Equality For All
LGBTQ+ rights are human rights. No one should face discrimination because of who they are and who they love, yet the fight for equal protection under the law is far from over. The federal government currently has no law against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Meanwhile, women continue to earn less than men – earning about 77 cents for every dollar that men receive for equal work - so I am working to provide support and opportunities for women because when women succeed in work and at home, our economy and communities succeed. And every woman deserves access to reproductive health services and the ability to make her own decisions about her health, so I am fighting for women’s rights and will stand up against any legislation that would prevent a woman from making her own healthcare decisions.
What I am Doing for You
I and Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12) led 40 of our colleagues in writing a July 2021 letter asking Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra to issue guidance that federally-funded and federally-administered health insurers must cover all pregnancy and pregnancy-related services, including coverage of maternity care for dependents.
I cosponsored and voted for, and the House passed, H.R. 5, the Equality Act, to ensure the same protections already extended to other protected classes are equally available to LGBTQ+ Americans. It would amend existing federal civil rights laws to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit, federal jury service, public accommodations, and the use of federal funds.
I cosponsored and voted for, and the House passed, H.R. 1620, the Violence Against Women Act Reauthorization Act of 2021. This bipartisan bill authorizes funding for a variety of critical grant programs, including for victim services, prevention, training, education, enforcement, economic stability, and other programs that support survivors and help them to heal and to access justice. VAWA’s authorization expired in 2018.
I cosponsored and voted for, and the House passed, H.R. 7, the Paycheck Fairness Act. This bipartisan bill would ensure that employers pay women and men equally for equal work. (I previously cosponsored this as H.R. 1869 in the 115th Congress, H.R. 1619 in the 114th Congress, and H.R. 377 in the 113th Congress.)
I cosponsored and voted for, and the House passed, H.J.Res. 17 to eliminate the deadline for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, which prohibits discrimination based on sex. The amendment was proposed to the states in House Joint Resolution 208 of the 92nd Congress, as agreed to in the Senate on March 22, 1972; it shall be part of the Constitution whenever ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states.
I cosponsored and voted for, and the House passed, H.R. 1065, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. This bipartisan bill would require employers to reasonably accommodate workers and job applicants who need accommodations due to pregnancy, childbirth and related medical conditions. (I previously cosponsored this as H.R. 2417 in the 115th Congress, H.R. 2654 in the 114th Congress and H.R. 1975 in the 113th Congress.)
I'm an original cosponsor of H.R. 3485, the Global Respect Act, to impose sanctions on foreign individuals responsible for human rights violations against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex individuals abroad.
I cosponsored H.R. 1201, the International Human Rights Defense Act of 2021, to make permanent the State Department position of a special envoy for LGBTQI+ rights.
I'm an original cosponsor of H.R. 3834, the LGBTQ Essential Data Act, to require the inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity in the reporting of violent deaths by law enforcement, so that lawmakers and researchers are better prepared to enact violence prevention measures.
I'm an original cosponsor of H.R. 2328, the Prohibition of Medicaid Funding for Conversion Therapy Act, to prevent Medicaid funds from being used to pay for conversion “therapy” and crack down on misleading billing tactics, which have allowed taxpayer dollars to fund the discredited practice.
I cosponsored H.R. 1140, the Juror Non-Discrimination Act of 2021, which would prohibit the exclusion of individuals from jury service on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
I'm an original cosponsor of H.R. 2234, the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH) Act, to repeal the discriminatory Hyde Amendment banning use of federal funding for abortion services, which disproportionately affects low-income women and women of color. The bill would ensure that all women, regardless of income, insurance or zip code, can make personal reproductive health care decisions without interference from politicians. (I cosponsored this as H.R. 1692 in the 116th Congress, H.R. 771 in the 115th Congress and H.R. 2972 in the 114th Congress.)
I cosponsored H.R. 1670, the Abortion is Health Care Everywhere Act, to repeal the Helms Amendment, which attacks reproductive rights by banning the use of U.S. foreign assistance funds on abortion services overseas. Repealing the Helms Amendment is a critical step toward achieving reproductive and economic freedom and equity for millions worldwide.
In the 116th Congress:
I voted for an amendment to H.R. 2500, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020, to overturn the ban on transgender troops serving in the military. It was adopted by a vote of 242-187.
I coordinated and sent a letter, signed by 64 Members, to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in January 2019 asking him to publicly condemn violence against the LGBT community in Chechnya and to urge Russian leaders to stop this persecution.
In earlier Congresses:
I supported efforts to guarantee a safe and supportive learning environment by co-sponsoring the Student Non-Discrimination Act, to prohibit discrimination based on actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity in public schools, protect students from intimidation and violence, and create learning environments in which each and every child can learn and thrive.
I also co-sponsored the Voices for Veterans Act, which would extend and expand the membership of the Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans to include veterans who are members of the LGBT community.
I cosponsored H.R. 1322, the Women's Health Protection Act of 2017, which would invalidate any state laws that single out abortion providers for requirements and restrictions that are medically unnecessary, do not promote women's health or safety, and limit access to abortion services. (I cosponsored this as H.R. 448 in the 114th Congress.)
I cosponsored H.R. 5051, the Protect Women’s Health From Corporate Interference Act of 2014, to prevent corporate employers from using religious beliefs to deny employees coverage of contraception or any other vital health service required by federal law and keep in place existing exemption for religious employers (e.g., houses of worship) and accommodation of religious non-profits. This bill was the legislative response to the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores.
I cosponsored H.R. 728, the Access to Birth Control (ABC) Act. This bill would prevent pharmacists from refusing to fill a prescription for birth control and require pharmacies to help a woman obtain medication by her preferred method if the requested product is not in stock.
I led a letter sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, urging it to reduce the hundreds of thousands of cases including backlog DNA evidence, which includes untested rape kits, by better utilizing the capacity of private laboratories.
More on Equality For All
WASHINGTON, DC – Reps. Eric Swalwell (CA-15), David Cicilline (RI-01), and Lee Zeldin (NY-01) on Tuesday led 62 other House Members in urging Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to publicly condemn the violence against the LGBT community in Chechnya and to pressure Russian leaders to stop this persecution.
More than 1,000 are expected to take part in a women's march on January 21 in Walnut Creek.
The Women’s March Contra Costa County/Walnut Creek is a sister-march to the march in Washington, D.C. on the same day. Hundreds of marches are taking place throughout the country and world on January 21.
Congressmembers Eric Swalwell and Mark DeSaulnier and California State Senator Nancy Skinner are participating the event.
Pleasanton's Congressman Eric Swalwell recently announced he will join the House Judiciary Committee in addition to continuing to serve on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
A deputy district attorney in Alameda County before being elected to the House of Representatives, Swalwell said he was "honored" to be selected for the Judiciary Committee, which oversees matters relating to the administration of justice in federal courts, administrative bodies and law enforcement agencies.