy, LGBTQ service members no longer need to hide their sexuality while proudly serving their country. Unfortunately, the end of DADT did not immediately end the unequal treatment of same sex spouses of U.S. service members, so Schiff led an effort in the House urging the Pentagon to ensure the equal treatment of LGBTQ service members and their spouses, which they did in 2013, extending through an executive order some benefits to spouses of gay and lesbian service members.
However, the fight for equality within the armed services is far from over. Schiff adamantly opposes the Department of Defense’s decision to ban transgender Americans from serving in the United States military. The policy would not only prohibit transgender people from joining the military, but also prohibit any transgender person in the military from living consistent with their gender identity. The military should be recruiting and retaining the best troops to serve, not rejecting or discharging qualified trans troops simply to serve a political agenda.
Ensuring that LGBT Families Have Equal Treatment in Adoptions
Rep. Schiff is a supporter of the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, which would provide equal treatment for LGBTQ couples who hope to adopt a foster child. In some states, LGBTQ individuals and couples are banned from serving as adoptive or foster parents, and public child welfare agencies discriminate against qualified adoptive LGBTQ families. No child should be denied access to a safe and healthy home and no family should be banned from providing a loving home to a child in need based on sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.