The District is home to a vibrant, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ) community that has been at the forefront of pushing for progress. According to the Williams Institute, nearly 10% of the District’s population identifies as LGBTQ.

During my entire tenure on the Council I have worked to make the District an inclusive and safe place for the LGBTQ community. Among the most important legislation that I have authored:

  • Recognition of Marriage Equality when only five other states did so and 5-1/2 years before the Supreme Court held that all states must recognize same-sex marriages. (DC Law 18-110)

  • Prohibition on the use of gay or transgender panic defenses in court (DC Law 23-283)

In addition, I have led or supported efforts to:

  • Establish an Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Affairs.

  • Ban the use of conversion therapy on LGB youth.

  • Invest in LGBTQ-specific employment programs, housing vouchers, and low-barrier shelters.

But I recognize that much more work needs to be done to ensure that LGBTQ residents can live freely, without fear of discrimination, violence, or ostracism for being LGBTQ. This is particularly true for LGBTQ People of Color who often face discrimination and violence on multiple fronts. To address the challenges faced by LGBTQ residents, I commit to:

1. Supporting an LGBTQ-inclusive education curriculum. Right now, legislatures across the country are attacking and erasing LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum. We must ensure that education in the District includes the history and contributions of LGBTQ people, and medically accurate, inclusive, comprehensive sex education that speaks to issues LGBTQ youth face.

2. Investing more funding into LGBTQ-specific employment programs and housing vouchers. LGBTQ people disproportionately experience unemployment and poverty when compared to their cisgender and heterosexual peers. LGBTQ-specific employment programs and housing vouchers can provide stable employment and housing to those in the LGBTQ community who need it the most.

3. Investing in culturally competent and affirming mental health and substance use services for LGBTQ people. We know that LGBTQ people are more likely to utilize service providers who have deep connections to their community, and that this results in higher rates of successful treatment.

4. Addressing unjust treatment of LGBTQ people in the criminal justice system. Due to discrimination and prejudice, LGBTQ people are more likely to be arrested and incarcerated than their cisgender and heterosexual peers. Through new investments, policies and oversight, we must reduce the likelihood of LGBTQ people being swept into the criminal justice system and ensure that those LGBTQ people who are in the criminal justice system are treated humanely and have their needs met.

5. Expanding the definition of “family member” in our Universal Paid Leave Program to include chosen family. As it is currently written, LGBTQ people who provide care for chosen family would be unable to utilize leave.

6. Periodically re-affirming the policy of the District government encouraging tolerance and condemning bigotry. Also, continually pressing the United States Attorney to prosecute hate crimes and signal bigots that discrimination and hate have no place in the District. Further, ensuring that the Office of Human Rights has adequate resources to enforce our Human Rights Act.

7. Representing the Council before Congress in opposition to any efforts to overturn our anti-discrimination and human rights statutes.