MIL-OSI USA: Rep. Becca Balint and Rep. Lizzie Fletcher Introduce Legislation to End Discrimination Against LGBTQI+ Community in the Jury Selection Process

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Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Becca Balint (VT-AL)

Today, Rep. Becca Balint (VT-AL) and Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07) introduce the Juror Non-Discrimination Act, which explicitly clarifies that it is illegal to discriminate in jury service based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or sex characteristics. This bill is included in the Equality Act, a landmark package of LGBTQI+ rights bills to guarantee full equality for LGBTQI+ Americans. 

“Today in 2024, federal law does not explicitly protect LGBTQI+ people from discrimination in the jury selection process. When we exclude people from our judicial process, we make our system inherently less free and fair. Diverse participation in the American justice system is critical to strengthening our democracy.” said Rep. Becca Balint. “Explicitly banning this kind of discrimination is an important step to ending anti-LGBTQI+ bias everywhere. It’s long past time our community is guaranteed equality under federal law and is free from discrimination because of who we are or who we love.” 

“Jury service is a privilege and a responsibility of citizenship.  As a former courtroom lawyer, I know how important it is to ensure that prospective jurors have the opportunity to serve and that parties have an impartial jury of their peers,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher.  “I am glad to introduce the Juror Non-Discrimination Act with Congresswoman Balint to ensure that LGBTQI+ people can serve on juries and neither fear nor experience discrimination in jury selection.”

The bill is cosponsored by Reps. Beyer, Bonamici, Brownley, Chu, Clarke, Connolly, Crockett, Davids, DeLuzio, Espaillat, Frost, R. Garcia, S. Garcia, Goldman, Hayes, Hank Johnson, Kamlager-Dove, S. Lee, Moulton, Nadler, Norton, Peters, Pocan, Scanlon, Schakowsky, Soto, Swalwell, Takano, Tonko, R. Torres, Watson Coleman, Williams 

The bill is endorsed by the following organizations: Congressional Equality Caucus, Human Rights Campaign, National LGBTQ+ Bar Association, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality. 

Bill text can be found here.

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