Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission insisting on an inquiry into the practices of therapists who perform conversion therapy on LGBT individuals. "Being transgender, gay, lesbian, or bisexual is not a disease to be cured or a mental illness that requires treatment," Speier wrote in the letter.
This profile of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi describes her work on LGBT legislative issues during her nearly 25 years in Congress. It covers her first speech on the House floor in 1987, when she spoke out about AIDS, and her tenure as speaker of the House, during which "don’t ask, don’t tell" was repealed and a federal hate crimes bill was passed. Now, as she tries to help her party regain control of the lower chamber, Pelosi says she will miss Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who recently announced he would not seek re-election, and Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., who is running for the U.S. Senate.
Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, defended the use of her fiancé's private jet. A ruling by a congressional ethics lawyer also stated members of Congress can accept unlimited gifts from family, which includes "the fiancé or fiancée" of the member. Pingree came under fire for traveling on the private jet, which is owned by fiancé S. Donald Sussman.
Two key votes in Congress Thursday put the U.S. military on a path toward ending its ban on openly gay troops, with the measure winning approval in the House and in a Senate committee. Throughout the debate, opponents claimed acting now would send the wrong message to troops fighting in two wars abroad, but supporters such as Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., the only openly lesbian member of Congress, responded that it was actually the more patriotic thing to do. "In the land of the free and the home of the brave, it is long past time for Congress to end this un-American policy," Baldwin said.
The Healthy Families Act could be as hard to administer as the Family and Medical Leave Act, Society for Human Resource Management Chief Operating Officer China Miner Gorman told a House subcommittee Thursday. The session was marked by tension between Gorman and Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., who referred to SHRM as "shoorum" and claimed only 8% of workers have paid family and medical leave. Gorman said 81% of her group's members pay for sick days.