Equality New York joins LGBTQI communities across New York in mourning the loss of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter, a steadfast advocate and forceful leader for equality and civil rights. Louise committed her life to serving the people of Western New York, first in the Monroe County Legislature and the New York State Assembly, then over three decades in the US House of Representatives. She was a leader for LGBTQI rights throughout her career, even when it was unpopular and put her own political career at risk. In 1996, Louise was one of only 67 representatives to vote against the Defense of Marriage Act which banned federal recognition of same-sex marriages.
While her contributions to our community are too numerous to mention in this statement, she will be remembered for her early and consistent contributions to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” her strong personal support for the trans community, her efforts to pass hate crimes legislation, and her work to ban discrimination against LGBTQI Americans in all parts of life.
Louise Slaughter’s memory will go on to serve as an example of political bravery and independence.
“For our community, she is a beacon of hope that will shine toward truth, for she always looked toward the future and what was possible. And personally, as an openly gay man, she helped convince me to run for and win a seat in the NYS Assembly. She will always be a friend and mentor.”
Harry Bronson, New York State Assembly, 138th District
“Louise was a fighter for this community without parallel. No one worked harder or smarter. Beyond our district, if you cared about access to healthcare, equality and fairness, science and fact-based decision making and a spirited fighter for working families, Louise was always your ally.”
Matt Haag, Former Rochester City Council member-at-large
“The Out Alliance is deeply saddened by the news of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. Louise was a friend to our agency, she was always present in our ROC Pride parade. She was an advocate for our community at a time when it was politically unpopular. She was committed to serving Rochester and Western N.Y, she will be deeply missed. Our thoughts are with her family at this most difficult time.”
Jeff Myers, Interim Executive Director, Out Alliance
“In any time Representative Slaughter’s loss would be felt acutely, but in today’s America, losing her leadership feels like a particularly difficult loss. Her advocacy for LGBTQI people time and again stands out even among our biggest supporters. We are proud that she is part of our New York and honor her memory by continuing the fight. We send our deepest condolences to her family, friends, and all who knew her.
Gabriel Blau, Co-Chair, Equality New York
“I’m deeply saddened by the passing of Congresswoman Louise Slaughter. She was a tough and tenacious fighter for women, working people, and all who were on the margins of society. Her trailblazing life of service was powerful and will long be remembered. This is an incredible loss for all New Yorkers, and I extend my deepest condolences to her loved ones at this difficult time,”
New York City Comptroller Scott M. Stringer
I’m deeply saddened by the passing of Louise Slaughter. I always admired her ability stand up fiercely for what she believed in and to fo it with Southern charm. Her commitment to equality for the LGBT community and for the advancement of women’s rights was second to none. Louise will be missed across New York. Heartfelt condolences to her family & friends.
NYS Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick, 66th AD
Representative Louise Slaughter was a fierce champion for all New Yorkers— particularly for the most vulnerable. From her early opposition to the hateful and unconstitutional “Defense of Marriage Act” to her advocacy on behalf of victims of hate violence, our community could always count on her to be standing at our side. Rep. Slaughter gave voice to those struggling to be heard. Her legacy will live on. Eric Lesh, Executive Director, LGBT Bar Association of New York