News Releases

The Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity when applying for credit

Currently, no federal law protects LGBTQ individuals from credit discrimination 

Following Trump’s “religious freedom” executive order, Democrats are redoubling efforts to pass non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ individuals 

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) introduced the Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act (FDCA) of 2017, a bill to amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to prohibit credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Senator Murray was joined by Representative Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5), thirteen Senators and more than twenty Representatives in introducing this measure.

“No one should ever fear discrimination when trying to secure a roof over their head, seek a high quality education, or receive a loan to start a small business, simply because of who they love or who they are,” said Senator Murray. “By coming together to ensure LGBTQ individuals are protected from this discriminatory practice once and for all, we can take an important step forward in our country and send a very clear message against President Trump’s anti-LGBTQ agenda.”

“No one’s ability to purchase a home or finance their education or business should be denied simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said HRC President Chad Griffin. “We thank Senator Murray and Representative Gottheimer for introducing this bill to help members of the LGBTQ community work toward achieving their dreams without fear of discrimination in the credit process.”

Fifteen states, including Washington state, and the District of Columbia prohibit credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, but there is currently no federal law that protects LGBTQ individuals from credit discrimination. As a result, in many places, LGBTQ people can still be denied a mortgage, credit card, student loan or other type of lending simply because of who they are. The FDCA would prohibit credit discrimination against all LGBTQ Americans.

One-pager on the FDCA is below and PDF can be found HERE.

 Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act of 2017 (FDCA)

End Credit Discrimination Against LGBTQ Americans 

Sponsored by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ)

BACKGROUND

Securing credit is critical to buying a home, going to college, or starting a small business. As such, credit decisions should not be based on personal characteristics unrelated to creditworthiness. Unfortunately, there is no federal law that protects individuals from credit discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Freedom from Discrimination in Credit Act of 2017 (FDCA) would amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to prohibit credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

WHY THE FDCA IS NEEDED

Unfortunately, in many states LGBTQ Americans can be denied a mortgage, credit card, student loan, or other types of credit simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. While several states have passed laws prohibiting discrimination in credit based on sexual orientation or gender identity, there is no uniform, nationwide protection from sexual orientation or gender identity credit discrimination for LGBTQ Americans. The FDCA seeks to fix this.

LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY

• Under current law, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act prohibits discrimination in the provision of credit on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, and age. The FDCA would amend the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to prohibit credit discrimination based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status, age, sexual orientation and/or gender identity.

• The FDCA was included in the Equality Act as Section 11, cosponsored by 220 Members of Congress and Senators in the 114th Congress.

CURRENT STATUS OF STATE LAWS

Fifteen states and the District of Columbia prohibit credit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Those states are California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. FDCA would prohibit credit discrimination against all LGBTQ Americans.

SUPPORT

In previous Congresses the FDCA was endorsed by the Human Rights Campaign, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Gay and Lesbian Taskforce, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, and Credit Union National Association.