tv U.S. House of Representatives Debate on LGBTQ CSPAN May 17, 2019 11:08pm-1:13am EDT
the house has passed a bill banning lgbtq discrimination. every democrat and eight republicans voted for the bill, which amends the 1964 civil rights act, that indiscriminate in employment housing, and public accommodations. here is the debate and vote on the bill. it is two hours, 15 minutes. r: i yield myself three minutes. i rise today in strong support of h.r. 5, the equality act, which amends the civil rights act of 1964 and other core civil rights statutes to explicit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. today is a historic day. e first time a comprehensive lgbtq civil rights bill has come to the floor of the house. this legislation will provide members of lgbtq americans protections from being denying
medical care or being fired or thrown out of their homes. much of the history of the united states has been about expanding the definition who is understood to be included in the declaration of independence. when words were written, the phrase did not include black and latino men, native americans, did not include women and did not include lgbtq individuals. at this moment, we have the opportunity to continue our march towards justice to enshrine our nation's laws protections, to ensure that everyone can participate in key areas of life and to provide them recourse in the face of discrimination. despite opponents -- despite what opponents may say, we need these protections can work. we know that our existing federal nondiscrimination laws have helped millions of americans. we know protections have worked in more than 20 states and in
these places, women still have rights, religious freedoms still protected, parents are still involved in their children's health care and doctors are free to exercise their professional medical judgment. transgender individuals play sports and sometimes they win and sometimes they lose, just like everyone else. but the ability to have a job, to receive medical care or to rent a home should not depend on who someone is. we cannot accept the situation where anyone in this country can get married on sunday and legally be fired on monday because of who they love. for decades, the lgbtq community has been coming to congress. we heard a transgender woman being fired, lesbian couple himself being kicked out of their home and gay men being denied medical care. it is time to stop coming to the capitol to defend their existence. the question before us is not
whether they face immoral discrimination, because the record show it clearly does. the question is whether we as congress are willing to take action to do something about it. the answer goes to straight to the heart of who we want to be as a country and that answer must be yes. to the thousands of lgbtq people who shared their stories, i say thank you for your bravery and thank you for reliving your trauma to build the case for this legislation and expanding freedom in this country. we hear you, we see you and believe you and we will continue fighting you. i thank representative cicilline in introducing this bill and get it through the legislative process. i urge my colleagues to support this landmark legislation and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mcclintock: i yield myself such time as i may consume.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcclintock: there are some fundamental principles that we ought to agree on, don't hurt other people, respect the right of doctors to do know harm, respect the right of parents to protect their children. now the bill before us today could have afffirmed the right of every adult to declare their own gender consistent with these principles. unfortunately, it violates these principles in the most fundamental way. and this isn't speculation. many states have adopted similar laws so we can see firsthand the result of them. this bill harms people in so many ways, destroying safe spaces tore women, undermining women-owned businesses. let me concentrate on one aspect, the destructive impact it has on women's sports wherever these laws are imposed. trand gender men have been dominating. a 16-year-old talks about
qualifying for the middle town invite. she said eight of us lined up, but when six of us were only about three-quarters into the race, two gills were already across the finish line. what just happened. two boys identifying as girls happen. fair is no longer the norm. the chance to win has been all over for us. i missed the chance to compete in the new england championship this past season because of this. d she goes on to say, the c. cacc won't listen to my voice, but i hope congress will. is will open sports to any state. this will take away scholarships and dreams. we know this will happen because it already has. and we know the intent of the bill, congressman steube said
nothing in this act to face competition from a biological male in any sporting event and the democrats voted it down on a party-line vote. sorry, see lena, you have to come to the wrong place. this bill could have protected the professional judgment of doctors. at our hearing, mr. cicilline said what h.r. 5 ensures that transgender people, including young people, are not denied care because of their gender identity. cross sex hormones, pube earth blockers and surgery, refuse to provide it on the self-diagnosis of a child and you have just broken the law. johns hopkins university stopped the practice because they saw the long-term harm it did to their patients. and we know that's the intent of
the bill as well, because i offered an amendment that nothing in this act should have the self-professed identity of a minor and the democrats voted it down. listen to one anguished parent elaine tell her story. if you take your child to a clinic to seek help, affirmative care means that the professional must accept the self-addressed identity. questioning the child's identity is now illegal. if a little boy is five years old and believes he is the opposite sex, affirmative care means going along with his beliefs and can refer to him as their daughter and choose a feminine name. teachers are told to let him use the girls' bathroom at school. is it really harmless to tell a
child who still pleebs in the tooth fairy he is of the opposite sex? if a 10-year-old girl is uncomfortable and suddenly said she is a boy, affirmative care means blocking this girl's pube earth with powerful drugs. we know this is the intent of the bill because congressman johnson offered an amendment that nothing in this act or any amendment made by this act may be construed to denny a parent's right and the democrats voted that amendment down on a party-line vote. elaine says, i'm speaking out because i love my daughter. and it's because of her that i know what i have told you is true. she has been a victim of gender-affirming medical procedures and i was powerless to stop doctors from harming her. i'm sorry, elaine, the house majority doesn't care and isn't listening.
this is the brave new world that democrats propose under the name of equality. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: i yield three minutes to the the gentleman from rhode island, the sponsor of this legislation, mr. cicilline. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from rhode island is recognized. mr. cicilline: i rise to support h.r. 5, the equality act. i have to stop for a second and take in this momentous occasion. i have the honor of being on the floor of the u.s. house of representatives speaking in favor of a bill that i worked on for the past five years that will finally give full legal equality to the lgbtq community here in america. this is truly historic. i want to thank chairman nadler hob an ally and supporter of lgbtq rights throughout his career and speaker pelosi and steny hoyer and representative clyburn. and i thank my lgbtq caucus
co-chairs who have shown extraordinary leadership and means friends and partners in this fight. i want to thank our colleagues in the senate for their extraordinary leadership and we wouldn't be here today without the determined advocates and allies in the lgbtq community who bnded together to fight for dignity and equality under the law. throughout my life, i have seen firsthand the struggles that many in my community have achieved, the right to live freely without fear of persecution and discrimination. nd many felt was impossible. we are about to vote on this legislation which has the bipartisan support of 241 members of the house is an achievement. it was not easy to get here. only four short years ago that the supreme court struck down the defense of marriage act
allowing members of the lgbtq community. don't ask don't tell was the law of the land until six years ago. and this administration is attacking the lgbtq community. together, we are stronger. we made great strides in fighting for lgbtq rights but make no mistake, there are many people in this country who are actively working to undermine our gains. it is significant that we have strong and diverse support for the equality act. i don't mean just 241 co-sponsors, but look at the co-responsors and businesses in every state in the country have endorsed the bill and advocacy groups, faith groups back it. the equality act has the support of the majority of the american people in every state. let that sink in. every single state in the country, the american people think it's time to protect the
lgbtq community. there is nothing more central to the idea of america and nothing contributed to the exceptionalism of our country and prosperity of america than the guarantee of equal protection of the law for every single american. and they support this bill all across this country because it makes sense and common sense and adds sexual orientation and gender identity to protected classes ensuring that the lgbtq community enjoys the same protections than everyone else. nothing more and nothing else. . 4 there's been a lot of misinformation about this bill bloat floating around and i want want to ensure my colleagues and the american people what they are are. it doesn't eliminate women's colleges, fraternities, or so
roarities or other programs. the equality act doesn't prevent parents of having control of their children's medical decision or force doctors to provide treatment against their best judgment or religious beliefs. the equality act doesn't force churches to act as public accommodations or eliminate the ability of religious institutions to accept federal money. it ensures every child of an lgbtq parent will not be turned away from the pediatricians office. transgender teenagers can can attend school without fear for their safety. and lgbtq employees can't get married saturday, post pictures sunday, and fared on monday. it is a lifesaving bill that addresses some of the fundamental inequality that is still exist. the time is now, the moment is here, fuhr generations will look back on this day as moment our elected leaders showed what side of history they are on o. we're on the right side of history. pass the equality act today
with overwhelming bipartisan support. i thank the gentleman for the additional time. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mcclintock: i yield three minutes to the gentlelady from arizona, mrs. lesko. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from arizona virginia tech. mrs. lesko: thank you, madam speaker. i rise in opposition to h.r. 5. madam speaker, h.r. 5, the so-called equality act, should really be called the forfeiting women's rights act. according to multiple experts, lawyers, and organizations h.r. 5 would, indeed, prohibit in all circumstances under penalty of federal law any acknowledgement of the reality of biological sex. would allow anyone at any time to declare that he or she
