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Civil Rights

Congressman Pallone continues to fight for policies that reflect our American ideals of equality, fairness and justice, and works to ensure all Americans, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or gender identity, are entitled to the same protections under the law.

  • Congressman Pallone was one of 67 Members to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) when it was first considered in 1996. He praised the Obergefell v. Hodges decision by the Supreme Court that declared all state-level bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.
  • Congressman Pallone led a bicameral letter along with 70 Members of Congress urging the Department of Justice to reverse its position in the case of Zarda v. Altitude Express, in which it argued that the Civil Rights Act does not protect against employment discrimination of LGBTQ individuals.
  • Congressman Pallone is an original cosponsor of the Equality Act, which extends comprehensive civil rights protections for LGBT Americans by amending the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Government Employees Rights Act, the Civil Service Reform Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and the Jury Selection and Service act to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes.
  • Congressman Pallone has led several letters urging the Trump Administration to publicly speak out and take action against ongoing abuses directed at LGBTQ individuals around the world. He believes that we must ensure that the U.S. remains committed to working with countries to protect all of their citizens, no matter whom they are or whom they love.
  • Congressman Pallone has consistently supported legislation that protects the right to vote for all Americans, regardless of race, religion, or socioeconomic background. This includes a bill introduced by Congressman John Lewis, the Voter Empowerment Act, which would make voter registration automatic and available online, ensure the equitable allocation of polling place resources, and allow same-day voter registration and no-excuse absentee voting nationwide. These important changes would help to protect and ensure that all Americans are able to use their constitutionally protected right to vote.
  • Congressman Pallone strongly believes in the free exercise of religion. He does not believe any group of individuals should be singled out for extra scrutiny based upon their religious beliefs. He has consistently spoken out against attempts by this Administration to prevent refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States, despite clear evidence that they do not pose a security threat to our country.

More on Civil Rights

August 1, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) sent a letter to Acting Director Matthew Albence at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) regarding inhumane and illegal treatment of transgender asylum seekers. The Trump Administration has refused to uphold its legal duty to provide protection for transgender migrants who have a credible fear of persecution and has failed to adhere to the 2015 ICE memorandum on the Care of Transgender Detainees. Pallone was joined by 33 of his colleagues who also signed the letter.

May 17, 2019 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Frank Pallone (NJ-06) issued the following statement on the passage of H.R. 5, the Equality Act in the U.S. House of Representatives:

September 24, 2018 Press Release

“I am deeply outraged and offended by Congressman Smith’s bigoted views on LGBTQ adoption. Congressman Smith should know that LGBTQ parents are just simply that – parents. They are parents who provide every bit of love and care as their heterosexual neighbors. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Congressman Smith has dismissed the rights of LGBTQ Americans. He should apologize.

January 17, 2018 Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressmen Frank Pallone, Jr. (NJ-06) and Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18) today led a letter from 34 Members of Congress to Secretary Tillerson asking the State Department and the Trump Administration take a stronger role in condemning the Turkish government for its recent crackdown against LGBTQ events. These actions are part of a worrisome trend by the Turkish government of using physical force and the adoption of discriminatory laws against the LGBTQ community since at least June 2015.

October 20, 2003 Press Release

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) today called on the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) denied applications for linguist positions from over 90 Arabic-speaking Sephardic Jews and called on U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft to require the FBI to reconsider the applications. Pallone made the request in a letter to the Attorney General today.