May 22, 2017

Duckworth Helps Introduce Legislation to Protect LGBTQ Americans from Credit Discrimination

 

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] - U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and U.S. Representative Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) in introducing the Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act (FDCA) of 2017 to help ensure LGBTQ individuals are protected from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity during the credit application process. Duckworth, Murray and Gottheimer were joined by twelve other Senators and more than twenty Representatives in introducing this bill.

"The chance to secure a loan to buy a home or pursue higher education is an essential part of the American Dream and it's essential to the strength of our nation," said Senator Duckworth. "I'm proud to join my colleagues in introducing this legislation to make sure we end credit discrimination against LGBTQ individuals once and for all."

"No one should ever fear discrimination when trying to secure a roof over their head, seek a high quality education, or receive a loan to start a small business, simply because of who they love or who they are,"
said Senator Murray. "By coming together to ensure LGBTQ individuals are protected from this discriminatory practice once and for all, we can take an important step forward in our country and send a very clear message against President Trump's anti-LGBTQ agenda."

"All Americans should be free to pursue their dreams, whether that be buying a home, starting a business, or continuing their education,"
said Congressman Josh Gottheimer. "New Jersey is a leader in making certain that LGBTQ Americans have fair access to credit, and I am proud to introduce legislation to make it the law of the land nationwide."

Currently, there is no federal law that protects LGBTQ individuals from credit discrimination, which means that LGBTQ individuals can still be denied access to essential credit opportunities just because of who they love. The FDCA would put an end to this discriminatory practice.

One-pager on the FDCA from Senator Murray's office is below and PDF can be found here.

Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act of 2017 (FDCA)

End Credit Discrimination Against LGBTQ Americans

Sponsored by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ)

BACKGROUND

Securing credit is critical to buying a home, going to college, or starting a small business. As such, credit decisions should not be based on personal characteristics unrelated to creditworthiness. Unfortunately, there is no federal law that protects individuals from credit discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act of 2017 (FDCA) would amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to prohibit credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

WHY THE FDCA IS NEEDED

Unfortunately, in many states LGBTQ Americans can be denied a mortgage, credit card, student loan, or other types of credit simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. While several states have passed laws prohibiting discrimination in credit based on sexual orientation or gender identity, there is no uniform, nationwide protection from sexual orientation or gender identity credit discrimination for LGBTQ Americans. The FDCA seeks to fix this.

LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY

• Under current law, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits discrimination in the provision of credit on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, and age. The FDCA would amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to prohibit credit discrimination based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

• The FDCA was included in the Equality Act as Section 11, cosponsored by 220 Members of Congress and Senators in the 114th Congress.

CURRENT STATUS OF STATE LAWS

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia prohibit credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Those states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. FDCA would prohibit credit discrimination against all LGBTQ Americans.

SUPPORT

In previous Congresses the FDCA was endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and Credit Union National Association.