identifies as the opposite sex without any medical or psychlogical diagnosis. it would erase women and girls' rights by requiring facilities such as schools, churches, dormetories, domestic violence shelters, homeless shelters to allow biological males who identify as women in women's bathrooms, women's and girls' shelters, women's and girls' showers. and in women's locker rooms. this will, indeed, violate women's privacy and can ultimately violate their safety. the danger to women when biological men seek to claim female identity should seem obvious. but it is being ignored by proponents of this bill. h.r. 5 puts women at risk by
promoting a federal law that would overrule any restriction on genderer identity claims and abolisher the protections of biological sex specific practices and spaces. h.r. 5 will eliminate, eliminate women and girls' sports by requiring that men and boys be allowed to compete in women's and fwirls' sports. this is already happening. -- girls' sports. this is already happening. h.r. 5 will also require, require doctors to provide sex change surgeries and sex change hormones to adolescents without parental consent and without a medical or psychlogical diagnosis. this could permanently sterilize young girls. h.r. 5 denies constitutional religious protections by totally, totally eliminating
the bipartisan religious freedom restoration act, which was supported by so many democrats back then. this is being done for the first time ever since the act was passed. congress should only pass laws that protect women, not threaten, silence, or abandon them. in fact, h.r. 5 puts everything that women have worked so hard o gain opportunities and protections at risk. i believe in our society law should seek to protect the safety and privacy of every oman and girl. mr. mcclintock: an additional 30 seconds. mrs. lesko: thank you. this bill actually does the opposite. h.r. 5 prioritizes the rights of some americans over the rights of others. this is not equality. this is far from it. madam speaker, i speak before
you now willing and desiring to o work with any and all my colleagues on policies that will truly promote women's rights and equality. however, this bill, unfortunately, does neither. with that i urge opposition of this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: i now yield 2 1/2 minutes to the chair of the education and labor committee, the gentleman from virginia, mr. scott. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, today is an historic day. 65 years ago today the supreme court ruled in brown v. board of education that racially segregated schools were inherently unequal and therefore unconstitutional. today is also an historic day for the lgbtq community because today the house of representatives will pass the equality act. over the last decade we have made progress in securing
rights for the lgbtq community, including marriage equality and the repeal of don't-ask, don't-tell. however, many legal barriers still remain. only a handful of states have explicit laws barring discrimination based on sexual orientation and employment, housing, and public accommodation, and fewer have protections for gender identity. the inconsist ten patchwork of state laws leaves millions of people vulnerable to discrimination at work, school, and many other parts of their daily lives. as chairman i was proud to hold a hearing on --on this important civil rights legislation in the committee on education and labor. witnesses testified that all too many americans are experiencing discrimination in they are everyday lives, especially the workplace, and even in the educational system where many of them were experiencing discrimination and even elementary school. this is not acceptable.
this bill assures -- this bill also ensures that the religious freedom and restoration act or riff a could not be used as a free pass to discriminate. rifra was originally enacted as a shield to serve as a safeguard for religious freedom but recently has been used as a sword to cut down the civil rights of too many individuals. freedom from discrimination is a core american value. passage of this bill is long overdue. we must affirm that all americans are equally protected from discrimination under the law. and i therefore urge all of my colleagues to support this legislation. yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mcclintock: i yield four minutes to the gentlelady from north carolina, ms. foxx. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. i thank my friend from california for yielding. and for his tireless work exposing the deep flaws in this bill.
i rise as the leader of the republicans on the education and labor committee which should have had an opportunity to consider this legislation fully. considering its vast implications for educational institutions and employers. we did not have that opportunity. instead we had a single subcommittee hearing. as a fierce advocate for the education and labor committee, i would never deem any subcommittee unimportant, but it was the subcommittee with the smallest membership. on top of that, somehow the decision was made to bring this bill to the floor under a closed rule with no amendments. so i commend my colleagues on the judiciary committee for their work on behalf of all of us. this bill may have equality in its title, but it does not serve all people. its mandates for specific accommodations and shared facilities puts job creators,
particularly those in small businesses, schools, and other community serving facilities, on the hook for washington's half-baked ideas. its vague and circular definitions of gender identity will lead only to uncertainty, litigation, and harm to individuals and organizations that will be forced to comply with the law the authors don't even seem to understand. this is a classic example of passing something now and figuring out what it actually means later. we have been here before. if the devil is in the detail, we're in for a lot of devilish surprises. this is no small price for some greater good as the bill's proponents have argued. opening schools and workplaces to expanded liability based on, s the bill states, a
"perception or belief even if inaccurate, of suspected discrimination." madam speaker, i'm going to repeat those words because they are so unbelievable. a perception or belief even if inaccurate of suspected discrimination. how can we write legislation like this? would have untold chilling effects on hiring, career advancement, and one could easily see discourse in the classroom. where the bill is alarmingly clear, however, is in its meticulous and intentional destruction of religious freedom protections. american employers and educators have grown accustomed to clumsy and misguided mandates coming down from washington, shrouded in good intentions. other laws under the jurisdiction of the education and labor committee are littered with them. but this time something is
different. the provision in h.r. 5 that guts the religious freedom restoration act of 1993 is clear in its intent. this bill is a brazen attempt to replace timeless, inherent, religious liberties with the identity politics of the moment. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle could have been given the benefit of the doubt on the rest of this bill. careless and shortsighted legislation is what they have done best for many years. but this fevered grasping, this historical clawing at individual americans who hold personal religious convictions represents a major departure from where the debate in this chamber has been before. i sincerely hope it's temporary for the sake of this body and more importantly for the sake of the people we represent. i hope this bill, which faces
certain failure in the senate, will be remembered as a failed experiment and oppressive legislation and not the first -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. foxx: new sussstaint attack on religious freedom. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: madam speaker, i now yield 1 1/2 minutes to the co-chair of the equality caucus, the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. pocan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized. mr. pocan: thank you, madam speaker. this is not about a red herring about men wanting to play in women sports. please, this is about people like my husband phil and i. we have been married for almost 13 years. we're a pretty boring married couple, probably not all that different than most people in congress. we try to sleep in a little on the weekends. we sometimes argue over what to watch on tv, and we cherish the limited time we have with our friends and family. and we're really lucky because
would he live in wisconsin, the first state in the nation to pass a gay and lesbian civil rights bill back in 1982, and it was signed by a republican governor. but that's not true for a majority of america. if we pass the equality act, people like phil and i can be free to love who we love, and we can live where we want to live, and work where we want to work without being fired or evicted simply because of who we're or who we love. that's pretty simple. pretty normal. pretty american. today we here in congress can protect our lgbtq constituents who want to live a life like phil and mine. like yours. free of unfair prejudice and discrimination. i hope that you will do the right thing today and join me in supporting the equality act. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mcclintock: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the gentleman from georgia, mr.
collins, the ranking member on judiciary, control the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from mr. collins: i yield myself such time as i may consume. thank you for this morning. thank you the gentleman from california for being here today and covering for us. madam speaker, we talked about this. the democrats in this bill pushing something quickly and we talked about this many times. i feel that if we go through this, we look at it however well intentioned, it is not coming under full scrutiny. considering four amendments, the chairman requested the house consider this bill under a closed rule and his request was granted. now we can disagree about politics but hard to argue this bill wouldn't have been improved without full debate about what
the bill says and as many amendments as possible. americans all agree no one should be mistreated by his employers, co-workers or anyone else. when lawmakers propose amendments to federal law, we must avoid doing harm. d we shouldn't pass rights laws that hurt women and children. h.r. 5 does all these things. this bill would do much more harm than good in many ways and the people who would bear the most damage are women and children. we could have disagreements, but without a full vetting on the possibility of what it would or would not do gets under the scrutiny of what the law says and that's the part that i have the most problem with. not the intent, not the desire. that is something we fight about
and it's the goodness i never questioned, it's how you go about it. i made this statement. what makes you feel good doesn't always heal you. in the end it will probably not do what we intend it to do and i'm concerned the way the bill has been coming to the floor. we considered two sports and two male athletes won the top two spots. one of the females finished eighth. in her words, we know the outcome of the race before it even starts. allowing men to compete against women in women sports and it is demoralizing because it makes their talent irrelevant. i don't say this. this is not doug collins' opinion but tennis great who explained the threat that it poses to women's sport.
