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Congressman Mark Pocan

Representing the 2nd District of Wisconsin

Equality

I oppose discrimination in all forms, whether based on gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Wisconsin is home to a large and diverse LGBT community. As a co-chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, I am a champion for equality and I have fought tirelessly to end discrimination against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender individuals. I will continue to fight and support all efforts to ensure that discrimination in the workplace, in the military, in our schools, and in our everyday lives comes to an end.

The country has recently made great strides to ensure equality for all – Congress repealed Department of Defense Directive 1304.26  (the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”) policy of the U.S. Military and the Supreme Court recently decided to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). But I know there is still more work to do. In 2013, I introduced the Restore Honor to Service Members Act to ensure that gay and lesbian veterans who were discharged from the military because of their sexual orientation receive the honor and recognition they deserve. I also sponsored the bipartisan Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act (DPBO), which would grant federal employees in same sex domestic partnerships the same rights, protections and obligations afforded to heterosexual married couples. Furthermore, I continue to fight to end discrimination against same-sex couples in federal immigration laws, urge passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and require the federal government to provide equal treatment to its LGBT employees.

More on Equality

Apr 27, 2017 Press Release

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), along with Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI), reintroduced legislation aimed at reducing bullying and harassment that affects one in five students at colleges and universities across the country. The Tyler Clementi Higher Education Anti-Harassment Act of 2017 would require institutions of higher education to establish policies to prohibit harassment based on actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religion.

Mar 2, 2017 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) led a bipartisan letter with 121 Members of Congress to the President urging him to reverse the recent decision to rescind guidance regarding protections for transgender students under Title IX. The letter also asks the President to meet with transgender students and their families to hear their stories and learn from their experiences.

In the bipartisan letter, the Members of Congress state:

Jul 14, 2016 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI) and Richard Hanna (R-NY) led a bipartisan letter to President Obama urging him to direct all federal agencies to prohibit discrimination in federal government contracting and subcontracting based on the sexual orientation or gender identity of the business owner.

Jun 30, 2016 Press Release

Madison – U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) released the following statement after Secretary Ash Carter officially announced the Department of Defense’s decision to lift its ban on transgender people from serving in the armed forces.

Jun 13, 2016 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02), Co-Chair of the LGBT Equality Caucus, released the following statement on the tragic mass shooting in Orlando, Florida. The shooting claimed the lives of 49 people as they celebrated Pride Month, making it the largest mass shooting in our nation’s history.

Jun 9, 2016 Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02), along with 26 House Democrats, sent a letter to President Obama urging him to consider renegotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) to include explicit protections for the LGBT community.

May 25, 2016 Press Release

Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02), Co-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, released the following statement after Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel joined 10 other states in challenging President Obama’s federal guidance for schools on how to protect the rights of all students regardless of gender identity:

May 24, 2016 In The News

Wisconsin Gazette

By Rep. Mark Pocan 

What a difference a decade has made for LGBT equality in Wisconsin. During a terribly homophobic week in Congress last month, I had to stop and remind myself of this point.