Since his election to the U.S. Congress, Michaud has had a strong record of standing up for LGBT issues, including support for the freedom to marry in Maine, opposition to “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” opposition to including discrimination in the U.S. Constitution and cosponsorship of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act for his entire tenure in Congress.
During his time in Congress, Michaud has a 95.4 percent lifetime rating from the Human Rights Campaign on scored votes.
2013: Michaud signed a bipartisan letter to Secretary of State Kerry re: protection of LGBT athletes during 2014. Winter Games Michaud joined 86 members signing onto the letter penned by New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), stating, “The United States must do everything we can to protect those Americans who are traveling to Russia for the Olympic and Paralympic Games this winter. Russia's anti-LGBT laws defy basic human rights that should be guaranteed to everyone at all times and in all places."
2013: Michaud applauded SCOTUS Decision on DOMA. Michaud issued a statement applauding U.S. Supreme Court justices for striking down DOMA and confirming his YES vote on the marriage question in Maine in 2012. "I applaud the justices for striking down the discriminatory ban that prohibits legally married same-sex couples and their children in states like Maine from receiving all of the rights, protections and responsibilities marriage affords," he said in a press release. "I was proud to speak out publicly for the freedom to marry when Question 1 was on the ballot last year, and I was personally proud to vote 'Yes' to allow all loving, committed couples in our state to obtain a marriage license."
2013: Michaud, Pingree, Sen. King joined 209 members in filing amicus brief on DOMA case before Supreme Court. The brief was filed in SCOTUS in U.S. v. Edith “Edie” Schlain Windsor, a landmark challenge to Section 3 of the 1996 DOMA. Section 3 defines marriage for purposes of federal law as "only a legal union between one man and one woman," excluding legally married same-sex couples from all marriage-based federal responsibilities and rights. A total of 40 senators and 172 members of the House signed onto the brief.
2013: Michaud co-sponsored latest version of ENDA. The latest version of ENDA, with Michaud among 158 co-sponsors, was reintroduced in the U.S. House on April 25.
2013: Michaud co-sponsored the Respect for Marriage Act, H.R. 2523. Respect for Marriage Act would amend the Defense of Marriage Act to repeal a provision that prohibited a state, territory, possession or Indian tribe from being required to recognize any public act, record or judicial proceeding of any other state, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a same sex marriage.
2013: Michaud is a co-sponsor of the Restore Honor for Service Members Act, HR 2839. Restore Honor to Service Members Act - Requires appropriate military record correction boards or discharge review boards to review the discharge characterization of any former members of the Armed Forces requesting a review who were discharged because of their sexual orientation. Permits such boards to change a characterization to honorable if such characterization is any characterization except honorable.
2012: Michaud vocally supported marriage equality during the Yes on 1 campaign.
2012: Michaud pushed to protect LGBT families from separations in immigration system. The members sent a letter again to the Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano to recognize, explicitly and in writing, the ties of a same-sex partner or spouse as a positive factor for discretionary relief in immigration enforcement deportation cases.
2011: Michaud co-sponsored the Uniting American Families Act, H.R. 1537. The bill would have amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide a mechanism for United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor their permanent partners for residence in the United States.
2011: Michaud co-sponsored the Tax Parity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act, H.R. 2088. Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act would have amended the Internal Revenue Code to extend the exclusion from gross income for employer-provided health coverage for spouses and children to other qualifying employee beneficiaries.
2010: Michaud supported DADT policy lift. Michaud agreed with reforming Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy prohibiting gay and lesbian people from serving openly in the military.
- “U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District, said any American who wants to serve his or her country should be 'provided an equal opportunity to do so. Shortages in military personnel and the repeated activation of National Guard units have put a serious strain on our military and so many families,' the Democrat said. 'Given these realities, I am distressed that the military would be turning willing people away for nonperformance-related reasons.'"
- Michaud voted for an amendment that would repeal the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy and allow gay men and women to serve openly in the United States military. Voted for the Rep. Davis (D-Calif.) motion to concur in the Senate amendment to the bill with a House amendment that would allow for the repeal of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which prohibits military service by openly gay men and women, after certain requirements are met, including the submission of a written certification, signed by the president, the secretary of defense, and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that the repeal is consistent with military readiness and effectiveness and that they have considered the recommendations of the Comprehensive Review Working Group and prepared the necessary policies and regulations to implement the repeal.”
