Congressman Johnson Votes to Secure Equality in Access to Credit for LGBTQ Small Businesses
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Rep. Hank Johnson (Ga-04) voted for H.R. 1443, the LGBTQ Business Equal Credit Enforcement and Investment Act, which improves equal access to credit for LGBTQ-owned small businesses by taking steps to improve data collection by financial institutions. This important bill will improve transparency around lending practices at financial institutions so that communities, government agencies and lenders can advance fair and equal credit access for the LGBTQ business community.
“As we Build Back Better after this pandemic, it is essential that we ensure that all of our small businesses have the resources they need to survive and thrive,” said Rep. Johnson. “Until we understand the extent of anti-LGBTQ discrimination in lending, we cannot guarantee that every small business owner has fair access to credit. This bill fights back against this shameful discrimination and improves equal access to these vital financial lifelines.”
A study by Iowa State University found that LGBTQ individuals applying for mortgages are 73 percent more likely to be denied, while additional research has shown clear discrimination against the LGBTQ community when applying for other forms of credit. With 1.4 million LGBTQ-owned businesses around the nation, it is essential to have a better understanding of small business lending practices to root out any anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
While financial institutions are required to collect data on business owners’ sex, race and ethnicity on loan applications, there is currently no legal requirement to collect data on self-identified sexual orientation or gender identity. This bill will require financial institutions to begin collecting this data, as well as update the Equal Credit Opportunity Act to include LGBTQ-owned businesses, so governments and institutions can address discrimination and improve access to credit for LGBTQ businesses.
“No one should be subjected to discrimination simply because of who they are or who they love,” Rep. Johnson continued. “As we continue to celebrate Pride Month, I am proud to support this important legislation, which will help ensure our LGBTQ business owners are treated fairly, help our LGBTQ community build wealth and advance our nation’s founding promise of equality for all.”
Last week, House Republicans blocked passage of H.R. 1443 under suspension of the rules, despite strong bipartisan support in Committee and on the Floor. After passing the House today in regular order, the bill heads to the Senate for consideration.