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Civil Rights

Every individual should have the right to live free from discrimination and pursue their dreams regardless of race, sexual orientation, or gender identity. As the son of a Civil Rights lawyer who wrote much of the enforcement language of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, this issue is a top priority for me. Since the Civil Rights Movement, we have made great progress toward equality, but our work is not over. We must continue to fight against efforts to weaken the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and I actively support legislation to restore this landmark legislation. I am also an original co-sponsor of the Equality Act. This legislation would update the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to give the LGBTQ community the same protections under the law. Currently, there is no federal law that protects against discrimination in housing, employment, or public accommodations such as hotels and restaurants for individuals in the LGBTQ community.

My Work on Civil Rights

Jun 16, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Tonight, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, which would establish June 19 (Juneteenth) as a federal holiday:

“I can’t think of a more important moment in American history to celebrate than the end of slavery. Illinois has led the way by making Juneteenth an official state holiday. Tonight, I was proud to vote to make Juneteenth a federal holiday as well.

Apr 28, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Tonight, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) issued the following statement after President Biden addressed a Joint Session of Congress:

“Tonight, President Biden laid out a bold plan to overcome this pandemic and build back an economy that is stronger and more equitable for all Americans.

Apr 20, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Tonight, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) issued the following statement after Derek Chauvin was found guilty on all charges in the death of George Floyd:

Mar 10, 2021 In The News

Democratic members of Congress representing the Will County area backed a sweeping bill meant to enhance voting rights.

The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives last week approved H.R. 1, the For the People Act, which proponents argued would address corruption and practices that hinder the right to vote.

Mar 4, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C.- Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) issued the following statement on last night’s passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act:

“I was proud to vote for the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act. It is past time for us to take these first steps to achieve structural change in our criminal justice system and combat police brutality.

Mar 3, 2021 Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Tonight, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, the For the People Act:

Mar 2, 2021 In The News

Democratic members of Congress representing the Will County area backed a bill aiming to provide protections for LGBTQ individuals.

The House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, which would explicitly ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, education and other aspects of daily life.

Feb 26, 2021 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) and Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) re-introduced the Immigrant Detainee Legal Rights Act. The legislation would require immigration detention centers to inform immigrant detainees of their legal rights within five days of their arrival at the facilities. It would also require the Attorney General to develop and implement legal orientation programs in every detention center that houses immigrants.

Feb 25, 2021 Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) voted to pass H.R. 5, the Equality Act. The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act to also ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the areas of employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding, housing, and public accommodations. 

Feb 10, 2021 In The News

Last-minute changes to proposed federal standards for new voting machines could expose the equipment to cyber-attacks, according to some members of Congress and security professionals.