Rep. Torres, Sen. Gillibrand, and Sen. Padilla Introduce the LGBTQI+ Business Equal Credit Enforcement & Investment Act

Dec 06, 2023
Press

Washington, D.C.- Today, Rep. Ritchie Torres (NY-15) introduced the LGBTQI+ Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act with Senators Gillibrand (NY) and Padilla (CA). The bill would require financial institutions to collect data on LGBTQI+-owned businesses’ access to credit and capital, and amend part of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which requires financial institutions to collect data on credit applications submitted by minority- and women-owned small businesses.

This bill would clarify that Section 1071 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (Dodd-Frank) requires financial institutions to collect the self-identified sexual orientation and gender identity of the principal owners of small businesses, in addition to their sex, race, and ethnicity. It would also add a definition for businesses owned by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and intersex (LGBTQI+) individuals to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) statute. The legislation also includes a Sense of Congress confirming that sexual orientation and gender identity are already covered under ECOA (including the current data collection requirements), while noting the bill clarifies the sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity of the principal owners of a business should be collected as three separate forms of information.

“Even though the United States has made substantial strides toward LGBTQI+ Equality, the mission is far from accomplished. 70% of the LGBTQI+ community remains unprotected by anti-discrimination laws. When it comes to credit in particular, according to the Williams Institute, more than 7.7 million LGBTQI+ adults live in states that offer no protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Rep. Ritchie Torres. “This legislation builds on a foundation laid by several statutes and regulations. It would make credit more accessible, credit laws more enforceable, and creditors more accountable. It would represent a triumph of transparency in the service of economic opportunity for all, regardless of who you are and whom you love.”

“Despite massive strides in LGBTQI+ rights over the past few years, the community continues to face discrimination,” said Senator Gillibrand. “The LGBTQI Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act will help promote fair lending requirements and make sure that LGBTQI business owners have the same rights and access to capital as everyone else. I’m proud to be reintroducing it today and look forward to getting it passed.”

“With anti-LGBTQ+ legislation and hate crimes on the rise, LGBTQ+ business owners continue to face persistent and unjust barriers to financial success,” said Senator Padilla. “LGBTQ+-owned small businesses are a cornerstone of local economies, and they deserve equitable resources to help them grow and thrive. I’m proud to co-lead this legislation with Senator Gillibrand and Representative Torres to ensure that vulnerable LGBTQ+ businesses receive the support they need.”

“Operating a small business is hard enough without facing discriminatory lending practices. The LGBTQI+ Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act would be a valuable tool in making sure that financial institutions treat LGBTQ+ business owners on an equitable basis and give them the same chance to succeed and grow that everyone else enjoys. We thank Rep. Torres and the other sponsors for introducing this important piece of legislation.”
David Stacy, HRC Vice President of Government Affairs for the Human Rights Campaign

Cosponsors: Colin Allred, Joyce Beatty, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Kathy Castor, Judy Chu, Sharice Davids, Dwight Evans, Bill Foster, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, Sylvia Garcia, Dan Goldman, Josh Gottheimer, Al Green, Raúl Grijalva, Jahana Hayes, Pramila Jayapal, Sydney Kamlager-Dove, Andy Kim, Teresa Leger Fernandez, James McGovern, Gregory Meeks, Gwen Moore, Jerry Nadler, Wiley Nickel, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Donald M. Payne Jr., Mark Pocan, Andrea Salinas, Janice Schakowsky, Emilia Sykes, Mark Takano, Dina Titus, Paul Tonko, Nydia Velázquez, Frederica Wilson

Endorsements: Congressional Equality Caucus, Ali Forney Center, Center for American Progress, Destination Tomorrow, Drag Out The Vote, Gender Equality New York, Human Rights Campaign, Immigration Equality Action Fund, InterAct, LGBT Community Center of Long Island, Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth (LIGALY), New Pride Agenda, NY LGBT Network, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders – Long Island

Bill text can be found here.

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