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
The message below was presented to at the Kauai County Committee on the Status of Women, Women's History Month Celebration:
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) recently spoke on the House floor in recognition of today’s 76th anniversary of the signing of Executive Order 9066, which authorized the incarceration of over 120,000 individuals of Japanese ancestry during World War II.
"Despite the darkness and hatred that took her husband’s life, Sunayana continues to be a shining light for immigrants by sharing her powerful story with love, positivity, and Aloha. I’m looking forward to continuing to support her, and elevate her voice as we work toward long overdue immigration reform. More info: http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/article193818094.html" -TG
"Nothing is more important to me, and nothing was more important to our founding fathers, than freedom of religion: the freedom of every individual to follow the spiritual path of our choice or to follow no religion at all. This freedom is enshrined in our Constitution, in our Bill of Rights, which every member of Congress takes an oath to protect, and which so many heroes have given their lives to defend. On #ReligiousFreedomDay, we must recommit to respecting and loving each other as brothers and sisters everyday.
"As we work towards passing a permanent solution for over 800,000 DREAMers across the country, including more than 600 from #Hawaii, a federal judge granted a preliminary injunction requiring the federal government to accept DACA renewal applications. While this may provide some temporary relief, this does not provide the permanent resolution these young men and women desperately need.