My Position on LGBTQ+ Rights
As a child of the Bronx who grew up in public housing, I was often too scared to come out of the closet in my youth. Now, as the first openly LGBTQ+ Afro-Latino Member of Congress, I feel the weight of history on my shoulders. I know firsthand the discrimination members of the LGBTQ+ community face, and am determined to make positive change for my community.
We are closer than ever before to realizing the full vision of equality in America, but we must continue to combat LGBTQ+ discrimination with federal action. Millions of Americans still live in fear of losing their jobs, homes, or livelihoods because of who they are and whom they love. My lived experience as a gay Black man from the Bronx motivates me to fight every day until we are fully equal in the eyes of the law.
I’m proud that my first bill to pass the House advances the fight for full equality for the LGBTQ+ community. It requires financial institutions to compile and maintain certain data on applications for credit from LGBTQ-owned businesses, which codifies the term “LGBTQ-owned business” into federal law. Collecting this data is crucial for identifying business development needs and opportunities for LGBTQ-owned businesses, which add over $1.7 trillion to the U.S. economy each year.