America is founded on the principal that all people possess fundamental human rights, including equal rights to life, liberty, safety, and the pursuit of happiness. We have not always lived up to our aspirations as a country, but we must never give up striving to do so.

Although we have made great strides in pursuit of justice for our LGBTQIA community, we have a long way to go. Federal law does not prohibit discrimination of LGBTQIA people in employment, education, housing and public accommodation. I support measures like the Equality Act which would provide nondiscrimination protections to LGBTQIA Americans on the same terms as provided for other protected classes under federal law.

Despite federal laws on the books, women in the United States earn 82 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. The pay gap for women in Louisiana is much worse — 68 cents for every dollar. And it is even worse for Louisiana’s African-American women, who face the worst pay gap in the nation — 48 cents for every dollar.

I support efforts to ensure pay transparency and equal pay for work that requires equal skill, effort and responsibility, regardless of gender.