June 16, 2016

Whitehouse Expresses Solidarity with LGBTQ Community

Senator to continue annual tradition of marching in Rhode Island Pride parade

Providence, RI – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse today expressed support for Rhode Island’s LGBTQ community in advance of the upcoming Rhode Island Pride festival, which he has participated in nearly every year since being elected to the Senate.

“This year’s Pride festival has special significance as our nation continues to mourn the loss of so many innocent lives in Orlando,” said Whitehouse.  “I’m looking forward to marching alongside my friends in Rhode Island’s LGBTQ community on Saturday.  All Rhode Islanders should stand with a community that is an integral part of our diverse American family.  We have come a long way, and together we will continue to march toward equal justice for all.” 

Whitehouse is a cosponsor of the Equity Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under anti-discrimination laws.  He recently signed a letter supporting the Obama administration’s decision to issue guidance that antidiscrimination provisions in Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 cover gender identity.

Whitehouse joined Senator Chris Murphy’s historic filibuster yesterday evening to urge a vote on commonsense gun legislation in the wake of a tragic mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida last weekend.  The filibuster ended in the early hours of the morning when Senate Republicans consented to holding votes on the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act and legislation to expand background checks.  Watch a video of Whitehouse’s participation here.

Whitehouse is a cosponsor of the Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act, which would close the “terror gap” by blocking individuals who are known or suspected terrorists from buying firearms or explosives.  He is also a cosponsor of a bill to ban gun purchases by individuals convicted of hate crimes.  In 2013, Whitehouse cosponsored legislation to ban military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.


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