L-R: Joseph Vitale, Alex MacMillen, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Rick Straits, and Jon Schadt
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) met with representatives of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), including Columbus resident Rick Straits. Straits met with Brown during his weekly coffee with constituents while in Washington, D.C. to attend HRC’s Spring Equality Conference.
“It is an honor to meet with Rick,” said Brown. “His work is critical in the fight to end discrimination against LGBT Americans. I will continue to support the LGBT community in their efforts.”
Brown is a long-time supporter of LGBT rights. In March 2015, Brown joined 43 of his Senate colleagues and 167 members of the House of Representatives in filing an amicus brief in the Supreme Court stating that all couples deserve the right to marry no matter the state that they live in. Brown is one of a handful of sitting senators who voted against the controversial Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996 – during his service as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
In July 2015, Brown cosponsored the Equality Act, legislation that would expand federal civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Though the LGBT community has made significant legal advances, many states do not have explicit non-discrimination laws, leaving many in the LGBT community without protection. The Equality Act would prohibit discrimination in public accommodations, education, federal financial assistance, employment, housing, credit, and federal jury service.