- Michaud supported an amendment to National Defense Authorization Act that would repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”
- Michaud backed Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Repeal Act of 2010 (H.R. 2965)
2009: Michaud co-sponsored ENDA, H.R. 3017. Michaud has cosponsored ENDA throughout his congressional career.
2009, 2007, 2005 and 2003: Michaud co-sponsored a bill that included sexual orientation in the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913). The Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act (H.R. 1913) would expand federal jurisdiction to reach serious, violent hate crimes perpetrated because of the victim’s race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability. The House passed the bill.
2007: Michaud stood with EqualityMaine and opposed a badly compromised ENDA. Michaud was a co-sponsor of ENDA Michaud voted against the Employer Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a major bipartisan success for gay rights. He said at the time he could not support H.R. 3685 because it did not include transgendered persons in the non-discrimination specifications. The House passed the bill. Michaud voted against this version of the bill because it removed gender identity and expression from protection. EqualityMaine urged a “no” vote and praised Michaud's vote.
2007: Michaud voted for bipartisan House equivalent of Matthew Shepard Act. Michaud voted for the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act that would make it a federal crime to assault a homosexual. The Senate bill was named for a young gay man whose murder in 1998 was chronicled in the stage play “The Laramie Project.”
2007: Michaud co-sponsored the Military Readiness Enhancement Act of 2007 (H.R. 1246). The bill repealed the discriminatory “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. The bill prohibited the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security with respect to the Coast Guard when it is not operating as a service in the Navy, from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation against any member of the armed forces or any person seeking to become a member. Authorizes the re-accession into the armed forces of otherwise qualified individuals previously separated for homosexuality, bisexuality, or homosexual conduct.
2007: Michaud voted against a procedural vote to the Accountability in Contracting Act, which sought to protect military recruiters’ rights on college campuses from homosexual groups and others saying they are opposed to the military’s prohibition of homosexuals. Accountability in Contracting Act. H.R. 1362, a procedural vote to the Accountability in Contracting Act (“Motion to Recommit the bill with Instructions) which will protect military recruiters’ rights on college campuses from homosexual groups and others saying they are opposed to the military’s prohibition of homosexuals. Procedural vote was won.
2007: Michaud co-sponsored the Uniting American Families Act, H.R. 2221. The bill would have amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide a mechanism for United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor their permanent partners for residence in the United States.
2007: Michaud opposed an effort by Rep. Buck McKeon to remove civil rights protections for Head Start employees. McKeon’s motion would have repealed longstanding protections designed to protect teachers, staff and parent volunteers from discrimination based on their religion in federally funded Head Start programs.
2007: Michaud co-sponsored the Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act of 2003, H.R. 1820. Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act would have amended the Internal Revenue Code to extend the exclusion from gross income for employer-provided health coverage for spouses and children to other qualifying employee beneficiaries.
2006: Michaud voted no on the Federal Marriage Amendment. Federal Marriage Amendment (H.J. Res. 88). The Federal Marriage Amendment would enshrine discrimination into the U.S. Constitution by defining marriage as the union between one man and one woman and prohibiting federal and state laws from conferring same-sex couples with
marital status and “the legal incidents thereof.” The amendment would thereby endanger civil unions and domestic partnership benefits.
2004 and 2006: Michaud actively lobbied and voted against a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as consisting only of the union of a man and a woman. Voted against passage of a joint resolution to propose a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as consisting only of the union of a man and a woman. It would provide that the U.S. Constitution or any state‘s constitution could not be construed to require that marriage or any other constructs of marriage be conferred to any other union. [Rejected 236-187; R: 202-27; D: 24-159; I: 0-1, H.J. Res 106, CQ Vote #378, July 18, 2006] Voted against passage of a joint resolution to propose a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as consisting only of the union of a man and a woman. The U.S. Constitution or any state‘s constitution could not be construed to require that marriage or any other constructs of marriage be conferred to any other union.” [Rejected 227-186; R: 191-27; D: 36-158, H.J. Res 106, CQ Vote #484, Sept. 30, 2004]
2005: Michaud co-sponsored the Uniting American Families Act, H.R. 3006. The bill would have amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide a mechanism for United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor their permanent partners for residence in the United States.
