Press Release ● Human and Civil Rights
For Immediate Release: 
June 15, 2017
Contact Info: 

Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today following reports that the U.S. Department of Commerce is changing their equal employement policy statement to exclude protections for sexual orientation and gender identity:  

“It is appalling that the Commerce Department is changing the language of its equal opportunity policy statement to exclude LGBT Americans.  While LGBT employees of the Department remain protected under the government-wide policy instituted by former President Obama, this decision by Secretary Ross sends a signal that LGBT Americans are not welcome at the department he leads.  In addition to the injustice of his move, the Secretary ought to reflect on the role of the LGBT community in our economy and the importance of LGBT businesspeople in creating jobs and expanding trade to benefit our country and its workers.  I strongly urge the Secretary to revisit the language of the Department’s policy statement and ensure that it includes protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.”