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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, May 19, 2017 - Volume 45 Issue 20
Patty Murray introduces bill to end credit discrimination against LGBT Americans
Section One
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Patty Murray introduces bill to end credit discrimination against LGBT Americans

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Washington Sen. Patty Murray is sponsoring legislation to prohibit credit discrimination against LGBT Americans.

The bill, known as the Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act, or FDCA, was introduced May 17. A companion House bill will be offered by Rep. Josh Gottheimer of New Jersey.

Murray's bill would amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to prohibit credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The current law prohibits discrimination in the provision of credit on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, and age.

Murray's office said that congressional Democrats 'are redoubling efforts to pass nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ individuals' following Donald Trump's executive order on 'religious freedom.'

'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,' Murray said in a statement.

'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.'

Fifteen states - including Washington - and the District of Columbia prohibit credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In the rest of the country, it is legal for landlords, banks, schools, and businesses to deny LGBT people credit. FDCA would establish a national standard protecting LGBT people.

'No one's ability to purchase a home or finance their education or business should be denied simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,' said HRC President Chad Griffin.

'We thank Sen. Murray and Rep. Gottheimer for introducing this bill to help members of the LGBTQ community work toward achieving their dreams without fear of discrimination in the credit process.'

According to Murray's office, the measure was introduced with 13 senators and more than 20 representatives as cosponsors.

FDCA is included as Section 11 in the much broader Equality Act, which adds sexual orientation and gender identity to US civil rights law. That legislation currently has 220 senators and representatives signed on.

Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, the prime sponsor of the Equality Act, is also signed on as a co-sponsor of FDCA.

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