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Bonamici Celebrates Passage of Equality Act

May 17, 2019
Press Release
Legislation expands civil rights protections to LGBTQ Americans


WASHINGTON, DC [05/17/19] Today Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Chair of the Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee, praised the passage of the Equality Act.


H.R. 5 will amend long-standing civil rights laws to clarify that prohibitions against discrimination on the basis of sex includes gender identity and sexual orientation. Bonamici chaired a Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee hearing on the Equality Act in April.


She spoke in support of H.R. 5, the Equality Act, on the House floor. Video of her remarks can be found here. Her full remarks can be found below.


“I chair the Education Committee’s Civil Rights and Human Services Subcommittee, and in our hearing on this important bill we heard powerful testimony from Kimberly, the mother of Kai, an eight-year-old transgender girl,” Bonamici said on the House floor.


“Kimberly is an evangelical minister from rural Texas. Her family and Kai's school were not supportive, and in fact school administrators made derogatory comments about Kai. Kimberly testified that regretfully she gave in to pressure and attempted home conversion therapy on Kai when Kai was only four years old. 


“One day, she found Kai praying ‘for Jesus to take her home to be with him forever.’ Let me say that another way —a four year old was suicidal. Kimberly is now today a fierce advocate for her daughter’s rights, and the rights of all transgender kids, to go to school in a safe and supportive environment. This bill will secure that right for all the kids like Kai around the country and will secure the right to be free from discrimination, for millions of LGBTQ people in our country.


“I want to close with the words from federal Judge Michael McShane and his marriage equality opinion. He wrote, ‘many suggest we are going down a slippery slope that will have no moral boundaries. To those who truly harbor such fears, I can only say this: let us look less to the sky to see what might fall. Let us look to each other and rise.”


 Bonamici has long been an advocate for LGTBQ rights. She recently led her colleagues in challenging Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to reinstate protections for transgender students. She is also leading the Ruthie and Connie LGBT Elder Americans Act, which would update the Older Americans Act to strengthen safeguards for LGBT elders.