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tv   Hearing on LGBTQ Financial Inclusion and Equality  CSPAN  January 14, 2022 4:00pm-5:19pm EST

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>> to all of the filmmakers out there, remember content is king. and just remember to be as neutral and impartial as possible in your portrayal of both sides of an issue. >> c-span awards $100,000 in total cash prizes and you have a shot at winning the grand prize of $5,000. entries must be received before january 20th, 2022. for competition rules, tutorials or just how to get started, visit our website at civil rights advocates and finance experts testify on barriers facing lgbtq individuals in the financial services industry from a house financial services subcommittee. this is about 1:15. >> this hearing entitled there is no pride in prejudice: eliminating barriers to full economic inclusion for the
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lgbtq-plus community. and i now recognize myself for four minutes to give an opening statement. good afternoon -- and i am pleased to convene the subcommittee on diversity and inclusion for a hybrid hearing entitled. there's no pride in prejudice, eliminating barriers to full economic inclusion for the lgbtq plus community. in 27 states there are no explicit stitt wide laws protecting people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing and public accommodation. at the federal level, there are no fair housing or credit protections based on expressly sexual orientation or gender identity. this puts many lgbtq plus individuals at risk, youth at risk, or at experiencing chronic
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homelessness, unemployment or being unbanked. we are a nation of many powers, a rainbow, if you will, and today we will explore the lgbtq community and what it faces to systemic barriers to financial inclusion and employment simply because of who we are. the othe metro high school where young just the other day i was at a metro high school where one students in a s.t.e.m. program had one of their categories as lgbtq plus because they understood the value of diversity. a great preview for today hearing and to have so many experts. today we know it has been
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documented by a recent gallup poll of 2021 that 18 million adults are self identified as lgbt individuals. these are our family members, our colleagues, our friends. and every day these individuals face bigotry, discrimination, especially when it comes to securing safe and stable housing. i joined with my colleagues to pass hr 5, the equality act that would prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in any area, specifically including unemployment and housing. this bill is currently pending in the senate. but the founding principles in our community are clear. all men and women are created equal. and with inalienable rights that one does not forfeit due to their sexual orientation or identity.
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yesterday there was always also a young individual there who had written an article on racism and diversity, and he stood so proudly as he escorted adults to talk about the value of that. this young man you will hear more about, as i talk to our expert witnesses. and i will give you a quote then by him as we talk to our witnesses. but let me just say we have a lot to learn about this agenda. and i certainly look forward to the testimony of our witnesses, who will not only enumerate the depth of the challenges, but will also share comprehensive solutions to help our country live up to its --. vow. now i yield back the rest of my time. and it is my honor as the chair
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to recognize the ranking member for four minutes for an opening statement. my friend and my colleague, congresswoman ann wagner. >> i thank you madam chairwoman and i want to thank all of our witnesses for joining us today. as we examine policies that protect americans against discrimination, benefits of a diverse workforce and ways in which corporate culture shifts that create a more inclusive environment are proving effective throughout the private sector. including the financial services sector. research shows that companies with more diverse workforces outperform their less diverse competitors. specifically companies that implement inclusive workplace practices saw an average of 6.5%
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increase in stock performance compared to industry peers. additionally inclusive companies are able to better attract talented candidates and retain their workforce. a 2017 study by deloitte found that 80% of respondents said that workplace inclusion was an important factor when choosing an employer. and the business community has taken notice. in this subcommittee we have discussed ways that a business can improve retention and develop a more inclusive workplace. those best practices, including transparency regarding salaries and promotion opportunities, mentoring and sponsorship program, employee resource groups and flexible work hours for working mothers and families to name just a few.
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i believe that every american should have equal access to economic opportunities. and i look forward to hearing from today's witnesses. i now would like to take this opportunity to yield one minute to my friend and colleague from north carolina, the ranking member of the financial services committee, mr. patrick mchenry. >> well, thank you, ranking member wagner. i certainly appreciate your leadership on these very important issues and how we help drive the economy. you know the promise of the american dream is that if you work hard, you play by the rules, you can achieve success. unfortunately we know that's not -- that dream is not reality for everyone. and what we find barriers to economic inclusion we must knock them down. when we find discrimination, we must eliminate it. every american deserves access to the opportunity, tools and services that can make the american dream a reality. i want to thank our witnesses
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for being here. and i thank the ranking member for yielding and thank the chair for holding the hearing, and i yield back. >> i thank you. i thank the ranking member. and i yield back the balance of time to the chair. thank you. >> thank you so much it. now gives me the great honor to recognize the chairwoman of the full committee for one minute. the honorable congresswoman maxine waters. >> thank you so much for holding this important hearing, chairwoman beatty. the fight for lgbtq plus rights is far from over. while same sex marriage and other milestones of lgbtq plus equality have become a -- for example, data show that individuals within the lgbtq community often have more trouble finding affordable and safe and equitable housing across america an estimated 20 to 40% of homeless youth identify as lgbtq plus. additionally the lgbtq plus
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community face difficulties in accessing employment opportunities and being positively included in workplace environments. compared to other heterosexual and cis gender counterparts. i'm proud that this committee is ensuring these kind of disparate impacts are not tolerate. tolerated. thank you again, and i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you to our chairwoman. >> thank you to our chairman. today we welcome the testimony of our distinguished witnesses. first we have mr. davis john,
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executive director of the black justice coalition. next we have mick spencer watson, the president and executive director for the center for lgbtq economic advancement and research. and then we have miss tanya asapansa johnson. co-founder of new york transgender advocacy group and transgender are women's support group facilitator. and last, mr. todd sears, principal and founder of out leadership llc. the witnesses are reminded their oral testimony will be limited to five minutes. you should be able to see the timer on your screen that will indicate how much time you have left. when you have one minute remaining, a yellow light will appear. i would ask that you be mindful
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of the timer. and when the red light appears, to quickly wrap up your testimony so we can be respectful of both the other witnesses and the committee members' time. without objection your written statement will be made part of the record. mr. johns, you are now recognized for five minutes to give an oral presentation on your testimony. >> thank you, chairwoman beatty, ranking member wagner and members of the subcommittee, thank you for allowing me this opportunity. my name has been said is david john, and it's an honor serving as director of the organization focused on empowering black lgbtq plus and -- people, families and communities. if there is one thing i want the subcommittee to hear me say is that while the beautifully diversity black community burdened by the problems caused by racism black with intersectional identities often confronted with additional challenges too often neglected and ignored.