2005: Michaud supported an amendment to the Child Safety Act, H.R. 3132, which would have included provisions of Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act in the bill
The amendment would have given the federal government jurisdiction to help local law enforcement confront hate violence based on sexual orientation, gender identity, gender and disability.
2005: Michaud co-sponsored the Military Readiness Enhancement Act, H.R. 1059. The bill would have repealed the discriminatory “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy.
2004: Michaud opposed House Joint Res. 106, The Federal Marriage Amendment. The so-called “Marriage Protection Amendment” would have added discrimination to the U.S. Constitution by declaring that marriage in the U.S. shall consist of only the union of a man and a woman.
2004: Michaud opposed the Marriage Protection Act of 2004, H.R. 3313. Marriage Protection Act of 2004 would have amended the federal judicial code to deny federal courts jurisdiction to hear or decide any question pertaining to the interpretation of: (1) the provision of the Defense of Marriage Act that provides that no state shall be required to give effect to any marriage between persons of the same sex under the laws of any other state; or (2) this Act.
2004: Michaud co-sponsored the Early Treatment for HIV Act of 2004, H.R. 3859. The bill would have amended title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act to give States the option of providing Medicaid coverage for certain low-income HIV-infected individuals. Provides states taking advantage of this option with an enhanced Federal Medicaid match.
2003: Michaud co-sponsored the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2003, H.R. 3285. This is the first opportunity Michaud had to support ENDA, which he has consistently cosponsored and lobbied for during his time in Congress.
2003: Michaud adopts the Policy Pledge of Non-Discrimination. Michaud was one of 131 Democrats, 18 Republicans and one independent at the time to adopt the Human Rights Campaign and the Gender Public Advocacy Coalition’s policy indicating that sexual orientation and gender identity and expression are not factors in their employment decisions.
2003: Michaud co-sponsored the Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act of 2003, H.R. 935. Tax Equity for Health Plan Beneficiaries Act of 2003 would have amended the Internal Revenue Code to extend the exclusion from gross income for employer-provided health coverage for spouses and children to other qualifying employee beneficiaries.
2003: Michaud co-sponsored the Family and Medical Leave Inclusion Act, H.R. 1430.
2003: Michaud co-sponsored the Permanent Partners Immigration Act, H.R. 832. The bill would have amended the Immigration and Nationality Act to provide a mechanism for U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to sponsor their permanent partners for residence in the U.S.
Record in the Maine Legislature:
Michaud’s record in the Maine Legislature does not reflect his current thinking or his votes since 2000. His record demonstrates that Michaud has evolved on many LGBT issues to become a strong advocate for equality, long before he came out publicly as an openly gay man. During his time in the Legislature, he voted against anti-discrimination bills on several occassions before supporting such bills beginning in 2000.
Over time, Michaud’s position has changed from supporting civil unions, including comments in 2004 and 2006 that marriage should be between a man and a woman, to full support for the freedom to marry in 2009 and 2012. Like many leaders, including Gov. John Baldacci and President Barack Obama, his position moved from support of civil unions to full marriage equality.
As The Washington Post reported in its “Who Runs Government” profile of Michaud, “...Michaud switched gears around 2000 by supporting a state discrimination ban and sponsoring legislation extending health benefits to same-sex partners of Maine state employees.”
2001: State Senator Michaud co-sponsored domestic partner benefits for state employees. Michaud co-sponsored legislation to include same- and opposite-sex domestic partners of state workers in the insurance program.
2000: State Senator Michaud supported anti-discrimination bill. Michaud supported a bill that would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, credit and public accommodations.
1988: State Representative Michaud voted to amend state constitution for gender neutral language. Michaud voted to amend Maine’s Constitution to make its language gender neutral.
1983: State Representative Michaud voted for ME Equal Rights Amendment. Michaud voted for Maine’s own Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged in this state because of sex of the individual.”