May 2, 2023
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders will present the Justice for All award to Representative Cicilline on June 15, 2023
GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders will honor Congressman David Cicilline at the organization’s Rhode Island Event on June 15, in recognition of his substantial and sustained advocacy for LGBTQ equality and human rights throughout his career in government. Congressman Cicilline has represented Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2011 and has been a steadfast advocate for the rights of LGBTQ people and for reproductive freedom, racial justice, voting rights and election integrity. He announced earlier this year that he will leave Congress this summer to lead the Rhode Island Foundation.
“Congressman David Cicilline has been a resolute champion of human rights and LGBTQ+ equality during his twelve years in the U.S. House and throughout his nearly two decades of public service in Rhode Island before that,” said Janson Wu, Executive Director of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders. “His leadership on the Equality Act was vital to building record bipartisan support for federal LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections in the House. Representative Cicilline’s trailblazing accomplishments – from becoming the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city to his pivotal work in the Congressional Equality Caucus – alongside his integrity and dedication to civil rights and democratic ideals – have made him a role model for generations of young LGBTQ+ leaders. We are thrilled to honor him with the Justice for All award for his steadfast and inspiring work for equality.”
“Looking back on my tenure in Congress, I’m so proud of the progress we’ve made toward LGBTQI+ equality,” said Congressman Cicilline. “Over the last 12 years, we protected marriage equality with the Respect for Marriage Act, twice passed the Equality Act in the House, and designated the National Pulse Memorial. We convened the first meeting between a sitting U.S. President, Joe Biden, and the Equality Caucus, and increased support for key programs at home and abroad that are protecting LGBTQI+ rights. We now have a historic number of LGBTQI+ Members serving in Congress and have seen barriers broken in state legislatures across the country. These new leaders give me hope for the future – a future with equality for all, no matter who you are or who you love. I thank GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders for their partnership and advocacy and am honored to receive the Justice for All award.”
Congressman Cicilline was the lead sponsor of the Equality Act, legislation that would provide explicit federal nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ people. Under his leadership the bill passed the House with strong bipartisan support in 2019 and 2021. Representative Cicilline has served as a leader in the Congressional Equality Caucus and has co-sponsored multiple bills seeking to advance LGBTQ+ rights, including the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, the Student Non-Discrimination Act, the LGBT Data Inclusion Act, and the Global Respect Act. Following former President Trump’s announcement of a ban on military service of transgender Americans in 2017, Congressman Cicilline quickly voiced opposition to the policy and introduced the Restore Honor to Service Members Act, which aimed to reverse the ban. This past year, Representative Cicilline was a co-sponsor of the historic Respect for Marriage Act (RMA) which was signed by President Biden in December 2022.
Prior to being elected to Congress, David Cicilline served for eight years in the Rhode Island House of Representatives, during which he was instrumental in passing an LGBTQ+-inclusive state hate crimes law in 2001. He made history as the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city when he was elected mayor of Providence, where he served from 2003 – 2011. As mayor, Cicilline launched a Safe Schools initiative to support LGBTQ+ students in the city. He was active in efforts to add protections for transgender people to Rhode Island’s state nondiscrimination law in 2011, and in the passage of marriage equality legislation in 2013.
Congressman Cicilline will receive the Justice for All award from GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders June 15 in Providence, Rhode Island. Get tickets and details about the event.