Fighting for Civil Rights & Equality
Equal treatment and opportunity are fundamental rights for all Americans. For decades, Hawaiʻi leaders like Senator Daniel Inouye, Senator Daniel Akaka, and Congresswoman Patsy Mink broke down barriers, challenged the status quo, and fought to ensure a better future for the next generation. Tulsi is continuing their work in Congress today by fighting against discrimination in all forms, and promoting equal opportunities for all.
Expanding Federal Protection Against Discrimination
Discrimination on the basis of national origin, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief, gender, or race undermines core American principles of respect and individual freedom. Tulsi has cosponsored and strongly supported legislation like The Equality Act, which would add sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity to the list of protected classes under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. She is working to expand federal protections to end discrimination in public accommodations, state and local government services, public education, federal financial assistance, employment, housing, credit, and federal jury service. Tulsi has also cosponsored legislation like the Equality for All Resolution, the Respect for Marriage Act, the Healthy Families Act, and the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Securing Equal Marriage Rights
Government and political leaders should not be permitted to dictate the most personal aspects of our lives. As long as the government administers marriages and its benefits, it must remain neutral and treat all Americans equally. The government should allow those in same-sex relationships the right to marry and enjoy the same benefits, rights, and responsibilities as opposite-sex married couples. Tulsi has received the Human Rights Campaign endorsement and is continuing to work with partners at the federal, state, and local level to ensure all individuals are treated equally under the law regardless of race, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Tulsi is also a member of the Congressional LGBT Caucus.
Empowering Citizens to Vote and Protecting Voting Rights
Our nation is founded on the principles of an active, engaged democracy, and we are at our best when the diverse voices of our nation are heard through our citizens exercising their right to vote. In Hawaiʻi, voter participation in has been declining since 1959, and in the last few elections, our voter participation rates have been among the lowest in the country, with less than half of registered voters actually turning out to vote. Tulsi has strongly supported legislation to make the voter registration process easier and make voting more accessible. She is a co-sponsor of legislation like the Voter Empowerment Act, which would require every state to make online voter registration available, authorize automated and same-day registration, and make elections more accessible to the disabled and other underserved groups. Additionally, she supports bringing back the Voting Rights Act and ensuring this right that so many fought and died for is revered and protected. Tulsi has also strongly supported the Weekend Voting Act to move Election Day from Tuesday to the first Saturday and Sunday after the first Friday in November in every even year for elections of Representatives and Delegates to Congress, and in every fourth year for the election of President and Vice President. The legislation would make it easier and more convenient for all Americans to exercise their right to vote.
More on Fighting for Civil Rights & Equality
Honolulu, HI—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers delivered a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper requesting answers on reports that Yahoo searched users’ private emails at the request of the federal government. The full letter is available here.
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) joined U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Rob Portman (R-OH) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and U.S. Representatives Ann Wagner (MO-02) and David Jolly (FL-13) in introducing bipartisan legislation today, the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act of 2016, to clear criminal records of victims of human trafficking. This bill would apply to non-violent crimes committed by individuals as a direct result of human trafficking.
Washington, DC—In response to a pervasive lack of legal assistance for domestic violence survivors, Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02), Joe Kennedy (MA-04), Don Young (AK-AL), and Susan Brooks (IN-05) today introduced the bipartisan, bicameral POWER Act, which would help connect victims with legal representation. Studies have shown that survivors who can afford or access a lawyer successfully obtain restraining orders in 83% of cases, compared to 32% without a lawyer.
Washington, DC—Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and 18 House Democrats wrote to President Barack Obama calling on the United States Army Corps of Engineers to fulfill their responsibility of holding meaningful consultation and collaboration with the Standing Rock Sioux over the route of the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) issued the statement below today in response to the report by the Associated Press on alarming labor abuses and human rights violations in the U.S. fishing industry: