Historic Committee Vote Advances the Equality Act Toward House Floor
The Equality Act—a landmark civil rights bill that would clarify and strengthen basic protections to LGBTQ people nationwide—was successfully voted out of the House Judiciary Committee today.
The bipartisan bill will soon be scheduled for a full floor vote in the House. The Equality Act was introduced by a partisan coalition of over 230 co-sponsors, and 70% of Americans support extending civil rights to LGBTQ people--including majorities in all 50 states. The bill covers discrimination in employment, housing, education, public spaces and services, credit, jury service, and federal programs, and would also strengthen against protections for discrimination against women and girls and racial, ethnic, and religious minorities.
Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to take up three court cases in which it will decide whether LGBTQ will continue to be protected from workplace discrimination under current law, as most federal courts have held..These include the case of a Michigan woman fired after six years at her job because she came out as transgender. The Equality Act would ensure that transgender people continue to be protected in employment, securing this crucial protection for nearly 2 million transgender people nationwide.
Mara Keisling, executive director of the National Center for Transgender Equality, applauded the vote:
“This vote is a historic recognition of the right of all people to live, labor, and learn without fear of prejudice or bigotry. Particularly as the Supreme Court weighs whether to confirm or take away existing sex discrimination protections, it is more crucial than ever that Congress stand up and help build the country transgender people need and every person deserves. We need members of Congress to vote for this bill as if transgender Americans’ lives depend on it, because they do depend on it.”