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i will not read the entire testimony but they can look forward to highlighting three things. first, students who are assumed to be lgbtq plus lack the protections afforded to their peers and challenges they face in schools make it difficult for them to be happy, healthy and successful later in life. my doctoral dissertation titled how to bind by any means necessary, in the public and u.s., calls for increase investments in school and community based supports for lgbtq plus youth and national interoperable data sets that acknowledge many of us have intersectional identities that shaped how we experienced institutions like schools in powerful ways. when i think about this, i often think about hope, and a latin x parent who was beat in in a school hallway by three classmates -- she was suspended until she could prevent the abuse by changing her identity.
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as a former classroom teacher i know student which is not demonstrate what they know or have learned if they do not feel safe. and we know based on data collected with our colleagues that black lgbtq plus students find schools to be hostile and unwelcoming spaces which often results if them failing to develop skills, experiences and relationships needed to be successful later in life. second, as you know what happens to students in schools has a profound impact on life opportunities and outcomes. especially black lgbtq plus and youth that are forced to begin their journey early. as a result of familial and social rejection, lgbtq plus young people are overrepresented amongst homeless and foster youth. and black lgbtq plus youth are significantly overrepresented in both of these spaces. young people experiencing housing instability are less likely to complete school. or sustain a good job. at the black institute 2021 an event that nbjc hosts annually.
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when discrimination occurs only due to race, gender, sexual orientation or gender identity thanks to a recent u.s. supreme court decision filing an eeoc claim is an option. however when one experiences employment discrimination or other forms of discrimination based on race and sexual orientation or more, the pathway to federal legal remedy for harm is more complicated and plausible. and i thank those who voted if for equality act. and i think we should close this legal loophole. once codified the equality act will aid and address the legal loophole and also important in considering home ownership and housing stability facilitate economic stability in the u.s. more than half the states throughout our country still lack laws specifically banning
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housing discrimination against lgbtq plus americans. we often face discrimination working with real estate agent, requesting loans for housing and with seeking shelter. nbjc's director experienced housing discrimination when moving from florida to maryland. after meeting with a realtor to tour a condo in maryland, she and her wife were sure an apartment was available and they possessed the qualify credit score and in a postconversation the two women referenced other spouses that explained they were not just friends and would be sharing the rent, the realtor seized -- ceased all conversation between the property owner and the couple. and dramatically different interest rates from banks. 4.25 compared to 3.25 makes a significant difference in how
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much an fha loan would cost up to 30 years. the credit score or financial situations did not change. only the institution and persons processing their applications. to be clear, if equality act would provide a federal remedy for couples like the york and single members of hour community seeking housing and stability. and protections based an race exist, federal law does not explicitly protect couples and spouses from housing discrimination. poverty and toxic stress caused by this insecurity increases the likelihood of challenges. significant physical, mental and emotional challenges. and they cripple communities for generations. leveling the playing field to ensure every american has economic opportunity is essential to preserving our democracy. and is specially important for black lgbtq plus people communities and family who is disproportionately struggle economically, often through no fault of our own.
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i hope i have made clear the need to eliminate barriers -- >> thank you. the gentlemen's time is up. the gentlemen's time is up. thank you. thank you very much, mr. johns. nick watson, you are now recognized for five minutes to give an oral presentation on your testimony. >> thank you chairwoman beatty, ranking member and members of the committee. thank you for the opportunity to testify in today's hearing. my name is spencer watson, and i am founder and president and executive director of the center for lgbtq economic advancement and research or c.l.e.a.r. in my testimony i'll be sharing about the financial responsibilities and economic opportunities for lgbtq peel and the current state of the lgbtq wealth gap. like other underserved communities, lgbtq people
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report smaller incomes than non-lgbtq do and more likely to live in poverty than non-lgbtq are. one in five eligible adults in the united states in 2019 reported earning less than $25,000 a year, which is 1.5 times more often than non-lgbtq people and 1 in 20 reported earning less than $5,000 a year, which is 2 times more often than for non-lgbtq adults. transgender people are four times more likely to make $10,000 less a year than the general population. to bridge the gap between income and expenses, lgbtq are more likely to make use of government benefits and other sources of financial support. lgbtq people are 1-8 times more likely to make use of supplemental assistance program or s.n.a.p., and non-lgbtq adults are two times more likely to make government housing programs.
