“I ran for Congress as a result of I wished to decrease the price of well being care, as a result of I wished to repair the rattling roads in my district — not as a result of I used to be homosexual,” the District 2 Democrat informed Discussion board Information Service. “However illustration actually does matter.”
On Thursday, Feb. 25, the U.S. Home by a 224-206 vote handed the Equality Act, a invoice extending civil rights protections to LGBTQ People. Like different protections beneath America’s Civil Rights Act, if handed, the Equality Act would make it unlawful nationwide to disclaim housing, employment, schooling and extra to LGBTQ individuals due to their sexual orientation or gender id.
Craig, together with the remainder of Minnesota’s Democratic Home delegation, cosponsored the invoice. However for Craig, it’s private: She is Minnesota’s first LGBTQ member of Congress, and the Home’s first lesbian mother. She and her spouse Cheryl Greene have 4 sons and dwell in Eagan, the place Craig mentioned they’re fortunate to be protected by Minnesota’s personal equal rights legislation.
“There are locations throughout this nation, states throughout this county, the place it could be solely authorized for Cheryl and I to be discriminated in opposition to primarily based on simply merely our love and dedication to one another,” she informed Discussion board Information Service in a Friday cellphone interview. “Each single American ought to have the form of safety that my household has after constructing a life collectively.”
At present, anti-LGBTQ-discrimination legal guidelines are decided state-by-state. In 1993, Minnesota turned the primary state within the nation to cross a legislation banning discrimination in opposition to individuals primarily based on their sexual orientation or gender id. Craig mentioned she is aware of what it’s prefer to dwell in a state with out these protections; she got here out when she was 17 and residing in Arkansas.
“I feel a number of of us thought as soon as marriage equality handed, (…) ‘Oh nice, it’s executed,’ when it comes to equality,” Craig mentioned. “The reality is, in nonetheless a lot of these states across the nation right now, I could make a dedication to my spouse on a Sunday, and put up photos on Fb on Monday, and get fired the subsequent day. Till we remove that risk, we do not have equality on this nation.”
The Equality Act handed largely on social gathering traces on Thursday, with a couple of Republicans voting in favor of it. All 4 of Minnesota’s Democratic U.S. representatives (together with Craig) voted in favor, and all 4 Republicans in opposition to. The invoice has but to cross the U.S. Senate earlier than reaching President Joe Biden’s desk for his signature.
Minnesota Republican U.S. Rep. Jim Hagedorn, who represents Craig’s neighboring District 1, got here out strongly in opposition to the invoice. In a Thursday written assertion, he known as it an try and “violate spiritual liberty and undermine equal safety for ladies.”
“It’s shameful to see Democrats prioritizing efforts to actually redefine ‘intercourse’ and alter America as we all know it,” he mentioned.
Craig in her Friday interview refuted Hagedorn’s and different Republicans’ stances, saying increasing equal rights protections for LGBTQ People doesn’t threaten ladies’s rights. On the oft-cited instance of transgender athletes enjoying in woman’s and girls’s sports activities, Craig mentioned there are “numerous threats to ladies and women in sports activities,” like insufficient funding and sexual harassment — “however, you realize, trans youth, that’s not a menace to ladies’s sports activities.”
She additionally dismissed the argument of non secular freedom, saying, “My Christian religion is that we had been all created within the picture of God and God created each single one in every of us, and He additionally created completely these of us who simply occur to be homosexual.”