Our country has made incredible strides in pursuit of justice and equality. But Gary understands that there is still so much work left to expand and safeguard the rights of all citizens. Whether its protecting the right to vote, fighting for the LGBTQ+ community, or working towards a more effective criminal legal system, he is committed to building a more just and equitable society in Michigan and across the country.
Gary understands that the right to vote is the foundation of our democracy. Every Michigander should have the freedom to have their voice heard in our elections. That’s why Gary has consistently supported comprehensive voting rights legislation. He cosponsored and voted to advance the Freedom to Vote Act, historic legislation that sets baseline national standards to protect the right to vote, counter election denial, end partisan gerrymandering, and help get big money out of politics. He also cosponsored and voted to advance the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, which would expand and strengthen the government’s ability to respond to voter discrimination. Gary supports commonsense efforts to modernize our voter registration system, reduce long wait times, and prohibit deceptive practices that could discourage voting. And with the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a vital part of the Voting Rights Act, Gary is committed to restoring the law and making sure it protects the right of all citizens to fully participate in our democratic process.
Every Michigander should be able to build a life with the person they love. That’s why Gary helped pass into law the Respect for Marriage Act in the fall of 2022, which protects the federal right to same-sex marriage. But LGBTQ+ Americans across the country still lack many legal protections afforded to other citizens. Our patchwork of anti-discrimination laws leaves millions of people without a clear right to rent an apartment, eat at a restaurant, apply for a credit card, or keep their jobs simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. That’s why he cosponsored the Equality Act – legislation that would ban discrimination against LGBTQ+ Americans, just as religious, racial, and ethnic discrimination are illegal everywhere in the United States.
Our criminal legal system should be built on the ideals of justice and fairness. But in practice, it is marred by wasted resources, bureaucratic hurdles, racial discrimination, and socioeconomic disparities. Gary was proud to support the Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act (FIRST STEP) Act, which was signed into law in December 2018. This legislation addresses important issues in sentencing and prison reform – making mandatory minimums more flexible, restructuring sentence guidelines for drug offenses, and expanding drug abuse treatment for incarcerated people.