Congress Must Make The Equality Act A Top Priority
An historic wave of grassroots activism swept across the country on Election Day, with LGBTQ candidates in the lead. With such a forceful response from the people of this country to the Trump administration, NCTE is renewing its calls on pro-equality leaders in Congress to immediately pass The Equality Act.
The Equality Act is a bill introduced in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate that would amend federal civil rights laws to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity as classes protected from discrimination in employment, housing, education, public accommodations, credit, jury service, and federally-funded programs. Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently called the Equality Act “a top priority.”.
Currently, 20 states and the District of Columbia have statewide nondiscrimination laws protecting transgender people. Over the last two decades, most federal courts have found transgender people are protected from discrimination in many areas by federal laws prohibiting sex discrimination such as Title VII, Title IX, and Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.
According to a leaked memo reported on last month by The New York Times, the Trump administration is proposing an end to federal enforcement of those laws in regards to transgender people.
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, urged Congressional leadership to take up the Equality Act immediately:
“A national law banning discrimination against transgender people has been one of NCTE’s top priorities for 16 years. With broad support from the American people for such a law, there is little excuse for postponing this crucial vote any longer. Transgender people across the country cannot be told to wait, or told our time will come. Our time has come, and we demand transgender equality now.”