Karen has been a long supporter of the LGBT community. As an emergency room Physician Assistant in the 80s, she treated AIDS patients at the beginning of the epidemic. Today, as a member of Congress, she continues this commitment born decades ago to ensure equal treatment for LGBT Americans and for LGBT individuals across the globe who face government-sanctioned discrimination.
Karen was an early supporter of marriage equality and adamantly opposed California’s Proposition 8 in 2008. Now that all couples in the United States can marry, Karen is working to make sure that they are not punished for marrying the person whom they love.
No federal law explicitly protects LGBT people from discrimination. Karen is working to change that, and she was one of the first cosponsors of The Equality Act, a comprehensive bill that expand the 1964 Civil Rights Act's protections against racial and sex-based discrimination to include discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
Karen has been a leading voice on the international stage for the world’s LGBT citizens where she has opposed despicable laws adopted in many countries that subjugate their LGBT citizens with jail time and the death penalty.