Bill is a strong supporter of equal rights for all, and believes that discrimination has no place in American society. For that reason, he has continually supported LGBTQ rights throughout his time in Congress.
As a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus, Bill has long been a vocal advocate for marriage equality, and supported the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). To that end, Bill was highly supportive of the landmark decisions in United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry in June 2013, which declared DOMA unconstitutional and upheld the Ninth Circuit’s ruling that California’s infamous Proposition 8 was unconstitutional as well.
More recently, Bill was supportive of the petitioners in the landmark Supreme Court case of Obergefell v. Hodges, in which the Court held that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Before the Court heard the oral arguments in this case, Bill joined many of his colleagues in submitting an amicus brief in support of the petitioners to the Court.
Bill was an original cosponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which provides basic protections against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. He firmly believes that no American should be denied job opportunities, fired or otherwise discriminated against because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
He was also one of the first Members of Congress to participate in the NOH8 Campaign, which promotes LGBT equality.
Further, Bill has strongly supported universal LGBT rights and has urged foreign leaders to protect their LGBT communities from discrimination, persecution, and violence.