there can be no blanket inclusion rule. there is nothing stereotypical about this, it's about fairness. and that came after she made initial comments and went back after being criticized for them, reviewed it and looked at everything and came back with this statement. she basically again double down and agreed. and this is one not to back away from those with needing equality. if h.r. 5 becomes law, what did we do at this moment when we had a chance to look at a bill and maybe fix it or make it better, but we never didn't. never in history has a political party tried to rewrite the civil rights laws to include a ideological term called gender identity in the u.s. code applicable to any entity that receives federal assistance, elementary schools, colleges and health care centers. it would make self-reporting a
protected class under federal law and educators to blindly llow the self-reporting of young add utilities. hey would be superseded by supremacy law in the constitution. i know they have debated it. but the plain reading of the text says it's true. we have heard proponents call people who oppose it that we are either ignorant, big gotted, oppressive or hateful. i will not make similar character isizations. we have a disagreement here. this is a closed rule here today and relatively closed in the process up until this point. i would implore my colleagues to list i yield back to the stares of the transgender boys and gist. we may be allowing doctors to
give them health care. and they could medicalize children without consulting their parents. they are begging congress to listen to them. h.r. 5 endanger the rights of every single american because the bill makes no provision for religious beliefs. christianity, islam and judeyism. who wantargeting those to live their lives accordingly. we must listen to the lgbtq and recognize that they have raised concerns about this legislation. h.r. 5 in the words of the women liberation. and it would endanger the millions of american women and undermine fundamental rights in faith, real depon and science and put children at risk without
parental involvement. i would urge all my colleagues to join me in opposing this bill with this bill being rushed to the floor. and believe carefully consider what is being put before them. think about what we are asking here. for the first time something was raised in our committee hearing that said do you think people commit fraud by going through medical procedures and everything ta they would do that simply to commit fraud. anyone listening this morning, this bill does not require any of that. it requires nothing except a self-admonishment or acknowledgement that i am what i say i am today. so many of us are asking, is there a better to do this? i don't know. probably not. this is not right and it is being rushed. as i started the day, i will end as well. sometimes what makes you feel
good and i understand the majority's desire to bring this forward and fulfill a promise. i get it. but in the end is it going to do what you want it to do in the long run or unintended consequences that we don't want to acknowledge today. sometimes it's better to back up and make sure it's right before we can fulfill a promise. and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: i yield two minutes to co-chair of the equality caucus, the gentleman from new york, sean maloney. mrs. maloney: >> i will not repeat the eloquent things about the importance of the proposed legislation although i thank the gentleman from new york and rhode island. nor will i refuse the many false things said on the other side. this is landmark and essential civil rights protection for
those who don't have it. it is no more, no less than others enjoy. it respects the first amendment and the exercise of religion in exactly the same way as we do for every civil rights context. mr. maloney: those who continue to face discrimination, based not on their character but who they are. many others have said this better than i have. i do want to speak to one group of my colleagues, those who know this is a good bill and yet today will vote no. to those colleagues, i ask you to consider the score. in this chamber, we are familiar with scores. a score is some powerful group is what they fear because we will vote for the right thing to do. we believe a vote is right, but don't vote that way, they say, or we will score it against you. that's how washington scores.
but history scores differently. conscience has its own rules. deesens si sees things beyond aagenda as. history records the good. conscience alliance with what is right. decency protects what truly matters. this is a good and simple bill of extraordinary historical importance. it sits high above our daily consideration. each of us in our careers will be lucky if we come to this floor on a single day when history is made, on a day by our vote we can count ourselves among those who have cared for, who have nurtured the original promise embedded in our founding documents. on the battlefield -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. maloney: in their daily dignified to love their neighbors as themselves.
i know you are decent people. let conscience guide us to the right and please support this bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. collins: at this time, i yield four minutes to the the gentleman from alabama, mr. byrne. mr. byrne: i rise in strong opposition to h.r. 5. there are a number of troubling issues with this legislation. in my mind, perhaps none is more troubling than the bill's explicit carveout from the religious restoration freedom act. under the first amendment, americans are blessed with the freedom of religion. this is much more than the freedom of worship. not only do americans have the right to worship as they see fit, their faith is not concxds con find to what happens inside their place of worship. they have the right to practice
their religion every day as they see fit. for many years, there was strong bipartisan agreement that protecting this right was of the utmost importance. the civil rights act of 1964 religious protections enjoyed bipartisan support. likewise, rifra was heralded as a historic bipartisan achievement. in the wake of the supreme court's 1990 decision in employment division versus smith which rolled back constitutional protections for religious liberty, the congress came together and restored barred protections for religious freedom under rifra. rifra was introduced by then chuck schumer and senator ted kennedy and passed unanimous in the house and by a vote of 97-3 in the senate and signed into law by president clinton. for nearly two decades rifra has been the hallmark of protecting
religious freedom against the weight of a powerful federal government. contrary to some of its opponents claim, rifra is not an opt out of any law of people of faith. it provides a commonsense balancing test between religious pleff and government action. first an individual challenging the government must show they have a sincerely held belief that is being substantially burdened by the government, that is there is a real matter of faith actually being affected by the government's actions. if the individual successfully shows that, they do not automatically win their claim. the government may show it has a compelling interest. that is a good reason to interfere with the individual's religious rights and the interference is the least restriggettive means to accomplish the government's roles, that is the government doesn't have a better alternative. this test provides fairness for both sides. unfortunately, today, the house proposes to bring this historic
protection and say that rifra will not apply to the equality act. it is clear why they have done this. without rifra, it is less likely that faith-based charities and organizations will be able to uphold the faith of their organization when it runs counter to evolving norms. christian colleges will be able to teach marriage and human sexuality. without rifra, less likely that parents in public schools will be able to opt their children out of mandated education that teaches human sexuality contrary to their religious faith. the modern democratic party has decided that mandating its beliefs on everyone is more important than upholding the rights of people of faith who possess contrary beliefs. madam speaker, that is truly radical and deeply troubling and
it is unprecedented. it is contrary to the values and the foundational freedoms of this country. i urge my colleagues to reject this legislation. protecting the rights of some cannot come at the high cost of stripping away the rights of others, particularly when it comes to protecting religious liberty. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i yield two minutes to a senior member of the judiciary committee, the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas is ecognized. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentleman very much and i thank mr. cicilline. let me refute the suggestion that this floor had a bill that was rushed to the floor. is is a work that has been
coming for five years-plus. we have watched and engaged in meetings and discussions in collaboration to ensure that the bill would reflect all of what america is about. i want to speak to my religious friends, that is all of us claim a religion of some form. and i want to say to you religious liberty is not dead, but it is alive. this bill focuses on saving lives. it focuses on understanding what it means to be transgender and denied the right to serve in the united states military or stands up for african-americans transgender women who have been killed in the south in the region that i live in. and it stands up for the person who knocked on the door and could not get housing because of their status. . i ask my friend who are other religions how would you feel if
you knocked on a door and you could not get in? if they had no plates for you at the inn. i am well aware of the restorative act dealing with religion passed in 1993. but i'm also aa wear of the supreme court case, the hodges case, in 2015 that said they asked for equal dignity in the eyes of the law, the constitution grants them that right. that is what this bill is doing. and a the constitution will protect those who are involved in the religious practices as it has indicated, we, the people, organized to form a more perfect union. and then you go to the bill of rights and it has, as the amendment number 1, the congress shall make no law respecting an individual's right of religion or the practice thereof. the constitution will be alongside the equality act and we'll be a able to have fair housing and civil rights and we will be able to deal with this
issue. it is important. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. mr. nadler: i grant the speaker an additional 30 seconds. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentleman very much. it will allow with this constitution alongside the equality act the idea that the civil rights act stands for those in the lgbtq community. the civil rights act in title 6 and title 2 and title 7. they will stand alongside the aclu and naacp and the urban league and all of the civil rights groups. they will stand alongside those of us who have been fighting for fair housing time after time so that when we knock on the door no matter who you are in this country you will have the constitution and the equality act. i ask my friends and others in the religious community to support the equality act. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. spano. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. spano: i happen to be a christian. and i'm grateful. i'm grateful to have been born in a nation where my beliefs and those of every other american are legally protected by our constitution. it's no coincidence that the very first amendment to the constitution guarantees religious liberty. our nation was settled by men and women from all over the world with divergent beliefs and convictions. we were catholics, puritans, lutherans, jews, baptists, hindus, quakers, and muslims. this rich and diverse cultural melting pot was the soil in which the guarantees of the first amendment were planted, sprout the, and grew very strong.