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in 2019 lgbt adult were 1.2 times more likely reporting looking for work than nonlgbtq adults were. and one third of lgbtq folks who were employed said they wanted to work more in the next month. employment gap, affect 1 in 10 lgbt adults 18-29 were unemployed and looking for work which was much more often than for non-lgbtq peers. lgbtq people are also less likely to have adequate insurance coverage than non lgbtq people. one in 10 did not have health insurance in 2019. one and a half times more often than non lgbt adults. and more than one in six black and hispanic lgbt adults did not have health insurance coverage. insurers are also less likely to offer inclusive plans that cover lgbtq's people's unique health needs including gender affirming care and family costs such as in vitro
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fertilization and surrogacy. and the lack of adequate insurance coverage forces many lgbtq people to forego needed health care and to also pay more out of pocket for the healthcare they do receive. one in five lgbtq adults without insurance who paid out of pocket for healthcare paid more than $5,000, which was 1.8 more times than for non-lgbtq adults. although home ownership is more likely to build wealth and fj security, lgbtq adults. building wealth and financial security, lgbtq people are less likely to obtain benefits of home ownership because they are less likely to own their homes. less than half of lgbt adults owned their home in 2019 compared to around two-thirds of non lgbt adults and those that do own their homes are more likely to be paying their mortgage than to own in full. lgbtq renters would more likely report they did not own their only home because they could not afford a down payment and did
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not think they would qualify for a mortgage. and black lgbtq own their own home. . lgbtq house holes are more like to be non banked and underbanked. households were 1.6 times more likely to be unbanked and also more likely to be underbanked. overall more than one in five lgbtq adults were unbanked or underbanked in 2019. lgbtq are more likely to make inadequate access to services means lgbtq people are more likely to make use of alternate services. 1.25 times more often than nonlgbt adults. lgbtq people are also more likely that apply for credit. but that they are also more likely when they do apply to
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have their applications for credit rejected. over a third of lgbtq people who apply for credit in 2019 have their applications rejected. and they were also 1.25 times more likely to be offered less credit than they had wanted. transgender and gender nonconforming people will also likely to experience difficulties with credit reports when they change their names. and so want to highlight that the lgbtq community is not a monolith. and lgbtq people come from different, racial, social and cultural backgrounds. that affect their economic -- >> thank you, your time has expired but thank you very much. and thank you so much, nick watson, for your testimony. ms. walker, you are now recognized for five minutes to give an oral presentation on your testimony. we need you to unmute.
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you're muted. >> okay. thank you. hello members of the committee and thank you for holding this hearing on an issue that i believe impacts the entire lgbtq community or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning community. but especially affects those transgender, gender non confirming or non binary. or tgncnb. i am a proud black transgender woman. i am a combat engineer's army veteran. and my past has not been an easy one. despite suffering harassment and abuse verbally, physically and sexually. in the army i received an
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honorable discharge in 1984. i went on to study social work at the college of staten island where i was constantly misgendered by my professors and was eventually ran off the campus for protesting against an out-lesbian judge in 1994 against her remarks -- against remarks by the bureau president that she was an out lesbian and she wasn't fit to serve as attorney general of new york state. so therefore i was forced to leave college and i wasn't able to finish my education. so i was forced to leave school abruptly. i protested for the judge and was then called all kind of names. a couple of carloads of students
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rode up to me and called me all kinds of gay epithets so i wasn't able to complete my education as a social worker. in 1988 i was severely injured as a catalyst for me to come to terms with my identity as a woman. and i decided that life is too short for me to live unauthentically. i tried to find medical care to assist with my transition but was turned away, laughed at and at times declared mentally ill. one of my doctors called me schizophrenic and prescribed me pills for a condition i didn't have. from 1990 through 2010 it was virtually impossible to find doctors or other medical providers who did not overtly reject or minimize my issues. my issues. they even ridiculed and mocked me for my gender identity. i've been laughed at, misgendered, dead named, dead
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named, which is calling me by the name which was given to me at birth. so that was often a problem in my life. this impacted my life greatly not only with healthcare but with my ability to find work and safe housing. many of my friends and i were unable to find employment because people would not hire transgender folks. despite being a combat engineers veteran, i was forced to rely on food pantries and kitchens throughout my adult life. i had a lot of problems finding hormones and had to resort to the streets to find them. today i'm here to advocate for adequate housing for trans folks who are often misgendered and not able to live authentically
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and not self-ak you'llized in society as in abraham's hierarchy of needs. i'm here to advocate for the equality act and full inclusion of transgender folks in to this arena. health and finances also impact one's ability to find affordable safe housing. i myself have been turned away several times and discriminated against when seeking housing. i've heard horror stories from my friends both through my work at housing works but also through tgnc folks all around new york state. transgender women either get physically and verbally abused when in female shelters, being told they are men and do not belong.
