Equality Hero: Congressman Rush Holt
Congressman Rush Holt leads the way for full equal rights for transgender, lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans.
It is my pleasure to induct Representative Rush Holt (D) of New Jersey. In standing up for LGBT rights, Representative Holt often quotes the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "the time is always right to do the right thing." Since joining Congress in 1999, Representative Holt has been a dedicated supporter of equal rights and has fought against discrimination towards the LGBT community, calling it "the next chapter in our struggle for civil rights for all."
I began my term in the Small Business Administration (SBA) in 1998 and then first met Representative Holt shortly thereafter, in 1999. That year there was terrible flooding in New Jersey and we met to see how the SBA could be of help to businesses in his district. We also got to know each other while exploring ways for the SBA to assist women small business owners in his district, another important initiative he is committed to. I first knew Representative Holt as an educator and someone concerned about the citizens of New Jersey. What I was glad to learn is how thoughtful and committed Representative Holt also is on LGBT issues.
Representative Holt has consistently supported same sex marriages, the ending of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, hate crimes legislation that includes LGBT individuals, and, most recently, an inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act that provides employment protection for sexual orientation as well as gender identity. Representative Holt has received numerous awards and citations for his work, including honors from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Garden State Equality, and the National Center for Transgender Equality.
At the awards dinner when Representative Holt received the 2008 Leadership Award, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force said, "The Task Force and the broader LGBT community is eternally grateful to Congressman Holt for his courage and commitment. We are lucky to have an ally who shares our uncompromising dedication to full LGBT equality." I would like to echo that sentiment and heartily agree that we are fortunate to have such a strong supporter in Representative Holt.
| || ||Induction by Fred P. Hochberg |
Fred P. Hochberg is the chair of the Export-Import Bank, appointed by President Obama in January 2009. He is the former Dean of Milano The New School for Management and Urban Policy, and has more than 30 years of experience in business, government, and philanthropy. He served as acting administrator of the Small Business Administration under President Clinton and was president and COO of the Lillian Vernon Corporation.