and over these last 230 years the freedom of americans to worship and believe as their conscious and god dictates has become deeply and firmly rooted in our nation's heritage, laws, and juresprudence. t all -- juris proceed dense -- jurisprudence. the first amendment was adopted long ago. but freedom, freedom is always a new idea. coretta scott king wisely said freedom is never really won. we earn it and win it in every new generation. h.r. 5 is bad for freedom. you see, it would immediately expose churches, religious schools and universities and faith-based organizations to legal liability for simply following their earnest beliefs. it would essentially allow the
government to place its hard and unyielding fist inside the church walls to force compliance with the convictions and dictates of the state instead of a church. h.r. 5 is bad for freedom t would force small businesses, small business owners all across this country to provide services or products to the public that may violate their deeply held faith-based convictions. again, allowing the state to essentially impose from above topdown its own moral codes and rules in place of those of the individual. h.r. 5 is bad for freedom. it's a large leap backward for parental rights, pitting physicians against parents. the generous religious convictions of parents when their child seeks life altering irreversible sex reassignment treatment before that child has even developed physically or
emotionally. once again, government inserting its ridged fist and iron will. this time directly into the family unit. h.r. 5 is bad for freedom. it would in one fell swoop deliver a crushing blow to the base of the tree of religious liberty. the tree that has grown strong and provided shade and protections -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida's time has expired. mr. collins: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, anybody who says that this bill would dictate the churches what they may preach or practice doesn't know what he's talking about. i now yield 1 1/2 minutes to the chair of the democratic caucus and senior member of the judiciary committee, the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. jeffries: i thank the distinguished chair and i thank my good friend, david
cicilline, for his extraordinary leadership on this incredibly important legislation. when the words we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, they were eloquent in their articulation, but incomplete in their application. as the legendary barbara jordan once observed, those words did not originally apply to african-americans. they did not apply to people of color. they did not apply to native americans. they did not apply to women. hey did not apply to members of the lgbt community. we have come a long way here in the united states of america, but we still have work to do. if you truly believe in liberty and justice for all, support the equality act. if you truly believe in equal protection under the law, support the equality act. if you truly believe that everybody is created equally
and that we're all god's children, support the equality act. love does not discriminate. and neither should the law. regardless of sexual orientation and regardless of gend -- gender identity. it's time to support the equality act and let's continue our nation's long necessary and majestic march toward a more perfect union. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from kentucky, mr. comer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. comer: mr. speaker, i rise today representing districts in which school sports are at the heart of community gatherings. in kentucky, basketball is a a way of life. in my district students practice their whole lives to have the chance to attain
athletic scholarship opportunities from universities they would otherwise be unable to attend. these students go on to accomplish great things and give back to their communities because of the scholarships they gain from athletic competition. this legislation was essentially subvert the purpose of gender divisions in these competitions by allowing biological males who identify as female to compete against girls in the same division. we have already seen instances where young women were denied scholarship opportunities because biological males competed in the same category with them and placed higher on the podium in track competitions. a bill with a name like the equality act sounds like a bill that in some way advocates for all people. that's what we strive for in this country. equality before the law. that's why over the more than two centuries this country has existed, we have thankfully
past right aws to wrongs, and treat all people with the dig net they deserve. as i look at h.r. 5 i'm deeply troubled and i believe most americans would be deeply troubled by what's really there. i serve as ranking member for the civil rights and human services subcommittee for education and labor. in our subcommittee we held a hearing on the equality act and what became abundantly clear was that this legislation would alter federal nondiscrimination law in way that is will have unintended effects we can cannot know today. this bill is following in the tradition of others we have seen so far throughout this congress. a clever name and allegedly noble purpose, but a vehicle for serious harmful consequences. equality and freedom must coexist. h.r. 5 totally redefines one and delivers a serious blow to the other.
with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i now yield two minutes to a distinguished member of the judiciary committee, the gentleman from maryland, mr. raskin. mr. raskin: thank you, mr. chair. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. raskin: i want to strike a bipartisan note and invoke republican president who made america truly great. abraham lincoln who served in this body and spoke of government of the people, by the people, and for the people. all the people. in 1964 our predecessors in the house stood herer and voted 333 to 85 to pass the civil rights act of 1964. the vast majority of democrats and the vast majority of republicans voted for it. we changed america by bringing down the walls of racial and ethnic discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and education. our predecessors rejected the familiar hysterical arguments that equal rights for african-americans in restaurants and hotels and
lunch counters meant discrimination against the religious rights of the owners of the restaurants and the motels and lunch counters, which was precisely the argument made back in that day. today we legislate equal rights under the exact same act for mlts of americans in the lgbt community -- millions of americans in the lgbt community. this is a glorious moment for the house of representatives and united states of america. but our friends who now occupy the seats of lincoln's party tell us that children will be able to get surgery without their parents' consent. this is false and this is propaganda. every state in the union requires parental consent before their minor children get surgery. and nothing in this act will affect any of the state's laws in any way with respect to parental consent. let's honor abraham lincoln, let's honor the best pra contiguouses -- best traditions of the united states of america. let's bring down the walls of discrimination against all
americans. pass the equality act. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: thank you, mr. speaker. it is now my pleasure to yield 4 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from missouri, mrs. hartzler. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from missouri is recognized. mrs. hartzler: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in strong opposition to h.r. 5, a deceptively named bill that is anything but equalizing. in fact, this bill legalizes discrimination. government imposed top down discrimination against those with time honored views of marriage and gender. this bill should be renamed the inequality act as its policies at the state level have already been used to eliminate safe spaces for women irreparably harm children, trampled parental rights, undermine the free exercise of religion, and dismantle female athletics. as a mother, teacher, and form track coach i'm deeply concerned about the implications of this bill on
and off the playing field. title 9 of the civil rights act, the provision guaranteeing garlse the same educational opportunities as boys and which launch competitive female sports into the arena is rendered irrelevant and outdated under the inequality act. under h.r. 5 high school female athletes will miss competitive opportunities because boys take home the medals. selena from kentucky trained hard, set goals, and persevered but couldn't overcome the biological advantage men have over women when two biological boys who identify as females outpaced her in a recent girls track meet. on average there is a 10% to 12% performance gap between elite males and elite females in athletics. the gap is smaller between elite females and nonelite males, but still insurmountable. it's no surprise that men are taking home the gold in women's sports. in future olympics, it would only take three biological males who identify as female to
prevent the best female athletes from reaching the medal stand. and eight to keep them off the track entirely. if we continue down this track, how long will it be before nations recruit men identifying as females to outmedal other countries and ultimately uproot the ancient tradition of the olympics. to put this in perspective, olympic world and u.s. chane tori, 100 meter lifetime best time, was beaten 15,000 times by men and boys. in another carks, olympic world and u.s. champion al lection felix best was outperformed more than 15,000 times by males n case after case men identifying as women are out compete, running, and out cycling women. welcome to the brave new world of women's sports under h.r. 5. and the importance of title 9 is just not found on the field. as duke law professor coleman
testified before the house judiciary committee, tens of thousands of girls and women are now eligible for college scholarships ensuring educational opportunities that for many wouldn't be realistic otherwise. unfortunately, h.r. 5 erases these educational opportunities further disenfranchising women. women only scholarships would be a thing of the past if this bill passes. mr. speaker, either we want a level playing field for american women or we don't. i want to he remind my colleagues that next week marks the centennial anniversary of this chamber's historic passage of the 19th amendment granting women the right to vote. it's an honor and a privilege for me to stand herer on this house floor 100 years later celebrating this milestone. i find it eerily ironic that today many of my colleagues will exercise their 19th amendment right to turn back the clock on women and girls
across this country. a vote for this bill is a vote against women. ofbers members from both sides the aisle who claim to be pro-women and pro-child need to stop this devastating legislation. the future of our girls' rights, protection and athletic potential depends on it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. mr. collins: reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i yield one minute to the gentlelady from texas. >> mr. speaker, i rise today in full support of h.r. 5 equality act. we have made much progress in recent years, but the reality is that many still face discrimination because of who they are and who they love. as has been well documented during the legislative record
for h.r. 5, there are currently no federal protections for lgbtq people in the united states. let's refocus on what this bill is about. in 30 states. lgbtq can be fired, refused housing or denied services simply because of who they are. the equality act would debately extend civil rights for this community providing protections across areas of life including employment, housing, credit and jury duty. in texas, that means having an explicit protections for lgbtq people for the first time, the first time in our history. it will tear down barriers to prosperity and lead to better out comes for families and loved ones. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. mr. nadler: i yield 30 seconds.
