Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) has reintroduced the Equality Act. The U.S House passed the bill in 2019 in a 236-173 vote. The bill will be formally reintroduced in the Senate next week. President Biden has made it a priority for his first 100 days in office.
The legislation guarantees explicit, permanent protections for LGBTQ people under our nation’s existing civil rights laws, expanding the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act and providing clear and equal protections under federal law for all Americans in employment, access to public spaces, housing, credit, education, jury service, and federally-funded programs. Today, in a majority of U.S. states, LGBTQ people remain at risk of being fired, evicted or denied services because of who they are.
Said Cicilline: “In 2021, every American should be treated with respect and dignity/ Yet, in most states, LGBTQ people can be discriminated against because of who they are, or who they love. It is past time for that to change. I’m proud to introduce the Equality Act today, and I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Merkley to get this bill signed into law.”
Said Merkley: “All of us go to work and school, go home, and go shopping, and none of us should have to keep our families hidden or pretend to be someone we’re not to do those things. But in 29 states, Americans can still be evicted, be thrown out of a restaurant, or be denied a loan because of who they are or whom they love. We all love the vision of America as a land of freedom and equality, but are we willing to take the steps to make that vision closer to reality? Let’s make 2021 the year the Equality Act crosses the finish line and is signed into law by President Biden.”