Senator Edward J. Markey has become the fifth Senator to sign and share Taylor Swift's viral petition – with over 423,000 signatures – asking the U.S. Senate to pass the Equality Act.

Senators Kristen Gillibrand, Tim Kaine, Elizabeth Warren, and Cory Booker all publicly endorsed Swift’s campaign earlier this month.

Hours before the first Democratic debate, where candidates are poised to answer questions about LGBTQIA issues, Markey submitted the following statement on the topic:

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, we see how much progress the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community has made to advance equality. But we must also recognize how far we as a nation still must go. Across the country, we have seen LGBTQ employees fired from their jobs, same-sex couples attacked on public transportation, and transgender women of color murdered. We must send a clear message that the United States will not tolerate these — or any — attacks on the LGBTQ community.

“I am deeply troubled by the harmful actions the Trump administration has taken to undermine the important progress we have made for the LGBTQ community. I strongly believe that Congress must act to counter this administration’s anti-LGBTQ agenda.

“I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the Equality Act, which would amend federal civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Federal prohibition of this type of discriminatory conduct is long overdue. No one should have to fear disparate treatment because of who they love or how they identity.

“The road to equality for LGBTQ Americans may be long, but I have witnessed time and time again that the resolve of the LGBTQ community will not be defeated. I am honored to stand for equality for all Americans. It is past time that the Senate follow the House of Representatives and pass the Equality Act now.”

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