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From my first years in Congress, voting against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996, I have fought to protect the equal rights of LGBT Americans. This past summer, the Supreme Court has recognized the equal rights and equal dignity of same-sex couples across the country. LGBT equality is one of the defining civil rights issues of our time, and we've endured many years of legal and social struggle to guarantee today's recognition of the love and commitment of our LGBT friends, family, and neighbors.

No one should have to face discrimination because of their lifestyle or orientation. But in America today, this is still happening. Today, in many states, it is legal for a same-sex couple to get married on a Saturday, then be fired solely for their sexual identity the following Monday. In these states, blatant LGBT discrimination is still perfectly legal in real estate transactions, employment, banking, and a number of other areas.

I am a proud original cosponsor of the Equality Act, landmark LGBT nondiscrimination legislation that would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the civil rights laws already built into the Federal code.Under the Equality Act, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans would receive full protections under the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and others. Even though the fight for same-sex marriage is won, there is still much work left to do, and I am committed to continuing the fight for LGBT equality.