U.S. Senator Merkley To Introduce Landmark LGBTQ Rights Bill

WASHINGTON, DC, December 11, 2014 ―Yesterday, U.S. Senator Merkley (D-Oregon) announced he would introduce a comprehensive LGBTQ rights bill in Congress. If passed by Congress and signed by the President, the proposed legislation would provide LGBTQ people with federal nondiscrimination protections in areas such as housing, employment, and public accommodations.

 “We welcome Senator Jeff Merkley’s leadership in advancing broad LGBTQ civil rights legislation. When we partnered with the legendary Bella Abzug to introduce such a bill in the 1970s, it may have seemed like an impossible dream. Today, as the blanket of freedom, justice and equality grows across the nation — in the states, in the courts, and through important EEOC rulings, historic executive actions, and with the possibility of strong employment non-discrimination legislation — it’s clear the country is ready for such a comprehensive approach. We urge Congress to seize the moment and make history,” said Rev. Darlene Nipper, Deputy Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force.

 Currently, twenty-one states prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, and eighteen states, as well as the District of Columbia, also include gender identity. Moreover, transgender people disproportionately experience discrimination at work, when seeking housing, or accessing public accommodations such as hotels, restaurants, buses, airports or government agencies.

 According to the recent National Transgender Discrimination Survey, 90 percent of transgender people report experiencing harassment, mistreatment or discrimination on the job. The report, published by the National LGBTQ Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality, also found that 53 percent of transgender people are verbally harassed or disrespected in places of public accommodations and one-fifth have been refused a home or apartment because of who they are.


To learn more about the National LGBTQ Task Force, follow us on Twitter: @TheTaskForce.

Jorge Amaro
Media and Public Relations Director
(Office) 202.639.6306
(Cell) 213.842.7564

Senator Jeff Merkley, [D-OR]

Senator Jeff Merkley, [D-OR]