Press Release – February 25, 2021
Equality Act Passes in House with Strong Bipartisan Support
Senators Must Now Prioritize LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Protections
Gay City: Seattle’s LGBTQ Center applauds the U.S. House of Representatives’ quick passage today of the Equality Act, a landmark federal law that would protect LGBTQ Americans in virtually all areas of daily life.
The bill, passed with a 224-206 bipartisan vote, would amend existing civil rights laws to explicitly ban LGBTQ discrimination in employment, housing, education, credit, jury service and other areas, and explicitly extend sex discrimination protections to public accommodations and federally-funded programs.
“Americans understand freedom to mean everyone should be able to live, work, and play without fear of discrimination,” said Fred Swanson, Gay City’s Executive Director. “It’s time for our Senators to join Gay City and the majority of people in this country in banning all forms of discrimination, including those based on LGBTQ status.”
A Senate companion bill, S.393, was introduced on Tuesday by Sen. Jeff Merkley and 48 cosponsors.
LGBTQ people continue to face discrimination in their daily lives. A recent study found one in three LGBTQ Americans facing discrimination in the previous year, including three in five transgender Americans. Currently, half of LGBTQ people live in the 29 states that still lack comprehensive statewide laws, while opponents of equality continue to file discriminatory legislation aimed at eroding existing protections for LGBTQ people and their families.
The Equality Act would ensure that all LGBTQ Americans can live, work, and access public spaces free from discrimination, no matter what state they call home. It has broad and deep support across lines of political party, faith traditions, and geography, with 83 percent of Americans saying they favor LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections, including 68 percent of Republicans and a majority in every state in the country.
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