Congress has reintroduced the Equality Act, which would extend civil rights protections to LGBT Americans by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This would include much-needed protections in the employment, housing, credit, education, federally-funded programs, and jury service.
There is currently no federal law that protects members of the LGBT community from discrimination. In fact, 31 states do not include sexual orientation and gender identity in their civil rights statutes. After the historic marriage equality ruling, same-sex couples can now get married in all 50 states but are only protected from discrimination in 19. It is time to change that. All citizens deserve equal protection under the law.
The act also ensures that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) cannot be used as an excuse to disregard discrimination laws. Religious exemptions would be harmful and undermine the civil rights of LGBT citizens.
The Equality Act is long overdue. It’s time for Congress to take a bold and decisive stand for LGBT Americans. Urge your representatives to support the Equality Act today!