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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 15, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 20
Senator Patty Murray introduces Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act
Section One
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Senator Patty Murray introduces Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Washington's senior Senator Patty Murray has introduced a bill to ban discrimination against LGBT Americans when they apply for credit.

The Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act (FDCA) would amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to prohibit credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. There is currently no federal law that protects LGBT individuals from credit discrimination.

Fourteen states and the District of Columbia prohibit credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity - including California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

New York has a law prohibiting discrimination in credit transactions based on sexual orientation, but not gender identity.

The FDCA would prohibit credit discrimination against all LGBT Americans. The bill debuted on May 13. Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) has introduced a companion bill in the House of Representatives.

'Securing credit is an important part of our economy and helps so many Americans looking to buy a home, go to college, or start a small business,' Murray said in a statement.

'It is unacceptable that someone can be denied credit, simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. I am proud that my home state of Washington has these protections, but it is time to ensure all LGBT Americans are protected from this discriminatory practice.'

'We have made great strides towards achieving full equality for all LGBT Americans, but we still have a long way to go. Putting in place federal protection for LGBT Americans who face discriminations when applying for credit is good for our businesses, our economy and all hardworking Americans,' Israel added.

'Since 2009 I've led the fight to prohibit lenders from denying credit based on sexual orientation or gender identity, and I'm proud to join my colleague Senator Murray in calling for passage of this important legislation.'

The FDCA has been endorsed by: The Human Rights Campaign, The National Center for Transgender Equality, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, National LGBTQ Action Fund, and Credit Union National Association.

'In many states, protections against discrimination for LGBT Americans are a patchwork at best and nonexistent at worst, including when it comes to fair and equal access to credit,' said David Stacy, Government Affairs Director of the Human Rights Campaign.

'No one should be denied credit based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The commitment of Senator Murray and Congressman Israel to end this injustice is the kind of leadership Americans expect and deserve in Congress.'

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