>> this legislation will benefit one million people in texas. imely in texas when we say you all, we mean all. mr. speaker, as a woman and a catholic, i know i'm not forfeiting any of my rights, not my women's rights or religious rights. we need to go bag and make sure we pass this bill because for once when we say justice for all at the end of our pledge, it should mean justice for all. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: i yield five minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert. mr. gohmert: i appreciate the efforts my friends across the aisle who believe that they are acting on behalf of equality. i realize that they believe that
their way of approaching things includes much more wisdom than that of moses, who is the only great law giver depicted in this chamber with a full face, rather than a side. i would humbly submit we are not wiser at this time than moses, but i have heard comments from my friends, including my friend, former law professor, that he was impressed with the ability of the courts to sort out these civil rights issues. but as my friend justice scalia once told me, if you guys are going to screw up legislation over in congress, don't come running to us all the time, because you don't know how to make laws that are fair. and that's what we have here.
in an effort borne out of best intention, we want to help the feelings of people who are ender confused or just suffering gender discxds difficulties for yeah, we don't want to hurt their feelings. we are going to take 25% of all women who suffered sexual assault and the literature is clear that women suffer post-traumatic stress disorder after sexual assault at three to four times the rate that soldiers do, and that they are traumatized and retriggered by being in a confined space like a dressing room or rest room and have a biological man come into their private area, we are going to say to those women, you know what? you just got to get over your trauma because less than 1% who
think they may -- biological man or may think they be a woman, they are confused gender-wise, we don't want to hurt their feelings, so you have to get over your trauma. this is what is going on here. and if you look at the women's shelters around this country, who pays for most of those? it sure appears to me the ones i see, christian, salvation army, catholic. i have been told by these folks by many of them, we are just barely surviving financially. and this will force us to change our accommodations and we'll go out of business. we cannot -- we believe as christians that moses had it right, males and females. and though there are people wiser in their own eyes than
moses and jesus who said exactly veer bait imwhat moses did, if an orthodox synagogue says, we think men should be rabbis and they don't hire the biological woman who says i feel like i'm a man today, then they can not only be sued but this bill gives the claimant the ability to sue, but allows the attorney general to come in with the full force of the united states government and destroy that synagogue, that christian organization. and i know there are people here who think i do a whole lot of good than these christian organizations. but, do you really? this is borne out of good intentions, but it is going to be so destructive to common sense and to people -- women who have been hurt and as we heard
in our committee, from the second woman to get a scholarship under title 9, you are going to destroy women's scholarships and had a chart, the three top times for the 400 meter in the olympics in 2016 and said there are thousands of men that have better times. and i know my friends in the hearing said, gee, we know that men would never act like a woman just to get a massive amount of money and scholarships. i don't want to hear the majority say, wow, we didn't think it would happen. it is already happening. and if we are going to preserve the gains made by women under title 9, this needs to fail and not become the law, to preserve what we have already made in the way of gains for women. i urge a no vote and i yield
back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i yield one minute to the gentlelady from california, the speaker of the house, ms. pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the speaker: i'm so proud that as are in the chair as well the others who will preside in this historic debate today. mr. speaker, i thank the distinguished chairman of the judiciary committee for giving us the opportunity tore us today to expand freedom in america. i commend congressman cicilline for his extraordinary leadership, his courage and his persistence in introducing this legislation. so important to our country and doing so, the support of the congressional black caucus, to to him stand there, honored
join congressman john lewis a while back, two years ago and now in the majority for us to have the privilege to bring this legislation to the floor. thank you, congressman cicilline for being a champion of equality in our country. i salute the congressional black caucus and mr. lewis and mr. cleaver who will speak later today. it is a deeply powerful moment to be on this floor to talk about this important legislation. what i would like to do is take the time allotted to me or that i will use to salute the countless activists -- advocates and organizers and mobilizers who have courageously demanded the full rights and justice of all americans. we have been on this floor, mr. hoyer, we all go way back when
we fought for funding for hiv-aids and we were successful not only because of our inside maneuvering but the outside mobilization. we were successful in passing a fully inclusive hate crimes legislation. barney frank led the way inside. but the outside groups mobilizing, mobilizing. and under president obama, we salute him, we were able in the congress in the majority to pass the repeal of don't ask, don't tell and putting that into the dust bin of history, successful because of the activism of our outside groups and advocates and then the horrible defense of marriage act. i don't know what marriages they were defending, defense of marriage that was proposed by some of our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, the supreme court gave us that answer about justice in our
country. and then ending the hateful ban on transgender military service. this congress, this has been a scene where we have fought the fight on legislation, fought the fight presenting the case in the court of public opinion and to bolster the case in the supreme court. and on this monumental day, my houghts with phyllis lyon, meantors to so many of us in san francisco about civic engagement, some of that civic engagement related to lgbtq rights. they were an inspiration to many of us. when people say to me, it's easy for you to be for some of these things because you are from san francisco and you are tolerant. that is a condescending word. this is not about tolerance, this is about respect of the
lgbtq community. this is about taking pride and that is what we do. r phyllis and dell and older lgbtq workers striving to provide for their families, young people, this is a transform mative moment. after they stook took to the streets to fight against harassment and hate we take pride in the progress we have fodged together. our founders wrote in the preamble the blessings of liberty referred to be the birthright of all americans. to bring our nation closer to the founding promise of liberty and justice for all. we today pass the equality act and timely fully end discrimination against lgbtq americans. lgbtq people deserve full civil rights protection in the
workplace, education, housing, credit, jury duty, service and public accommodations. no one should be forced to lose his or her job or live in fear because who they are and who they love. this isn't personal -- it's personal. not just about policy but about people. i received a letter from a transwoman lick in san francisco who faced threats, stalking and harassment because of who she is. she says in her communication, the fear is very much there. all i want to do is live my life like anyone else. please keep seeing me. today and for all days, we say to all of our friends, we see you, we support you, we stand with you with pride. we look forward to a swift, strong successful and hopefully strongly bipartisan bill today
for equality. this is not just an act of congress that we are taking for the lgbtq community. this is progress for america. i urge an aye vote and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: i yield four minutes to the gentleman from florida. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. four minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in opposition to h.r. 5. i would like to echo the comments of my colleagues and express my deep concern for the grave consequences this bill would have for religious freedom. this bill would deny religious organizations their religious liberty rights guaranteed under the religious freedom restore act of 1993 and force many religious institutions to o go against their beliefs or risk being in violation of the law. as a nation we can can cannot -- we can not turn our back on religious liberties. while the religious aspects of this legislation are by far the
most egregious there is another area of can concern. the effects of the legislation on female athletes at all level of sporting competition across our country. twice during the consideration of this bill i have offered an amendment to ensure that our daughters are provided an equal playing field in sports for generations to come. and that female athletes are not competing against male athletes for athletic scholarships and title 9 funding. twice partisan politics have stopt this commonsense proposalle from being added to the bill. this provision would have guaranteed that biological women are not forced to compete against biological men at all levels of athletic competition. science has proven time and time again there is a significant performance difference between biological males and females from puberty jooned ward. from body fat to joint angles, the bodies are distinctly unique. there is an average 10% to 12% performance gap between elite biological males and female athletes.