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or they get physically assaulted, verbally assaulted or sexual assaulted. sexually assaulted. i'm here to help create get safer spaces created for tgnc people. demanding that there be cultural sensitivity trainings for all staff, even folks doing business with the shelters. >> i'm sorry, ms. watson -- your time -- walker, your time has expired. ms. watson. and thank you for your testimony. i'm sorry, ms. walker. your testimony, thanks for your testimony. and now mr. sears, you are now recognized for five minutes to give oral presentation on your testimony. >> thank you very much. chairwoman beatty, ranking member wagner, chairwoman waters and ranking member mchenry and distinguished members of the subcommittee i want to really
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thank you for holding this important hearing today. i sit before you as a proud openly gay american, former investment and private banker. former chief diversity officer and founding ceo of out leadership. a beat corporation and first company in the history of the united states who sold product as equality. our eight companies are predominantly american and employ over 7 million americans in every state in this country. dwibed members of this committee, my work with over thousands of ceos and hundreds of businesses in the last 20 years has shown me lgbtq equality and inclusion should not be political. it is neither a democratic or a republican issue. equality is a business issue and impacts every american, gay or straight and reaches every corner of the economy of our great nation. since 2008, every study has shown stock prices of lgbtq founded companies outperform peers from 6.5 to 9%. additionally higher income per employees, more patents, more
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trademarks, more copyrights. and much higher overall engagement and retention than less inclusive companies and counterparts. unfortunately due to absence of federal protections for lgbtq people, the positive benefits of inclusion are not felt universally in the united states leaving the burden to individual companies to navigate a patchwork of state laws. a recent research leadership revealed almost one-third of lgbtq people will take a pay cut to move from a state to a state that has more favorable treatment of lgbtq workers. diversity efforts have to be inclusive. time and again countless federal and state bills are introduced to promote diversity, inclusion and disclosure that completely omit and exclude the lgbtq community. lgbtq people are still not a federally protected category as has been mentioned earlier today. and that is something most americans actually don't know. importantly as my fellow witnesses have noted today. racial justice and gender equality must continue to be a
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core and inseparable part of the fight for equality. the most vulnerable lgbtq households in america hold multiple intersectional identities and counters the burden they experience. most data shows households report economic outcomes two times worst than heterosexual and cis gender pierce, including food insecurity, unemployment, eviction, difficulty paying for household expenses with lgbtq americans of color suffering the greatest impact. this last year outleadership championed three bills. hr 387. hr 1443, the equality act which passed house of representatives this year. and want to thank you the committee for your work on this important bill. but on behalf of members of out leadership and the entire business community we advocate specifically for the following. first and foremost passage of the equality act. without it lgbtq people will be
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subjected to discrimination. and chipping away from protections as we saw last week from a judge under title 9. the expansion of diversity definitions for board diversity and disclosure mandates to be lgbtq inclusive and intersectional for all regulative entities and businesses in the u.s. currently there are just 19 of the fortune 500 who include lgbtq leaders in the definition of board diversity. and that's resulted in just 29 out board members of half a percent of the entire fortune 500. next we advocate for the data collection and federal government data collection survey, if we count, we matter. a commitment to the freedom of religion that does not include a religious right to discriminate. and finally the promotion of economic security and financial stability of lgbtq people by fostering inclusive practices and workplace policies that include access to credit and
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capital. distinguished lgbtq inclusive diversity is just simply good for business. 25 years of research has shown us that companies with lgbtq inclusive policies outperform their peers on every measure of success, from increased engagement, decreased turnover, to innovation and stock price. in a market economy businesses must invest in activities in their economic best interest. lgbtq inclusive diversity fits that bill. there are clear economic consequences to discrimination as well. which is in 92% of the fortune 500 already protect lgbtq employees and thousands of u.s. companies have invested in equality, diversity and inclusion. but individual companies can only do so much. structural challenges that remain must be addressed by the federal government and importantly this very committee. the patchwork of state laws across 29 states where lgbtq americans are not protected stands in the way of progress. i ask this committee to undertake this important work and out leadership and our companies stand ready to support you in it. thank you for your time today
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and i look forward to your questions. >> thank you so much, mr. sears, and to all of the expert witnesses today. i cannot tell you how informative, how needed, and how impressive you were in providing information to us and with that said, i now recognize myself for five minutes for questions. we've heard a lot about the exclusion and the impact as it relates to employment, as it relates to housing, as it relates to finances and a whole host of things. earlier in my opening statement i talked about being at the metro school. there was a young black man that came up to me who i had mentored. and he shared his experiences over the last few years. and i want to say to him, thank you. thank you for your work.
