Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is the only Democratic senator who won’t support the recently reintroduced Equality Act, which would enshrine protections for LGBTQ people in the U.S. Constitution.
Said Manchin in a statement on Monday afternoon: “I strongly support equality for all people and do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. No one should be afraid of losing their job or losing their housing because of their sexual orientation. After speaking with local education officials in West Virginia, I am not convinced that the Equality Act as written provides sufficient guidance to the local officials who will be responsible for implementing it, particularly with respect to students transitioning between genders in public schools. I will continue working with the sponsors of the bill to build broad bipartisan support and find a viable path forward for these critical protections so that I can vote in support of this bill.”
Politico reports: “[Manchin] and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) are the only congressional Democrats that do not support the legislation. Democratic leaders unveiled the bill last week and it is expected to be considered by the House later this year. The Republican Senate is unlikely to bring up the measure; Susan Collins of Maine is the only GOP co-sponsor. But if Democrats take back the Senate in the election next year, they may need Manchin’s vote given the strong possibility that the chamber will remain narrowly divided.”