I will continue to stand up for equal rights and equal respect for all Americans, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
Every person deserves a safe workplace and equal employment opportunities and no one should be discriminated against for their sexual orientation or gender identity. My efforts are reflected in the Equality Texas “Spirit of Texas” Lifetime Achievement Award for my work fighting for equality and against discrimination.
Combatting Sexual and Domestic Violence
I strongly believe that sexual harassment, sexual assault, and domestic violence are inexcusable, no matter whom the perpetrator is. Regardless of who is accused, all allegations of sexual violence must be taken seriously. I admire the brave women and men who have had the courage to share their stories, and I stand with the many who have not done so, knowing that this is a personal and difficult matter.
As a longtime advocate for victims and survivors of sexual and domestic violence, this behavior must end wherever it occurs. I have urged the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee to open an investigation into the allegations of sexual misconduct by President Trump. I am also a sponsor of the “ME TOO Congress” Act, which would prohibit the use of taxpayer money to settle claims against Members of Congress, would make settlement amounts and affiliated offices publicly known, and would prohibit requiring victims to go through mandatory counseling and mediation before filing a claim.
Before there was a Texas Council on Family Violence, I first got involved as a young Texas State Senator in helping a group of committed Central Texas women secure state funds to launch what was then the Center for Battered Women. Alarmingly, President Trump’s budget slashes funding for violence against women grant programs. I stand with survivors of abuse and will continue to resist and persist against the Trump agenda.