Two Democratic lawmakers introduced a bill designed to eliminate discrimination against LGBT people when seeking credit for student loans, home mortgages, credit cards or other types of credit on Thursday.
The Hill reported that Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) introduced the Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act (FDCA), which would amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Credit decisions should not be based on personal characteristics, such as race and sex, that are unrelated to creditworthiness – and our nation’s civil rights laws reflect that,” Murry’s office wrote in a statement posted to her website. “However, there is no federal law that consistently protects LGBT individuals from credit discrimination, and it is still legal in many states to discriminate based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”
“The ability to secure credit is essential to keeping our economy moving and ensuring that everyone from small business owners to middle-class families can grow and prosper,” Israel told the Hill. “However, there are currently no federal protections in place for LGBT Americans who face discrimination when applying for credit. It’s time for us to change this.”
“Credit decisions should not be based on personal characteristics unrelated to creditworthiness. FDCA will help LGBT people realize the American dream,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin in a press release.
There are already 12 states and the District of Columbia that ban credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and 10 states and the District of Columbia that ban it based on gender identity, according to information released by Murray’s office. The bill has been endorsed not just by the Human Rights Campaign, but also the 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.
Kay Steiger is the managing editor of Raw Story. Her contributions have appeared in The American Prospect, The Atlantic, Campus Progress, The Guardian, In These Times, Jezebel, Religion Dispatches, RH Reality Check, and others. You can follow her on Twitter @kaysteiger.
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