Laws

Federal Legislation impacting GLBT community:

The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act

This bill would provide domestic partnership benefits to all federal civilian employees on the same basis as spousal benefits. These benefits, available for both same- and opposite-sex domestic partners of federal employees, would include participation in applicable retirement programs, compensation for work injuries and life and health insurance benefits.

Employment Non-Discrimination Act

Fairness in the workplace has been recognized as a fundamental right protected under federal law. Currently, federal law provides basic legal protection against employment discrimination on the basis of race, gender, religion, national origin or disability, but not sexual orientation or gender identity and gender expression.

Equal Access to COBRA Act

This act mandates that employees, their spouses and dependent children be allowed to continue participation in their employer-sponsored health coverage, usually at their own expense, after certain qualifying events, most commonly when the employee leaves or loses his or her job.

Every Child Deserves a Family Act

The Every Child Deserves a Family Act (ECDFA) would prohibit any public child welfare agency receiving federal financial assistance from discriminating against any potential foster or adoptive family on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status.

The Family Leave Insurance Act

Under current law, millions of lesbian and gay Americans in committed, long-term relationships are unable to take leave to care for their same-sex partner.  Additionally, many families that do qualify for FMLA coverage cannot afford to take unpaid leave.

The Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act

The Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act would expand the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 to permit an employee to take up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave from work if his or her domestic partner or same-sex spouse has a serious health condition.

Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act

Securing credit is critical to some of the most important undertakings in life, including buying a home, going to college, or starting a small business.  Credit decisions should not be based on personal characteristics, such as race and sex, that are unrelated to creditworthiness and our nation’s civil rights laws reflect that.  However, there is no federal law that consistently protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from credit discrimination, and it remains legal in many states to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity.  As a result, in many places, LGBT people can still be denied a mortgage, credit card, student loan, or other type of lending simply because of who they are.

Healthy Families Act

The Healthy Families Act would help relieve many hardworking Americans who struggle to meet their own health care needs and the needs of their family members by providing employees the opportunitiy to earn a minimum of seven paid sick days per year to care for their families or themselves.

Juror Non-Discrimination Act/Jury ACCESS Act

The Juror Non-Discrimination Act and Jury Access for Capable Citizens and Equality in Service Selection (ACCESS) Act prohibit attorneys from seeking to strike potential federal jurors based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

LGBT Elder Americans Act

The LGBT Elder Americans Act aims to broaden the Older Americans Act (OAA) to address the needs of older LGBT Americans. The OAA, initially enacted in 1965, ensures older people have continued community and health supports needed to maintain their health as they age. The legislation would build upon the existing law by providing increases in federal funding to service organizations serving LGBT seniors and their caregivers.

Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act

The Reconnecting Youth to Prevent Homelessness Act would require that the Secretary of Health and Human Services establish a demonstration project to develop programs that are focused on improving family relationships and reducing homelessness for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth.

Repealing Ineffective and Incomplete Abstinence-Only Program Funding Act

The Repealing Ineffective and Incomplete Abstinence-Only Program Funding Act would strike Title V, Section 510 of the Social Security Act from the statute and transfer funding to the Personal Responsibility Education Program state-grant program, which would provide information on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Respect for Marriage Act

The Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) repeals DOMA and restores the rights of all lawfully married couples—including same-sex couples to receive the benefits of marriage under federal law.

Safe Schools Improvement Act

Bullying and harassment of students who are, or are perceived to be, lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) is widespread.  While current federal law provides important support to promote school safety, it does not comprehensively and expressly focus on issues of bullying or harassment, and in no way addresses the challenges faced by LGBT youth in our nation’s schools.

Student Non-Discrimination Act

The Student Non-Discrimination Act (SNDA) prohibits any school program or activity receiving federal financial assistance from discriminating against any public school student on the basis of actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

Tax Parity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act

Currently, the Internal Revenue Code excludes from income the value of employer-provided insurance premiums and benefits received by employees for coverage of an employee’s spouse and dependents, but does not extend this treatment to coverage of domestic partners or other persons who do not qualify as a “dependent” (such as certain grown children living at home who are covered under a parent’s plan or children who receive coverage through a grandparent or parent’s domestic partner).

Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act

The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act would require colleges and universities receiving federal student aid funding to prohibit harassment and to establish a grant program to support campus anti-harassment programs.

Uniting American Families Act

Approximately 75 percent of the 1 million green cards or immigrant visas are issued to family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. However, the Immigration and Nationality Act’s current definition of “family” does not include same-sex partners.