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and thank you for your paper, in writing about how we are still dealing with racism. and how we are still evaluating efficacy of initiatives. and let me share with everyone this quote. he said, for example, financial support of the initiatives are not always present in the amount that's needed. we heard that from you. one of the most frequently reported suggestions for better efficacy and equity is better and more commitment to financial support of the initiatives over a long period of time. we need to give more support to our topic today and hopefully this is just opening the door. with that, let me ask mick watson, there are individuals in the lgbtq community plus that feel alienated from accessing
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traditional financial services due to implicit and explicit biases from bank employees. could you recommend some suggestions for practices that financial institutions can employ or create to be more inclusive? >> so the -- yeah, as you mentioned, lgbtq people and particularly transgender and gender non confirming people do experience harassing and insensitive treatment, frequently from customer service representatives and from financial professionals when they seek financial services. and in order to address that, i do think that it would be behoove many financial firms and professionals to engage in cultural competency training in order to increase their
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understanding and awareness of lgbtq people's identities and how to provide sensitive and affirming services for them. >> okay. thank you only because the clock is ticking. ms. johnson, at the federal level, there are no fair housing or credit protections based on sexual orientation or gender identity. can you share with us if you have had any experiences with lgbtq plus individuals being denied housing due to the absence of these protections? is ms. johnson still with us? >> ms. walker? >> i'm sorry, ms. walker. >> yes. okay. >> i am so sorry. >> yes, many trans people are denied because of their --
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because their name might not match their documents. and they can be refused housing for that. and most staff are not -- do not have cultural sensitivity training and are not prepared to meet with a transgender person. i mean, some of the ignorance against transgender is willful ignorance and they misgender trans people, which i would consider as hate speech. however, with more ongoing cultural sensitivity trainings, to handle tgnc and be customers, i think would be appropriate. and also to change the documentation. change it in the computer. and also it is very important to start collecting data on us. currently data is not being
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collected on tgncb community. >> thank you ms. johnson. got it right that time. now, mr. johns, there is a poll from the human rights campaign that revealed that the covid-19 pandemic positioned many lgbtq plus individuals at a greater risk of being unemployed. any comments on that? >> yeah, we should be clear that black people generally and lgbtq people are most likely to be underemployed or unemployed and show up in places where we are exposed to the greatest level of risk. so be provided in places such as loan approving, loan forgiveness and other forms of reparation and support are incredibly important while we continue to work through the pandemic inspired by the novel coronavirus. >> thank you so much. and my time is up. at this time i would like to go to the gentlewoman from missouri, ms. wagner, who is now
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recognized five minutes. >> i thank the chair. mr. sears, could you elaborate, tell me why is access to credit important in achieving economic freedom and prosperity? just in general, before we set the table here. >> sure. sure. well thank you for the question. and thank you for your support of this work. i don't think five minutes is going to give us nearly enough time to answer that question unfortunately. as my colleagues have noted, access to capital in our country is the underpinning of literally everything that moves our economy. if lgbtq people can't have access to mortgages, we can't own homes. if we end up paying more aprs, as my colleague spencer mentioned, we are literally being taken advantage of by the system. so if we look at even the bill that is under discussion, it is
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about reporting. it is about making sure lgbtq people are listed in that definition of diversity so that we can measure access to credit and housing and actually how that does impact our economic outcomes. >> and how can our financial institutions build relationships to foster financial literacy, for instance? >> well interestingly, they have been for many, many years. one of my favorite programs at merrill lynch many years ago called ipo, investing pays off. that was started almost 25 years ago when the founder, charles merrill, the idea that charlie merrill the founder, was write -- and how widows of world war ii veterans could invest in their pensions. the opportunity to expand and for many years, and i think they are significant. investing pays off for merrill or 10,000 businesses from goldman sachs. there are significant investments these companies are making.
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but the challenge is we don't have the numbers. we don't have the ability for these institutions to provide the access because we're not counted ads an lgbtq community. if goldman wants to expand to focus on lgbtq small businesses, the chamber of commerce is the only place we can go for that data. congress does not have that data. we can start to be a part of it. >> well, i thank you for that. and that then kind of tees things up for max watson because you talk max watson about data collection. and can you elaborate on that a little bit more as mr. sears has just kind of teed up here. >> so there is a significant information gap about lgbtq people because there is inadequate data collection of sexual orientation and gender identity in federal surveys. so it is important for all data collections where we are examining economic well-being. but really just our communities overall that we include
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questions that ask people about their gender identity, their sex as assigned at birth and their sexual orientation. and that would vastly improve our understanding of unique circumstances that lgbtq people experience. and also it is important to include these in enforcement data collections such as mortgage disclosure act or the forthcoming 1071 data collection for small businesses. >> thank you. and mr. sears, what steps can financial institutions take to support the un -and under banked communities? what are some of your thoughts in that arena? >> at the very least looking at the policies, lgbtq people are still excluded from so many policies. i would use hsbc life as a great sample. they remote the definition of
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insurable interest to expand the definition to include lgbtq families, including in places like asia where gay couples still have no relationship recognition. and if you look at the policies, there are significant opportunities to identify those exact same areas. if we're not counted in how these companies approach, then they are not going to be able to include us cross the board. >> right. well, thank you very much. thank you all for your testimony here today. madam chairman, i will yield back the brief time that i have left. thank you. >> and thank you so much. that was our ranking member, congresswoman ann waters. congresswoman ann wagner. and i'm saying waters because i now see that our chair of the financial services committee is in the room. and so at this time it gives me great pleasure to yield to chairwoman waters. >> thank you very much ms. beatty. i appreciate the opportunity.
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and i just wanted to make clear that in march of 2021, the consumer financial protection bureau issued an interpretive rule that clarified that the equal credit opportunity act which outlaws discrimination in lending and credit decisions includes absolutely protections against sexual orientation, discrimination and gender identity discrimination. i just want to go further with a question. about housing barriers. a large body of research, as i think had been indicated, demonstrates that discrimination threatens access to housing and the stability of individuals in the lgbtq plus community. members of the lgbtq plus community are more likely to experience homelessness while enduring discrimination and harassment that extends their length of homelessness. there are approximately 8,900
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homeless youth in los angeles county identifying as lgbtq transgender individuals in particular are at an increased risk for violence and discrimination that keep them from accessing necessary shelter and services. in april issued program guidance on housing and shelters for transgender people which includes using transgender inclusive language to promote safety and holding staff and residents accountable for behavior within shelters. i just want to go a point of discussion that was not necessarily included in this discussion today. and i don't think that when our
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witnesses came today they were asked to include any information about something that is happening in our society today as it relates to transgender. there is a discussion going on right now, a big discussion, and it's about the closing, and it is about david chappelle. and it is about a woman that we learned about, who evidently committed suicide after identifying and working with and opening a show that she'd been invited to participate in by david chapelle. and i have real, real sad thoughts about her. i think her name is daphne dorman. and i tear up when i think about here. and of course david chapelle is a brilliant comedian. and there is this discussion going on.
