LGBT Rights LGBTQ On the Hill

House Passes Equality Act

On Thursday, the House passed the Equality Act to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Act would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to create protections for LGBTQ+ people. 

The bill passed in the House with a close 224-206 vote, receiving unanimous support from Democrats and three Republican votes. 

The Equality Act recognizes that multiple types of discrimination can occur simultaneously, and protects against that: “A single instance of discrimination may have more than one basis. For example, discrimination against a married same-sex couple could be based on the sex stereotype that marriage should only be between heterosexual couples, the sexual orientation of the two individuals in the couple, or both. Discrimination against a pregnant lesbian could be based on her sex, her sexual orientation, her pregnancy, or on the basis of multiple factors.”

On Wednesday, Congresswoman Marie Newman, who has a transgender daughter, raised a transgender pride flag outside her office, which is across from the office of Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, who has been vocal about her anti-LGBTQ beliefs. 

“Our neighbor, [Greene], tried to block the Equality Act because she believes prohibiting discrimination against trans Americans is ‘disgusting, immoral, and evil,’” Newman wrote on Twitter. “Thought we’d put up our Transgender flag so she can look at it every time she opens her door.”

Currently, in many states in the country, it is legal and common to deny housing, employment, and service to LGBTQ people. Passing this bill would protect people from that discrimination.

“It is time to move together to ensure LGBTQ people have the chance to belong, to participate and to succeed in all areas of American life,” Sarah Kate Ellis, president of the LGBTQ rights group GLAAD, said in a statement.

Sources: Politico 2/25/21; Congress H.R.5 2/18/21; Human Rights Campaign

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