Full Equality for All

Every American deserves equal treatment under the law--no exceptions. Same-sex couples are entitled to access the same federal benefits as any other Texas family, and we should protect people from discrimination in every aspect of public life. LGBTQIA+ Americans are entitled to full federal equality.

We can achieve that by repealing the Defense of Marriage (DOMA) Act entirely (not just the part that was ruled unconstitutional) so that we can ensure same sex couples equal access to benefits like social security, no matter what state they live in.

Women earn less than men across this country, and African American women lose out the most. The Equal Pay Act of 1963 was a step forward, but we know it isn’t being enforced. I know from personal experience. So that’s why I plan to introduce, co-sponsor, and support labor laws under way that amend the Equal Pay Act, so we can address the gender pay gap with actionable, enforceable statute, and that gives women the tools they need to fight discrimination in the workforce by:

• punishing employers for retaliating against workers who share wage information

• putting the justification burden on employers as to why someone is paid less

• allowing workers to sue for punitive damages of wage discrimination

• training women in how to better negotiate their wages

I’d also fight for paid leave. Austin has made some important progress on this issue locally, but we can go further. No one should have to choose between keeping their job and taking care of a sick family member, and no parent should have to go back to work right after they welcome a newborn baby.

We can also fight the gender pay gap by increasing the minimum wage. According to the National Women’s Law Center, women represent nearly two-thirds of all minimum-wage workers in America. By increasing the minimum wage, we can help close that gender pay gap and lift millions of women out of poverty.