Sen. Murray, Israel introduce Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act

Sen. Patty Murray - Reporter file photo
Sen. Patty Murray
— image credit: Reporter file photo

U.S. Senator and Bothell resident Patty Murray and U.S. Representative Steve Israel (D-NY) introduced the Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act (FDCA) of 2013 today, which would amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) to prohibit discrimination in the provision of credit based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Currently, there is no federal law that consistently protects LGBT individuals from credit discrimination.

“Obtaining credit is a critical step for many looking to buy a home, go to college, or start a small business,” Murray said in a release. “And since equal protection under the law is a fundamental right in our country, no one should suffer discrimination when trying to secure a roof over their head or a high quality education. I’m proud to introduce this legislation with Representative Israel to end this unfortunate practice that continues to hurt people in the LGBT community.”

Twelve states and the District of Columbia have already passed laws prohibiting credit discrimination generally based on sexual orientation, including Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

"Securing credit is critical to some of the most important undertakings in life, yet many LGBT Americans can be denied credit simply because of who they are,” said Human Rights Campaign (HRC) President Chad Griffin. “Credit decisions should not be based on personal characteristics unrelated to creditworthiness.  FDCA will help LGBT people realize the American dream.”

Additionally, ten states and the District of Columbia prohibit discrimination in credit transactions generally based on gender identity, including Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Vermont.  FDCA would allow all LGBT Americans to benefit from similar protections.

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