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and i'm trying to listen to everything that's been said from the transgender community or from david chapelle, on and on and on. i don't want to get into that today but i don't want us to pretend that this is not going on and that we are only concerned about the housing and the homelessness and all of that. we're all concerned about all of that. but we're also concerned about another kind of discussion that is going on. and while i'm not going to ask any particular questions about it today, i would ask that ms. tonya johnson walker please give me a call and i will arrange a meeting with myself and ms. beatty because i want to talk to you, and i want you to share with me what you think is going on, what you feel, and how -- and what way can we show our concern.
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with that i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you so much to chairwoman waters for extending that invitation again. thank you. the gentlemen from ohio, mr. gonzalez, is now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, chairwoman beatty and ranking member wagner for holding this hearing today, and thank you for our witnesses for joining us today. and thank you for sharing your stories and how they impacted your lives and also the lives of the communities that you so passionately advocate on behalf of. and the work you continue to do to advocate to those in similar situations is admirable. i think it's fair to say, and certainly hope so, no one on this committee or subcommittee condones any sort of racism, hate or discrimination. i believe that. i believe people should not have to live in fear of violence being perpetrated towards them because of who they are. additionally i want to extend my
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thanks to miss tonya. we have veterans day coming up and you served our country quite admirably and we ee our zeep of the respects to those who have worn our country's it's a big sacrifice and one we're grateful for. in the united states i think all people should have access to economic opportunities to create a better future for themselves and their loved ones. that's one of my top priorities here on congress -- in congress and on this committee is how do we empower more families no matter what background you come from to make sure that everybody has an opportunity at the american dream? i'm the son of immigrants. my family -- my father immigrated here from cuba in the '60s. certainly had to overcome various barriers throughout his life. and we want to make sure on this committee we eliminate as many of those barriers as humanly possible for everybody. and with that i have proudly
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supported homeownership legislation that would extend protections to people who are discriminated against. it's my hope we can use this hearing and find where bipartisan solutions or problems may exist. ms. tonia, i want to start with you. you provided a list that hud could represent. could you detail for your community what some of that guidance could look like, and what are the best practices you would think would have the biggest impact for these
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communities? >> hello. well, first of all, definitely we need culture sensitivity training for all staff and folks doing business with shelters. we need supportive housing, you know, fully staffed supportive housing. with social workers, mental health professionals and medical care on staff. we also need transitional and permanent housing to help address, you know, the need of our community so we need like wraparound services i would say in these shelters and in this transitional housing to
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adequately provide to the community at this point. >> this is a follow-up. on the sensitivity training side i guess that makes a lot of sense. i guess my question when confronted with some of the challenge in the shelters with folks they may not be making folks feel welcome as they otherwise should. is it your belief what i would call accidental ignorance, hey, i don't know what to say or do in this situation, or do you think it's more willful discrimination or sort of a combo of both? >> i believe it's a combo of both. and lack of culture sensitivity training. i think, you know, during covid trans people that were in shelters were allowed to stay in their own room. i thought that that was wonderful, and i like that model, and i think we should keep that model.
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transgender people are not safe in single-sex shelters which is the male or the female. so i believe that, you know, if trans people are housed in their own rooms that it's safer for them. and i think they should have wraparound services in these shelters to help transgender folks succeed in society and not have to return to the shelter. but also to have life skills training available so they'll learn how to balance a checkbook, how to do credit. >> gentleman's time has expired, but thank you. and i have a feeling we're going to be coming back asking you a lot of questions. again, thank you. the gentlewoman from messing,
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ms. tlaib, is now recognized for five minutes. >> i appreciate all of you so much in speaking this truth, again, that is missing in congress. i want to give you some time to kind of go down some facts that i think are important. one fact is that an average of only about 49% of lgbtq plus americans own a home, which is far less than the overall average. these facts are even lower for lgbtq plus people of color. that's only 35% of lgbtq plus individuals, and it's even lower than average. 35% of for lgbtq latinos and 30% for black lgbtq americans to own their home. another fact which i think is
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really dramatic is lgbtq plus couples are 73% more likely to be denied residential mortgages compared to their peers, which i know chairwoman waters wants to hear about them. the other is the national transgender survey 56% of native-americans, 52% of black folks, 51% of latinx responded moved into a less desirable home or apartment because of transgender bias forced on them even though, again, they could and wanted better housing. these are just a few of countless statistics i think are really important. but as you can all see and for many of my colleagues housing discrimination against our lgbtq americans is a major crisis in our country. three years ago in michigan -- only about three years ago now in michigan a person could actually be fired from their jobs simply because of who they
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love. fortunately, governor whitmer eliminated that gross civil rights violation, but it shows how predatory these discriminatory laws remain in modern times. and so i wanted to leave some time for you as well as others on the panel to really talk about things that comes with living as you are in our country and how do you think we should be addressing it in congress. >> if i may, i thank you for those comments, representative tlaib. one is congresswoman, maxine waters, thank you for your
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leadership. we include a section in the testimony describing the epidemic of violence our trans community members are facing and very much related to the previous conversation about the challenges with shelters, i want to offer up two things that are potential remedies that would prevent people from needing shelter and one is decriminalizing sex work. it is often the case black trans women are -- and so we should have more meaningful conversations at the federal level about decriminalizing that work. and very much related to that there are a number of black lgbtq plus folks who also face economic hardship as a result of cannabis use or distribution. so decriminalizing cannabis is also something that should be
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considered as we have this conversation. >> no one else on the panel has more to share. i yield back to the chairwoman. >> thank you so much for your comments, and thank you to the witnesses for responding to her comment. ranking member wagoner, do you have anymore republican members in the queue? >> not on yet but i'll let you proceed through the ranks and see who joins. >> thank you so much. the gentlewoman from pennsylvania, ms. dean, is now recognized for five minutes. >> i thank you wrosh chair. are you able to hear me? >> yes, we can hear you. proceed. >> thank you very much. and thank you to those who came here today to offer your powerful testimony. i've been thinking a lot about small businesses. i represent suburban philadelphia and building a small business is the dream of many americans.
