Washington Blade
July 26, 2013

A Senate panel approved as part of a major financial services spending bill on Thursday a measure that would ensure non-discrimination for LGBT people as part of the juror selection process.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the measure, known as the Jury ACCESS Act, as part of the fiscal year 2014 financial services appropriations bill, which was reported out of committee by a vote of 16-14.

The larger measure funds the Treasury Department and other finance-related government institutions like the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. The LGBT measure was included as part of the base bill.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), who introduced the LGBT bill in January, said in a statement the move would ensure that LGBT people don’t face discrimination as part of the juror selection process.

“Discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity simply has no place in the United States,” Shaheen said. “The judicial process should represent our nation’s principles of inclusion and acceptance, and eliminating the discriminatory exclusion of LGBT jurors is a necessary step to meeting that goal.”