these differences are largely due to the large influx of it's testosterone males have. testosterone is the reason men perform better than women. that's why men and women dope with drugs high in testosterone. there is 30 times more testosterone present leading physical characteristics that almost guarantee a higher rate of success in sporting events. don't take my word. c.c., a biological male who won three titles in the northeast 10 championships for women's track and received the most outstanding track athlete award. or fallin fox, a biological male who shattered female fighter's eye socket and gave her a concussion can. brent said she never felt so overpowered in her life. or gabriel, a 50-year-old, 6'8", 235 pound biological male who led the college basketball team to national championships with the most rebounds.
the list goes on and on. i for one don't think it's fair or equal to make young biological women compete against biological male. this bill claims the fight for equality but seems to be far from equal for the young female athletes across our country. i urge my colleagues to vote against this bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i yield one minute to a distinguished member of the judiciary committee,er the gentleman from arizona, mr. stanton. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona is recognized for one minute. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 5,er the equality act. mr. stanton: i want to thank my friend and fellow recovering mayor, congressman cicilline, for his strong and unwavering leadership on this historic civil rights legislation. when it comes to equality, there is no doubt we have come a long way. but following the landmark supreme court ruling that legalized gay marriage in all 50 states, the hard truth is that discrimination based on
sexual orientation is still permitted under the law. lgbtq individuals face this reality every day. that they may receive different unfair treatment in employment, housing, public accommodation, public education, and more. we are better than that. we're a nation that believes all are created equal, that this truth is self-evident. i rise today iner if vant support of the equality act because everyone should be treated equally no matter who they are, who they love, how they express themselves. whether you are in phoenix or philadelphia, mesa or montgomery, you deserve to be scene, to be heard, and to be welcomed. i yield back. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from utah, mr. mcadams. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman from utah is recognized for two minutes. mr. mcadams: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. speaker, i would like to ask mr. cicilline if he will engage with me for the purpose of a colloquy. mr. cicilline: i would be happy to engage with my colleague from utah. mr. mcadams: i want to confirm and clarify in our debate today that h.r. 5 does not change our nation's long-standing first amendment rights to free religious exercise, speech, and association. i understand that houses of worship will not be affected in their religious observances by the public accommodations provisions in h.r. 5. current exemption in title 2 of the civil rights act remains in place so chapels, temple, synagogues, mosques, and other houses of worship will continue to have legal certainty to practice their religion, conduct services, and affiliate with fellow members of their religion as well as engage and welcome others not of their faith in their houses of worship for religious activity or faith practice as they do now. mr. cicilline: that is correct.
h.r. 5 adds protected classes to title 2 of the civil rights act but does not revise the exception for private establishments not open to the public. meaning houses of worship can can continue their practices as before, including limiting admission or attendance to members of their faith. mr. mcadams: is it your understanding nothing in h.r. 5 compels a clergy member to perfect torm a religious ceremony in conflict with their religious beliefs. that is faith groups can continue to perform marriages, blessings, baptisms, and other practices for their own members and consistent with their beliefs, consistent with the first amendment rights, correct? mr. cicilline: h.r. 5 does not nor could any legislation supersede the first amendment. h.r. 5 allows the standards set by prior civil rights law to not interfere with worship and religious practices by religious organizations. mr. mcadams: thank you, congressman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yield back. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: i yield myself one
minute i would like to give speens. none of us have, especially myself, have said anything about houses of worship. we do know that's a bridge too far. what we're concerned about in the bill is where it says any of these groups affiliations, who get federal money to do other things, they would come under this. this is where the rfra protections is something. the conversation it was nice provide add great cover but did not answer the question that many of us have asked in this process as we go forward. i get that. also as we look at this further this is why we have asked to see if we could do this in a different way and do it in a better way to define these terms and protect all parties in this and not just run hastily into something that could could cause problems in the fuhr. this colloquy was nice but did not answer the underlying question. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. nat letter: mr. speaker, i now yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentlelady from oregon, ms. bonamici. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from oregon is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes.
miss bonna beachy: i rise today in strong sprofert -- ms. bonamici: i rise today in strong support of this act. in our committee on this important bill we heard powerful testimony from can kimberly, the mother of kai an 8-year-old transgender girl. kimberly is an evangelical minister from rural texas. her family and school were not supportive and in fact scoot administrators made derogatory comments about her. kimberly testified that regretfully she gave into pressure and attempted home conversion therapy on kai when kai was only 4. one day she found can kai praying for jesus to take her home to be with him forever. let me say that another way. a 4-year-old was suicidal. kimberly is now today a fierce advocate for her daughter's rights and the rights of all transgender kids to go to school in a safe and supportive environment. this bill will secure that right for all the kids like kai
around the country and will secure the right to be free from discrimination. for millions of lgbtq people in our country. and i want to o close with the wordser from federal judge michael mcshane and his marriage equality opinion, he wrote, many suggest we're going down a a slippery slope that will have no moral boundaries. to those who truly harbor such fears i can only say this, let us look less to the sky to see what might fall. let us look to each other and rise. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield one minute to the gentlelady from michigan, ms. stevens. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from michigan is recognized for one minute. ms. stevens: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today in jubilant manner because every
american deserves to be treated equally under the law. i rise today in support of the basic and common principles enshrined in our constitution of liberty and justice for all. that no person shall be denied, be discriminated by their sexual orientation. i rise tate in support of the equality act -- i rise today in support of the equality act that we must proudly pass today led by my friend david cicilline. for in this country, in this year 2019, we must choose acceptance to grow our economy, to promote the general welfare. i rise because it is time to pass the equality act for full civil rights protections for all lgbtq americans. so many sacrifice so i could stand here today and speak these words. passing this bill would send a powerful, it will send a powerful bipartisan message to
members of the lgbtq community that they are not second class citizens. today we must vote to pass the equality act. thank you. i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. speaker, i now yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from rhode island, mr. langevin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from rhode island is recognized for one minute. mr. langevin: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: 1 1/2 minutes. mr. langevin: mr. speaker, as a proud member of the lgbt equality caucus, i rise in strong support of the act a bill championed by my good friend and fellow rhode islander congressman david cicilline. every person deserves to be treated equally, no matter who they are or whom they choose to
love. the simple fact of the matter is lgbt americans face discrimination in this country every day. whether it's in the workplace, the foster care system, or housing market. mr. speaker, discrimination is never justified. we can cannot let it stand. as a person who lives with a disability, i know what discrimination feels like. i have experienced discrimination many times in my life. i don't like when it happens to me. and i don't want it to be experienced by anyone else. it's just plain wrong. mr. speaker, let's celebrate our diversity by promoting a culture of tolerance, inclusion, acceptance, instead of one of fear and hate. let's treat lgbt people with the dignity and respect they deserve. let's honor the strength and courage of the lgbt people throughout history and let's pass the equality act to forever secure the civil rights of members of the lgbt
community. i thank my colleague, congressman cicilline, for his leadership on this issue. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentlelady from california, ms. lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized for a minute and a half. ms. lee: thank you. i want to thank chairman nadler for yielding and for your tremendous leadership on this issue. also i just got to acknowledge and thank congressman david cicilline for his steady and strategy leadership in bringing this bill to the floor. i, too, was at the first press conference with our great warrior john lewis. it has been so exciting and uplifting to see the progress and the process in bringing this bill to the floor. madam speaker, as a co-founder of the lgbtq equality caucus along with our dear former colleague, congressman barney frank, i rise today in support
of h.r. 5, the equality act. this critical bill would end discrimination against lgbtq americans once and for all. . it is my moral responsibility to fight discrimination wherever and whom ever against, wherever it raises its ugly head. the equality act will ensure that there is clear lawful protection for lgbtq americans under the civil rights act. once more, this bill ensures that no one will live in fear because of their gender identity and sexual orientation. in 30 states it is still legal lgbtq inminate against every aspect of their lives.
may i have another 30 seconds? mr. nadler: i yield to the gentlelady 30 seconds. ms. lee: this discrimination disproportionately affects lgbtq people of color. this is a shame. discrimination must end against everyone. and yes, mr. speaker, as a person of faith, my religion teaches me to love thy neighbor nd do unto others. pass the equality act today so there will be truly liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: it's my privilege to yield one minute to the the gentleman from utah, mr. stewart. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. stewart: i'm so disappointed in this legislation.
