Equality Caucus Applauds USDA Food and Nutrition Service for Making Clear that LGBTQ+ people are Protected from Discrimination in their Programs

May 5, 2022 Issues: LGBT Issues

Washington, D.C. – The Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus applauds the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) for prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in their programs, including in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

FNS today announced “that it will interpret the prohibition on discrimination based on sex found in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, and in the Food and Nutrition Act of 2008, as amended, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly the Food Stamp Program (7 USC § 2011 et seq.), to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”  

“No one should be denied access to food because of who are they are or who they love,” said Congressman David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Chair of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus. “LGBTQ+ individuals face higher rates of poverty and unemployment due to discrimination. Today’s announcement from the FNS is a key step in ensuring that those individuals who are food insecure have access to the government programs that they need.”

The USDA FNS announcement is consistent with the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which held that the prohibition on sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also prohibits discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. The Equality Caucus is urging other agencies to quickly follow their lead and implement Bostock throughout all government programs

###