Politics

Sean Patrick Maloney is New York’s first openly gay congressman

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloneyy
Rep. Sean Patrick MaloneyyPhoto: U.S. Congress

U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), the first openly gay person elected to Congress from New York, is currently serving as the U.S. Representative from New York’s 18th Congressional District.

His legislative priorities have included LGBTQ rights, access to drinking water, national security, veteran benefits, and combating the drug epidemic. 

House Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney At a Glance

  • Location: New York
  • Current Position: NY House Representative 18th District
  • Party Affiliation: Democrat
  • Race/Ethnicity: White/Caucasian
  • Gender Identity: Cisgender man
  • Sexual Identity: Gay
  • Pronouns: He/Him
  • LGBTQ Ally: Yes

Social Media

Facebook: Sean Patrick Maloney

Twitter: @RepSeanMaloney

Instagram: @repseanpatrickmaloney

Website: seanmaloney.com

Biography

Sean Patrick Maloney was born in Sherbrooke, Canada to American parents, but he grew up in Hanover, New Hampshire. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Virginia. He also graduated with a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia School of Law. 

Maloney began his political career as a volunteer for Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign. After Clinton’s victory, he joined Clinton’s White House staff and served for a year before moving to the private sector. Then, he worked as the chief operating officer at Kiodex, a risk-management and consulting firm for commodities traders.

He later came back to the public sector and served as deputy secretary for two consecutive New York governors: Eliot Spitzer and David Paterson.

He went back to the private sector to work as a partner in law firms. In 2013, he came back to public service after being elected as a House Representative from the 18th District of New York. He has retained this position ever since January 2013. In 2021, he became chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), the political party organization responsible for aiding Democratic congressional candidates nationwide.

He lives in Cold Spring, New York with his husband, Randy Florke, and their three adopted children. 

Sean Maloney’s stance on LGBTQ rights

Maloney is the first out gay lawmaker to be elected to Congress from New York and the first gay person to head the DCCC. He is also the co-chair of the congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus

A long-time champion of LGBTQ issues, Maloney has proudly worn his identity as a married gay lawmaker and adoptive father. He has a distinguished record of voicing his concern over anti-LGBTQ policies and taking concrete steps to spearhead change.

Same-sex marriage

Maloney led the House Democrats to pass the Respect for Marriage Act, a bill that would enshrine same-sex marriage rights into law. The bill was introduced after conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’ expressed interest in overturning Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 court decision that legalized marriage equality nationwide.

“If Republicans in Congress and their radical judges get their way, my marriage will be made illegal,” Maloney said. “Everyone, no matter their race or sexuality, deserves the right to marry the person they love.”

Same-sex couples’ right to adopt

As an adoptive father of three children, Maloney criticized the Trump administration for planning to roll back Obama-era federal funding cuts to organizations that blocked gay parents from adopting children.

“When you allow people to discriminate against [LGBTQ+] couples, you deprive children of good moms, dads, and families who are going to love them,” Maloney said. “And when you dress it up as religious liberty, you simply sanction discrimination and deprive those children of the home they deserve.”

Trans children in school sports

During an April 2022 debate, Maloney criticized Republicans for spreading misinformation about lockerrooms and women’s sports. He accused them of  hiding behind “ridiculous, embarrassing, easily debunked arguments, falsehoods, [and] fear-mongering.”

Maloney supports legislation that would expand the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. This legislation could help ensure the rights of trans children to participate in school sports.

Don’t say gay/LGBTQ discussion in schools

The Equality Act, which Maloney supports, would also extend anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ students in educational settings. 

The legislation would also roll back parts of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that provide legal cover for anti-LGBT policies.

Maloney helped pass the Equality Act, a bill that would ensure transgender and non-binary students access to shared facilities and public accommodations like locker rooms, restrooms, and dressing rooms. However, 

Transgender access to public bathrooms

Maloney helped pass the Equality Act, a bill that would ensure transgender and nonbinary people to shared facilities and public accommodations like locker rooms, restrooms, and dressing rooms. He added a provision in the bill that withheld energy and water funds for any state with a trans bathroom ban. 

Conversion therapy

In April 2021, Maloney introduced the Prohibition of Medicaid Funding for Conversion Therapy Act. It would prevent federal funding from being used to support “discredited, often barbaric efforts” to change a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity, his website states.

Other LGBTQ issues

In 2021, Maloney reintroduced the LGBTQ Essential Data Act, which would require the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to collect information on the sexual orientation and gender identity of deceased individuals through the National Violent Death Reporting System.

He also helped pass the LGBTQI+ Data Inclusion Act on June 2022. The bill includesd his amendment to ensure that deceased LGBTQ Americans can have their sexual orientation and gender identity included in federal surveys.

Maloney introduced legislation to make monkeypox testing free during the 2022 outbreak. The pox mostly affected men who sleep with men.

Sean Maloney’s Career

1999-2000

  • Senior West Wing Advisor in the Bill Clinton Administration
  • White House Staff Secretary

2000-2003

  • Chief Operating Officer at Kiodex, Inc

2004 – 2009

  • Partner at Willkie Farr & Gallagher Law Firm

2007

  • First Deputy Secretary to Governor Eliot Spitzer
  • First Deputy Secretary to Governor David Paterson

2009

  • Partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP Law firm

2011

  • Partner at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe Law Firm

2013

  • U.S. House Representative from the 18th Congressional District of New York

2021

  • Chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee 
  • Co-chair of Congressional LGBTQ Equality Caucus

In conclusion

Sean Patrick Maloney, an openly gay House Representative is a fierce advocate of LGBTQ rights.

Stay informed about his career by subscribing to the LGBTQ Nation newsletter.

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