Pass the Equality Act!
Fairness and equality are core American values. The Supreme Court recognized this when it affirmed marriage equality. But even after this decision, it is still true in most states that a gay person can get married on Saturday, post photos of their wedding on Facebook on Sunday, and then get fired on Monday for no reason other than the fact they’re gay.
Only 21 states have protections against discrimination in employment for sexual orientation and gender identity.
Only 21 states have protections against discrimination in housing for sexual orientation and gender identity.
Only 15 states have protections against discrimination in education for sexual orientation and gender identity.
The current administration is trying to make things even worse. Under the Trump administration transgender members of the military can no longer serve openly, two justices opposed to marriage equality have shifted the balance of power on the Supreme Court, and hate crimes targeting people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity are on the rise.
No American should be denied housing, the ability to attend school, to apply for a mortgage, or to serve on a jury because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
The Equality Act will ensure that all LGBTQ Americans can enjoy their most basic human rights no matter where they live, work, or go to school. It will amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other existing laws to ensure that LGBTQ individuals are afforded the same protections against discrimination as every other American.
The Equality Act combines aspects of other bills that were introduced in the past that applied to only one area of life (employment, housing, education) into a comprehensive bill that says discrimination against LGBTQ individuals should be illegal.
Specifically, the Equality Act will end discrimination in public accommodations, federal financial assistance, education, employment, housing, credit, and jury service.
The Equality Act will offer new protections for folks who are LGBTQ, those perceived to be LGBTQ, and those who associate with LGBTQ individuals. It will also expand protections for existing protected classes and women where they have not previously been protected.
The far right is going to do everything they can to block progress and defeat this bill. They are making outrageous claims because they know they can only win by scaring people. The fact is that the American people want full LGBTQ equality.
Under the Equality Act, the very same protections that Congress established for other minorities will protect the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people across America. No more and no less.
This is America. The time has come for full LGBTQ equality. Let’s prove it by passing this bill into law.