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
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) released the statement below after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) granted Kailua-Kona famer, Andres Magana Ortiz, a 30-day stay of deportation:
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and the Hawaii congressional delegation today called on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to halt their impending action to deport Mr. Andres Magana Ortiz of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii.
Despite facing widespread discrimination in the United States, nearly 20,000 Chinese Americans answered the call to serve under the American Flag during World War II, serving in every theater of battle and every branch of service. Their bravery, valor, and dedication in the face of adversity was a true testament to patriotism.
During Ramadan, Muslims around the world take time to fast, reflect and renew commitments to faith, family, and community. In Hawai’i, our Muslim community is part of the unique fabric that makes up our aloha state-- a place where the diversity of religions, ideas, backgrounds, and traditions are celebrated and welcomed. I wish our Muslim communities in Hawai’i and around the world a blessed Ramadan. Ramadan Mubarak. -TG
Washington, DC—Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) joined more than 190 cosponsors in introducing the Equality Act of 2017—legislation that would extend comprehensive anti-discrimination protections to LGBT Americans. The bill amends existing federal civil rights laws to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit, Federal jury service, public accommodations, and the use of Federal funds.