i have been involved in my time of congress with leaders from lgbtq and other organizations representing good people as well as religious leaders in an effort to find common ground to satisfy two important priorities. yes, of course, of course, we should treat each other with fairness and with dignity. i believe all people in america should live their lives free of any discxds difficulties crill nation, but we have to defend the first freedom, the foundational liberty. the amendment and principle upon which all other lits are based. people of faith who are also good people, deserve the right to discuss their sincerely held religious beliefs without compulsion from the federal government. this bill unfortunately and more than unfortunately, i mean sadly, this bill makes absolutely no effort to do that. it makes no effort to find common ground. what a wasted opportunity.
and with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. massachusetts. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. lynch: good morning. first of all, i want to rise in support of h.r. 5, mr. cicilline's bill, equality act. i rise today as a christian. this bill will extend the legal protections provided by the equal protection clause of the united states constitution as well as the civil rights act against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and may i say it is about time. this groundbreaking legislation bans wrongful hurtful housing, employment, education and other business and government sectors based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
individuals from the lgbtq community are our fellow americans. many of them are christians, they are our brothers and sisters and it is shameful it has taken this very long to provide them with equal protection under the law. the declaration of independence is a guide and instructtive as it reminds, we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights. all means all. equal means equal. let's vote for equality. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. mr. collins: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentlelady from maine, ms. ping agree. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized.
ms. pingree: i thank my friend and colleague, mr. cicilline for his courage, perseverance and his political talent at moving this bill forward and bringing us here today and i'm not going to cry in my minute. i'm proud my home state of maine is among the 21 states that has already enacted these protections. for almost 15 years, equal access to housing, employment and public establishments for our lgbtq community. guess what? the sky did not fall. when we passed protections, and our state is a better more inclusive state because of it. having guaranteed civil rights for our lgbtq neighbors means we value the health, safety and dignity of every mainer, but they should have the same rights they enjoy our state when they are outside of our state.
this congress must stand together in recognizing the humanity and civil rights of all lgbtq people wherever they may live live or travel. this will ensure equal access to education, housing, credit and all public services, public services which their tax dollars fund, by the way. it is time to extend these civil rights to everyone no matter who they love or how they identify. i urge my colleagues to recognize we must equally protect all members of our community under the law. let's pass the equality act. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. doggett. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes.
mr. doggett: thank you, too many americans can be fired, evicted or denied vital services like health care solely because of who they love. the equality act protects core american values. btq rights are civil rights, human rights. participating and contributing equally regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation brings us closer to the self-evident truth -- -- mr. nadler, i'm going to ask to yield back for a moment. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. nadler: thank the gentleman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i yield one minute to the the gentlewoman from
florida. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker and thank you congressman david cicilline. in florida and many other states lgbtq americans are still at rick being fired, aviggetted or denied services because of their xual orientation or gender identity. ms. shalala: they have harassment to the bias that older same-sex couples face. in the gallery today is christian baylor an openly gay and gender none conforming student who was barred from delivering his speech at his high school on account of his sexuality. two nights ago, he was honored hefner first hugh
amendment award for education. today, we will take a crucial step for standing up for people like christian bypassing h.r. 5. and the birth of the modern lgbtq movement. there is no better way to honor the decades' long struggle for dignity and equality for lgbtq people and our elected leaders in congress to pass this legislation. i'm proud to support h.r. 5. the speaker pro tempore: you are not allowed to reference occupants in the gallery. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: i reserve. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, how much time do i have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: 10 1/2. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized.
mr. nadler: i yield one minute to the gentleman from texas, mr. doggett. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. doggett: too many americans face severe discxds difficulties anymore -- discrimination because of who they love. they are participating and contributing equally regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation brings us closer to the self-evident truth that while we are not all created the same in a just democracy, we are all created equally. despite republican hostility, the city of austin ordinances have long protected against the same discrimination we are combatting today. city contractors have complied with these ordinances and these requirements set the standard. both austin and san antonio enjoy quality intext scores from
the human rights campaign. with this bill, we set the same type of standard for our entire country. 1400 businesses in texas, competes coalition, sent a clear message of inclusion and against discrimination. we need strong federal enforcement. that's what this bill does -- mr. nadler: additional 30 seconds. mr. doggett: we need strong federal enforcement since local governments have imperfect tools and have been stifled by narrow minded legislators. no american civil rights don't depend on their zip code. let's pass the equality act today. among many who have been strong advocates for this act, i honor sam smooth with equality texas and julian and sissy with h.r.c.
and our colleagues, congressman cicilline and congressman pocan. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i yield one minute to the chair of the committee on foreign affairs, mr. engel. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i rise in strong support of h.r. 5, the equality act. it is legal to fire an individual, prevent access to credit or evict someone from their home just because they are lgbt. the equality act will guarantee federal protections by ensuring the lgbtq community is provided full protections under federal civil rights laws. no longer will our fellow americans be deprived from buying a home, fired from their job or denied a male in a restaurant just because of who they are. i am pleased to help pass this landmark bill today just as i
was back in 1996 when i voted against the discriminatory doma or defense of marriage act. join me in support of this bill. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. collins: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i now yield one minute to the gentlelady from colorado, ms. degette. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. degette: thank you, mr. speaker. it's a fundamental precept of our beautiful country that we have equality for all. but sadly in this nation, we have not had equality for every person until now. 2/3 of the lgbtq community have faced discrimination and this is simply wrong and simply
un-american. i thank mr. cicilline for bringing this important piece of legislation to the floor. how ironic our lgbtq constituents can get married to each other but still in 29 states can be discriminated against in their jobs, in public education and even in their jury service. this is wrong. this is un-american and today the equality act rights this wrong that has been so long in coming. congratulations to everybody. i urge all of my colleagues to send a strong bipartisan statement. this is america. everybody has equal rights in all areas. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i yield one minute to a member of the judiciary
colorado, mr. neguse. mr. neguse: i thank the chairman for his leadership and representative cicilline for his courage and leadership in bringing this bill to the floor. it is long past time that we end discrimination against those in the lgbtq community and our country and i'm proud to support the equality act. fairness, equality, these are core american values. and yet, today, in many states across the united states, americans can be fired, can be denied a mortgage. obtain housing. all because of the sexual orientation or gender i had tenth. that ends with the passage of the equality act. every american is equal under the law. and so i would say to my friends in boulder county back home, thank you for your activism and
one colorado, thank you for your activism and every lgbtq american who has stood up and fought for equality, i say thank you. and to the members here today, let's pass the equality act today and end discrimination once and for all. i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: i now yield one minute to a distinguished member of the judiciary committee, the gentlelady from pennsylvania, ms. dean. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. ms. dean: i thank you, mr. chair. there are hard votes and there are easy votes. the hard votes involve competing values and difficult tradeoffs. the easy ones give us a chance to express our core american values loudly and clearly. h.r. 5 is the right vote and i thank representative cicilline for his harder work and his heart in bringing this piece of justice to us. in most states smeck couples can can be denied service in
restaurants, fired from jobs, evict interested homes with no legal recourse. in other words, they can be mistreated or discriminated against and their government won't stand up for them. h.r. 5 will end that. this bipartisan legislation will ban discrimination against lgbt people in housing, employment, credit, public accommodation, and so much more. it says that we don't care who you love but we do care that you are treated with decency and respect. this legislation takes us the next step in a long american tradition of expanding civil rights and protecting. it affirms that in this country there is no us and them, it's just us. this is a historic day. i'm proud to be a part of it. let's cast aside old prejudices and cast a vote for justice and equality. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from georgia. mr. collins: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: how much time do we have left? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has five minutes
reminutes. mr. nadler: i yield one minute to the gentleman from new mexico, mr. lujan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new mexico is recognized. mr. lujan: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of the equality act because equality and fairness are core american values. right now fairness is not codified in our justice system, and it's long past time to end discrimination when half of americans live in a state without legal protections for lgbtq individuals, that's not equality. when lgbtq americans can can be fired, evicted, and discriminated against because of who they are, who they love, or how they identify. that is not justice. the opportunity before us is a historic one. i want to thank my colleagues who led the effort to bring this bill to the floor. my colleagues who vote no on
this will be judged. this is something that we should be working on together, mr. speaker. we will pass the equality act. for the dignity of all americans. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. members are reminded to remove their conversations from the floor. he house will be in order. members will remove their conversations from the floor, please. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. collins: thank you, mr. speaker. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from georgia, the conscious of the house, mr. lewis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. speaker, i want to thank my friend from new york for yielding.
