Following Federal Judge’s Ruling on Transgender Students, Cicilline Calls on Speaker Ryan to Bring Up Equality Act

Aug 22, 2016

PAWTUCKET – U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI), who introduced the Equality Act (H.R. 3185) last year to prohibit discrimination against LGBT individuals, issued the following statement after Federal Judge Reed O’Connor of Texas blocked the Obama administration from ensuring transgender students in public schools can use facilities consistent with their gender identity:

“The decision by Judge O’Connor undermines our core American values of fairness and equality. In 2016, no person – least of all a child – should be made to feel less than equal based on who they are.”

“Judge O’Connor’s misguided ruling underscores that the only way to ensure equal treatment for LGBT Americans is if Congress prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. More than 70% of Americans believe that Congress should act to ensure that every LGBT American can live their life free from the fear of discrimination, intolerance, and violence.”

“50% of LGBT Americans live in states where they can legally be fired, evicted, or denied public accommodations because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Almost two-thirds of LGBT people today have experienced discrimination in their lives. This is wrong.”

“When Congress returns next month, Speaker Ryan should bring the bipartisan Equality Act to the House floor. We cannot accept the status quo any longer. This is a time for bold leadership, and I hope the Speaker will respond to the urgency of this moment.”