Equality Act Brings LGBT Americans One Step Closer to Full Nondiscrimination Protections

July 23, 2015 • 1:31 pm

Dan Rafter | [email protected]

Introduction of federal bill highlights importance of continuing municipal and state work to advance equality

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) introduced the Equality Act in Congress today, a  bill that seeks to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination across a variety of critical areas, including employment, housing, public accommodations, education, credit and federal funding. The bill’s introduction comes as support for LGBT nondiscrimination protections are at record highs. Nearly 70 percent of Americans – including 65 percent of Republicans – support protecting LGBT people under nondiscrimination laws, according to a June 2015 Public Religion Research Institute poll.

“The introduction of this bill is an important step toward advancing comprehensive protections for LGBT people at the federal level,” said Freedom for All Americans campaign manager Matt McTighe. “”Our work is far from over, but today’s events underscore the urgent need for us to redouble our efforts at all levels – municipal, state and federal – so that we’re securing comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for as many people, as quickly as possible.”

More than 50 percent of LGBT Americans live in states that don’t offer any explicit nondiscrimination protections in employment, housing and public accommodations. While the introduction of the Equality Act is an important in advancing protections for LGBT people, 33 states still lack explicit, comprehensive protections uniformly across employment, housing and public accommodations.

“At the end of the day, we need bipartisan action in Congress to ensure LGBT Americans receive the most comprehensive protections possible under the law,” added McTighe. “The best way to achieve that consensus is through victories at the state and municipal levels. Freedom for All Americans is committed to beating back discriminatory, anti-gay bills wherever they arise, and advancing nondiscrimination protections at the state level. Ultimately, our victories in states across the country will pave the way for the bipartisan action we need in Congress.”

Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign dedicated to ensuring every gay and transgender American is fully protected from discrimination under the law, no matter where they live. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses big and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally. 

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