david, my friend, and my brother, thank you for your leadership. today is may 17. on may 17, 1954 the united states supreme court issued a decision, i remember that decision, i was 167 years old. thought i would be attending desegregated school. it never happened for me. today on o this day we have an opportunity to send a message. now to help end discrimination in our country. and set all of our people free. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the entleman's time has expired. the chair will remind all persons in the gallery they are here as guests of the house and that any manifestation of
approval or disapproval of proceedings is a violation of the rules of the house. the gentleman from new york. reserves. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. collins: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i now yield one minute to the gentleman from maryland, the distinguished majority leader of the house, mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for one minute. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i regret that the chamber is ot full of members or that the gallery is not jammed with people for this is an historic day. many members have quoted that extraordinary doctrine of civil rights and human rights
articulated by our founders 243 years ago. we hold these truths to be elf-evident. i tell people that they may beself evident but they are not self executing. today we will take another step in a long journey towards a more perfect union. and we will take a step hopefully as it was in 1957 when we passed the civil rights act that year, hopefully it will be as it was in 1964 when we passed that civil rights bill. and hopefully it will be as we
oted on the disabilities act in 1990. l of those bills were passed in a bipartisan fashion. and, yes, there were bipartisan votes against those bills, some from my party and some from my colleagues on the republican side. and my presumption is and my hope is that those who voted no on those civil rights bills look back and said i made a mistake. that was not the vote i should have made. every democrat will vote for this bill. every democrat will stand up and say this is another step in
the quest for a better america. a more just america. more accepting america. that is what we have the opportunity to do today and i hope that many, if not all, of my republican colleagues will stand not for party, not for policies of party or partisanship but stand for principles enunciated 243 years ago but still not yet fully realized. that's what this day is about. mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of this bill which i i hope it passes with a
very strong bipartisan conviction and confirmation of the fact that we hold these truths to be self-evident. this is an opportunity for the house to come together and reject discrimination and exclusion. i'm proud to be an original co-sponsor of the bill that mr. cicilline put forward. the equality act is about america. it's about who we're, what we're, and what we believe. i want to commend the lgbt q community and the equality caucus for being at the forefront of promoting full equality, equal justice, and equal opportunity for lgbtq people and their families in this country. the rld looks to us as
strongest supporter historically of human rights and equal rights. have we always been so? no, we have not. my party was the segregationist party for many years and we said no to that. e walked away from that. we said that was not the party we were going to be. of course all of us were not members of that part of the party, but this day we should all stand and say yes, we believe that all men and all women and all people are created equal by god and endowed not by the constitution, not by this body, but endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights.
and among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. and the right to live as you are. yes we make judgments on what you may do, but not who you are. you may be black, you may be white, you may be a woman, you may be a man, you may be a homosexual, you may be a lesbian, trans, anything other than what i am but you are entitled from me and from your and equal pect treatment. as we said 243 years ago. sadly some states still permit discrimination against lgbtq people in those areas that have been discussed. we need to put an end to that and ensure that all people in
this country, no matter where they live, are protected , ainst hate and bigotry exclusion, and discrimination. the opportunities this country offers must be opened to everyone in our country. when i first ran for office in 1966 for a seat in the maryland state senate, fair housing was the issue. and the proposition was you didn't have to sell your house to somebody whose color was different from yours, even though they had the ability to buy it. and they wanted to move into that neighborhood. this issue that we consider today is different in particular but not in the principle.
that idea is that the very core of our american society that opportunities exist for all of our people. throughout our history we reinforce this idea with the baggage of the 14th amendment. the 19th amendment. the 1964 civil rights act, the american with disabilities act, and others. we uphold this commitment to fair and more just society with assage of this equality act. surely, surely we ought to be able to agree, republicans and democrats, liberals and conservatives, north, east, south, and west surely we can can agree -- we can agree that all men and all women are created equal. and are deserving of equal treatment.
let's come together and make that promise of our founders ring true. the bible says love your neighbor as yourself. . not love your straight neighbor , not love your christian neighbor, not love your white neighbor, not love your native born neighbor, not love your neighbor of some other distinction, but love your eighbor as yourself. that means, in my view, love your gay neighbor. love your lesbian neighbor. love your trans neighbor. it means love your jewish neighbor, love your african-american, latino, asian american neighbor. ove your immigrant neighbor. love your neighbor.
not your hyphenated neighbor. because we're all created equal. martin luther king, a century after the civil war, said to america, you are not living out he promise of america. he called us to conscience. he called us to be america. he called us to be that light to the rest of the world. so today we say we will judge .n content of character we will be america. we will be the best we can be of america. let us, like we did on so many of the civil rights bills that have come before us again, let us vote overwhelmingly to
confirm america's promise to its people and to the world. vote for this critically important statement of america's values, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. collins: i'd inquire of my -- i would inquire of my chairman if he has more speakers or if we are ready to close. mr. nadler: i was going to ask you the same thing. we are ready to close. mr. collins: we are ready. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. collins: well, we went through a lot of debate. we heard a lot of issues. one of the issues i want to bring up today -- again, as i started out in my opening statement this is not a matter that there's no one and no one who disagrees with this bill that says someone ought to be
treated wrongly, badly. we struggled with that on the floor. i agree with this bill. the intent no one should be. my friend quoted a scripture. it was a good one. he says, love your neighbor. i agree with him. preached that many years now. but it didn't say, love your neighbor but agree. this bill gets not the intent, not what we want to do to make us feel better. it's actually how do we then legislate this and this bill is not a good attempt. it's an imperfect step toward making something that others want to be right. but in the end runs a real risk of causing others harm at the same time. it is a risk that is brought on by rushing something. the legislative part has been rushed, mr. speaker. i understand the concern.
i understand the anxiety. but let's make it right. let's at least have an open debate. let's discuss here. it's interesting to me we had to have a colloquy on the floor to have some members -- this bill would not attack a worship service or if a minister would actually have to do a service that would be against their personal faith belief. the bill does not talk about that, but it does leave it open, issue of public accommodation and how would someone actually look at public accommodation in a church setting. that's an honest question that needs to be answered. but it does bring up a lot of questions. what if a church or a religious organization accepts federal money? what if a catholic church who accepts school lunch programs, what if a jewish synagogue who accepts money from homeland security, is it for the programs they have to do because the bill actually says, if you receive federal money, you fall under this, do they then have to violate their own faith belief? making one group of people deny their faith while trying to give another one a leg up is
still wrong. it's not equal. so the questions that we have here today is honest disagreement. it's honest disagreement, not in the sense, you take this, you made a gender identity claim that's self-professing. also, just said a moment ago, we talk about great ideas like the civil rights and the a.d.a. the a.d.a. disability under the a.d.a. can be shown objectively. shown objectively. i agree, as a father of a daughter who has spina bifida, in a wheelchair, i can show objectively what that means and i am proud of that legislation. i was not here. i wish i had been. in this bill it says simply gender identity as i proclaim it at that moment. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. collins: this is where our problems come. with that, mr. speaker, is why i would say vote no on a bill that's been rushed to the floor. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. nadler: mr. speaker, this morning we have heard phantom fears about the allegedly
farmful effects of the equality act on religious freedom and women's rights. if these fears had any basis in reality, the equality act would not have been endorsed by more than 500 civil rights, women's rights, religious, medical, and other national and state organizations, including the american medical association, the central conference of american rabbis, the episcopal church, the lawyer's committee for civil rights under law, the leadership conference on civil and human rights, the naacp, the national alliance to end sexual violence, the national coalition of anti-violence programs, the national women's law center, network lobby for catholic social justice, the united methodist church, general board of church and society. it's also been endorsed by dozens of business association, including the u.s. chamber of commerce, the national association of manufacturers, and the sports and fitness industry association. mr. speaker, the time has come