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Civil Rights

Civil rights are the foundation of the basic dignity this country promises everyone. Joe is committed to taking on the structures, policies, and practices that have blocked equal justice for entire populations of our people, allowing historic inequities to not only persist but to grow.

From our dark history of slavery, structural racism is built into the core of the American system, affecting everything from access to affordable housing, to transportation, to income inequality, to health care, to who is suffering from the most immediate threats of climate change. Joe is fighting for deep, systemic change to address persistent racism in our housing markets, hospitals, courtrooms, ballot boxes, and schools. He believes that must begin with confronting our history and acknowledging the role our government has played in actively enforcing racial discrimination, which is why he’s a proud co-sponsor of legislation to study reparations.

Joe also advocates for measures to protect and expand the civil rights of Native Americans, including by fighting against land dispossession, structural racism, concentrated poverty, violence, and public health epidemics, as well as championing the sovereign rights of Native nations.

To protect Americans with disabilities, Joe is committed to fighting discrimination in employment, housing, education, health care, and more. He has been a tireless advocate to expand Medicaid, which provides critical health care coverage for people with disabilities. Joe believes we must do more to remove barriers to equal rights and opportunities for people with disabilities, and is committed to lifting up the voices of advocates fighting to expand equitable access to public transit, accessible and affordable housing, the ballot box, quality education, and other critical services.

Joe is a leading voice in Congress in the fight to protect LGBTQIA+ rights and chair of the Congressional Transgender Equality Task Force. He is a proud co-sponsor of the Equality Act, to expand federal anti-discrimination protections to all Americans, regardless of sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Joe has led legislative efforts to ban ‘gay and trans panic’ defenses, ensure that religious freedom cannot be used to justify denying civil rights, and recognize a national Transgender Day of Remembrance. He has fought on the frontlines against the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender troops, to protect transgender students from discrimination, and against efforts to deny health care to transgender patients.

Joe is a proud ally in the fight for gender equity. From reproductive justice to economic equity to ending sexual violence, Joe is an unwavering advocate for the full and equal rights of people of all genders. He supports legislative efforts to end workplace and wage discrimination, guarantee paid family leave and universal child care, and rectify economic injustices that disproportionately affect women. As an ally of the #MeToo movement, Joe stands in solidarity in the fight to confront this country’s epidemic of sexual harassment, assault, and violence. He supports expanding access to crucial support services for survivors of sexual and domestic abuse, as well as increased accountability in Congress when it comes to sexual assault and violence. He is committed to fighting for the right to bodily autonomy, to guarantee that every person in this country has the full liberty to make their own health care choices without interference or discrimination.