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and i'm particularly interested in what are the obstacles lgbtq owners face in engaging the system? >> i want to thank you for that -- >> in the pennsylvania house. >> he's quite a tremendous leader in our community and in our state. to your question i would say several things. i'll take it out of lgbtq for a second. because of discrimination that still exists in corporate america structure despite the fact that 92% of fortune 500 companies have nondiscrimination policies we all live and work in
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states that don't have that as a trickle down. and so the reason for the small businesses i think is number one based on that. then when they get into the marketplace you look at access to discrimination still exists that allows people to deny service and deny credit and access to people based on quote-unquote sincerely held religious beliefs. and that is something we've not talked about in this committee yet, but i do think the right to discriminate by religion has to be talked about. and it's a false choice we've created. over half of lgbtq americans consider themselves religious. it has impact on small businesses, impact on discrimination, impact on the laws chairwoman waters
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mentioned. they were driven by religious animus, marginalizing and demonizing the most vulnerable of our communities primarily because these young people want to play a sport. so the opportunity for us at the small business level all the way through the fortune 500 to eredicate this situation is significant. >> do you want to add to that? and i'm interested the problem of accessing capital. >> yes, ma'am. >> i'll say three things related to that. i want to underscore everything my colleague said. one, i mentioned a bit about it in the testimony. when i think about the experience our deputy director had with regard to accessing capital for a home loan often discrimination and ability for the financial service provider or the institution to make decisions about capital are --
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it is a challenge, right? it is about a person sitting across the desk from another person or when we think about covid making a determination on things outside their financial portfolio. and the one thing i think is most important in this context acknowledging the point congresswoman waters made about the guidance is what we know often members of our community are discriminated, denied access to capital. we're seldom given actual meaningful reasons for that. and there's no private recourse or action once that happens to members of our community. passing the equality act as it has been passed in the house would address that. and it's ensuring future civil rights legislation would also help to address moments when financial service providers and institutions fail to do the things they otherwise should be doing. >> thank you for all that important information.
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and finally, i'll draes this to you. i read a very shameful statistic. according to our philadelphia inquirer, 40% or more people age 18 to 26 of people in philadelphia which is my neighboring district and my home city who experience homelessness identify as lgbtq. think about that. 40% of our homeless are lgbtq. what are the best practices for assisting lgbtq plus youth to become connected to permanent housing? >> well, first of all, we need to meet the youth where they are. i worked with housing works and we used a harm reduction approach to meeting with the youth, and also we need shelters
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and transitional and permanent housing with wraparound services in these shelters and in this transitional housing to support this to make sure they're getting their nutrition. >> my time has expired. i yield back but i'd love to get more information from you off-line. >> again, to the witness, thank you. you're going to be very popular as well as the other witnesses with us today. but the gentle lady's time has expired. and now the gentlewoman from texas, ms. garcia, who is also the vice chair on the subcommittee of diversity and inclusion is now recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. and thank you for bringing our attention to this very important hearing. and i first want to start by
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also congratulates tonia and thanking her for her years of service. and i know veterans day is not until later this week, but happy veterans day. and thank you for your service, and i hope that you completed because that was my first degree in social work so i hope you finish. we're very lgbtq friendly in houston, so come on down. you know, this has been a very interesting discussion this morning because we know the difficulties the lgbtq community face are not discussed often enough. so thank you, again, madam chair, for underscoring and highlighting this very important issue. your struggles and how they were treated are legitimate. we need to focus on them and make sure that they truly do have the economic freedom to
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build their wealth, to build their homes and to do as stated by the ranking member -- have the economic freedom we should have for all americans. of course all this is compounded when they coincide with other barriers like race, ethnicity to name a few. lgbtq plus people are more likely to be underbanked and more likely to experience various credit access. i've said before access to credit is access to building wealth. this lack of access is deeply concerning. mr. sears, a 2020 quality report found nondiscrimination protections would result in the addition of hundreds of thousand of new jobs and millions of dollars added to the gdp and tax receipts. i think you kind of alluded to that when you mentioned and i was very surprised when you said one-third of lgbtq workers -- they'll take a one-third pay cut
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to go to a friendlier state. is the reverse true, with texas passing a really horrible anti-transbill this last session, can we expect people to leave the state because we're now becoming more and more unfriendly? >> the short answer is yes, absolutely. i just spent this last week in california meeting with leaders in the tech community, and the texas bill in particular and there are eight other states that have passed anti-trans bills specifically around youth. as we saw in north carolina, so many companies decided not to invest in north carolina. we had almost $4 billion worth of assets invested in north carolina and $6 billion invested in texas of assets that said the discriminatory policies that
