Haaland Awarded National Center for Lesbian Rights Vanguard Award

May 21, 2019
Press Release

San Francisco, C.A. – This weekend, Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01) was awarded the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) Vanguard Award. The Vanguard Award is given to an outstanding ally who uses their platform to further LGBTQ+ equality.

“Everyone deserves to love who they love and be who they are without facing discrimination or violence. I truly believe that, and I’m honored to receive the NCLR’s Vanguard Award. It means I’m doing the right thing for my daughter, the amazing LGBTQ community in New Mexico, and everyone who has fought tirelessly for equality,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland.

The Congresswoman’s remarks at the NCLR 2019 Anniversary Celebration are available here.

Last week, Congresswoman Haaland took to the floor in support of the Equality Act, landmark legislation which would provide clear, comprehensive anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans in regard to employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding, housing, and public accommodations. The House passed the bill by a bipartisan vote of 236-173.

At the beginning of her term, Haaland made it a priority to fight for equality for all people. She was one of the first lawmakers to post a transgender flag outside her office after the Supreme Court ruled to continue Trump Administration’s policy to bar transgender people from serving in the military. As part of her work on the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) she has fought against the trans troops ban through hearings and by supporting a house resolution to stop the ban.

In addition, Haaland introduced the Elder Pride Act to address a lifetime of discrimination that has resulted in less financial security, more social isolation, and specific healthcare needs for older LGBT Americans. The Elder Pride Act amends the Older American Act to address the needs of older LGBT Americans and make necessary investments to support them. 

Haaland raised transgender issues at the State of the Union inviting local advocate Bunnie Benton Cruz, Chair of the Transgender Resource Center of New Mexico board and Mara Kiesling the Executive Director for the National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE). Haaland’s office coordinated a Transgender Awareness training for staff on the Hill which was administered by the NCTE.

Congresswoman Haaland is Vice Chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus, a group of lawmakers that serves as a resource for Members of Congress, their staff, and the public on LGBTQ+ issues at the federal level. The caucus works toward the extension of equal rights, the repeal of discriminatory laws, the elimination of hate-motivated violence, and the improved health and well-being for all regardless of sexual orientation of gender identity and expression.