LGBTQ Issues

Fighting for LGBTQ Rights

Senator Casey supports the rights of all LGBTQ individuals. This nation was founded on the principles of freedom and equality, not for some, but for all. As a society and a government, we must continue to move toward the ideal of inclusion. Senator Casey is committed to ensuring that our government provides equal protection under the law for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

  • Senator Casey is a proud supporter of marriage equality and was pleased that the Supreme Court made it the law of the land so that all couples will be treated with basic dignity.
  • Senator Casey is the author of the Hate Crime Prevention Act. Current federal law prohibits those convicted of a felony from buying or possessing a gun. This legislation would also apply that restriction to those convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime, or those who have received a hate crime sentence enhancement.
  • Senator Casey is the author and longtime sponsor of the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which would prohibit in K-12 schools bullying and harassment based on sexual orientation or gender identity. He is also a cosponsor of the Student Non-Discrimination Act, which would expand federal civil rights statutes to include a protection in schools against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
  • Senator Casey is a cosponsor of the Equality Act, a landmark civil rights bill that would amend existing federal civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit and Federal jury service. The legislation would also amend existing laws to prohibit discrimination in public accommodations and federal funding on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
  • Senator Casey is a cosponsor of the Therapeutic Fraud Prevention Act, a bill to ban the use of so called “conversion therapy.” This is a practice based on the false premise that being LGBTQ is a mental illness that needs to be cured. The practice has been widely discredited by nearly all major American medical, psychiatric, psychological, counseling, educational, and social work professional organizations.
  • Senator Casey is a cosponsor of the Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2015, which requires institutions of higher education to enact policies to protect LGBTQ students from harassment and discrimination.
  • Senator Casey is a cosponsor of the LGBT Elder Americans Act. This bill would designate LGBT individuals as a population of “greatest social need” under the Older Americans Act, which would increase data collection on the unique needs of older LGBT Americans. The legislation would also permanently establish the National Resource Center on LGBT Aging.
  • Senator Casey is the author of the Elder Pride Act. Legislation that would establish the Office of Older LGBT Policy in the Department of Health and Human Services to facilitate data collection, oversee funding opportunities to benefit older LGBT Americans, and promote policies to help address the needs of older LGBT Americans. The legislation would also create a grant program to help connect rural LGBT seniors with community services and supports.
  • In May, 2016, Senator Casey sent a letter to Secretary of Education John King asking the Department of Education (ED) to issue clear guidance on protections for transgender students in public primary and secondary schools, public colleges and universities, and private schools that accept student loans or federal funds. On May 13, 2016, ED and the Department of Justice (DOJ) issued joint guidance further clarifying that schools who practice discrimination on the basis of gender identity, including restricting bathroom access, risk losing federal funding.
  • Senator Casey has been a strong supporter of equal rights for all LGBTQ individuals, including the protections afforded by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which states that schools and universities cannot discriminate against students on the basis of sex or gender identity. In June, 2015, Senator Casey announced his support for the Dickson City Borough Council’s anti-discrimination ordinance, which was passed into law, along with his support for the PA Fairness Act and similar state and local legislation banning discrimination at the state and local level.
  • Senator Casey sent three letters between April 2017 and April 2018 to the Secretary of Health and Human Services asking for the Department of Health and Human Resources to restore LGBT questions related to sexual orientation and gender identity to critical surveys designed to ensure federal programs are meeting the needs of vulnerable populations.

Latest

  • Casey, Merkley, Coons & Colleagues Press Administration On LGBTQ Diplomatic Discrimination

    Today, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Chris Coons (D-DE) led a group of their colleagues in calling on U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to amend a new Department policy that will halt the provision of diplomatic visas for unmarried, same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and employees posted to the United States or at U.S.-based international organizations. Read More


  • Casey, Colleagues Continue Push To Protect LGBT Americans

    In an effort to ensure that important federal programs meet the needs of the LGBT community, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), joined by over 20 of his colleagues, penned a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar urging HHS to continue to include sexual orientation and gender identity questions on data collection instruments used to evaluate the effectiveness of programs serving older Americans and children in the foster care system.  Read More


  • Casey and Cicilline Introduce Commonsense Protections Against Violence

    U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and U.S. Representative David Cicilline (D-RI-01) announced that they have introduced legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of those who commit criminal acts based on hate. The Disarm Hate Act would prevent individuals convicted of violent misdemeanor hate crimes from purchasing or possessing firearms. Joining Senator Casey as cosponsors of this bill are Senators Baldwin (D-WI), Blumenthal (D-CT), Gillibrand (D-NY), Hassan (D-NH), Markey (D-MA), Murphy (D-CT), Shaheen (D-NH), Van Hollen (D-MD), Whitehouse (D-RI) and Wyden (D-OR). Read More


  • Casey Announces Voting Decision On Three Top Cabinet Nominees

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is ready to announce after deliberations, hearings, and review of available paperwork that he will vote "no" on President-elect Trump's Secretary of Education nominee Betsy DeVos, Attorney General nominee Sen. Jeff Sessions, and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator nominee Scott Pruitt. Below are statements on his rationale on each individual decision: Read More