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both north carolina and texas around trans people increase the risk in the marketplace. so there is a director return on investment for equality, and there's a direct economic consequence to discrimination, so the short answer is, yes, absolutely. companies pay attention significantly because their youth especially gen z and gen y won't stand for it. if those companies are based in states lgbtq unfriendly which so many states increasingly are, it's an economic problem. >> there's a benefit but also i don't want to say a penalty but i guess it is. that's why it's so important to highlight these issues. you do important work addressing the barriers your community faces every day. can you speak to the issues that are created when the financial services industry is not actively measuring, quantifying
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and targeting relief to the lgbtq community? >> thank you. so i do think that the lack of attention financial firms are paying to the lgbtq community and the unique issues that they experience, you know, are really largely because the financial services industry, you know, is very traditional and is frequently relying on systems that were designed with heterosexual, cisgender and heteronormative assumptions in mind. so those systems are less able to, you know, process the unique needs of lgbtq people and to
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accommodate things such as name changes or to recognize people who are of nonnormative genders. >> i'm sorry, the gentle lady's time is up, but thank you very much to the witness and thank you to our vice chair garcia. the gentleman from massachusetts is now recognized and he is also the vice chair of the full committee of financial services. you're now recognized for five minutes. >> mr. chair, my question is for you on housing. a study by hud in 2013 measured the treatment of same sex couples they received when inquiring about apartments advertised online as compared to how similar heterosexual couples are treatment. and it was the first time hud had ever studied housing
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discrimination found same sex couples received a lower response rate than heterosexual couples. the financial services committee has had several hearings regarding the housing, health and education for young people. how has hud worked to remedy the discrimination unveiled by the 2013 study, and has the agency continued to track any bias for same sex couples? >> i appreciate that. to your first question what has been done i'll name two things. one is the provision of housing vouchers and otherwise subsidies for housing programs for homeless and low income people. they have not been targeted with regard to lgbtqi plus folks. that is particular issue when we think about the comment our congresswoman maxine waters
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often acknowledging a disproportionate share of youth homeless or the child welfare that are homeless identified to be lgbtqi plus. the second part of your question if i understood it correctly is have there been accountability around those actions? was that it? >> accountability but also has hud continued to your knowledge continued to track any type of bias or action in homeowner sales to same sex couples? >> i do not have the answer to that question, but we'll work with our deputy director to circle back and make sure we provide you with one. what we do know and i think this was made earlier by nick is that there are very few if any data collections by enterprises that account for intersectional identities. so most surveys, and i make this point in my formal testimony, most surveys, for example, will ask about rates or ethnicity when engaging with banks or
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schools but will not ask about sexual identity, orientation or expression. when you think about the cdc or nih, they may ask questions but not ask for questions that include race or ethnicity. we should think about federal data and collection efforts. >> i appreciate that response, and i want to give anybody else on the panel an opportunity to weigh in on housing discrimination against the lgbtqi community. all right, then madam chair, i yield back the balance of my time. >> my mute button was stuck. thank you so much to our vice chair, and let me say thank you to all of our witnesses today
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and also to the chair of the financial services committee for joining us for this full hearing. ranking member wagner, we have exhausted all of our members. if you have no other members coming in accordance with our rules i can thank our witnesses and adjourn the hearing. >> i think all of our witnesses have been most informed by the court to things as we move forward, and i know we'll continue the dialogues we've begun here today. so i thank you, madam chairwoman. i yield back. >> thank you. and again we thank the witnesses, and i can tell you by the questions from both sides of the aisle we have a lot more that we want to hear from you, a lot more to hear and for the dni subcommittee we are thankful for you in helping us grow.
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without objection we'll have five legislative days in which to submit additional questions to witnesses to the chair which will be forwarded to the witnesses for their responses. i ask the witnesses to respond as promptly as you are able. without objection all members will have five legislative days of which to submit extraneous materials to the chair for inclusion. i remind members to submit written questions and materials for the record to the e-mail address provided to your staff. without objections i would like to enter statements for from the credit union national association and the human rights campaign for inclusion. with no objections the hearing is now adjourned. >> thank you, madam chair. >> so how exactly did america get up to its neck in debt? >> we believe one of the greatest characteristics of being american is that we are striving to provide equal
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opportunity for all citizens. >> c-span's video documentary competition 2022, students across the conare giving us behind the scenes looks as they work on their entries using the hashtag student cam. and if you're a middle or high school student you can join the conversation by entering the c-span student cam competition, create a 5 to 6 minute documentary using c-span video clips that answer the question how does the federal government impact your life. >> be passionate about what you're discussing to express your view no matter how large or small you think the audience will receive it to be. and know that in the greatest country in the history of the earth your view does matter. >> to all the film makers out there, remember content is king, and just remember to be as neutral and impartial as possible in your portrayal of both sides of an issue. >> c-span awards $100,000 in total cash prizes, and you'll
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