Louise Slaughter believes every American deserves equal rights under the law, including people who identify as LGBTQ and she has supported equality her entire time in Congress, even when it was politically unpopular. Louise supports the right of same sex partners to marry; she voted against the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 1996; and she voted against the proposed constitutional amendments in 2004 and 2006 that would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Louise has been a strong supporter of ENDA, which barred employers from discriminating against employees based on their sexual orientation. Louise also co-sponsored the bill that provided benefits to domestic partners of federal employees in 2007 and co-sponsored the repeal of the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy for the US military.

Louise was a co-sponsor of the Matthew Shepard Act, which expands federal hate crime laws to include perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability. She also expanded the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) to fully include LGBTQ survivors of domestic violence.

Louise was a co-sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act, which would allow citizens and legal permanent residents seeking to bring their foreign spouse into the country the same rights enjoyed by heterosexual couples.

Louise is also committed to helping address the problem of LGBTQ homeless youth in Rochester. According to the Williams Institute, LGBTQ youth make up 40 percent of the homeless youth served by government agencies – and the average age, according to the Center for American Progress, is between 13 and 14 years old. Louise believes we need inclusive solutions to address the cycle of homelessness.