FFAA’s New Year’s Resolution: Continue the Fight For Nondiscrimination Protections in the Next DecadeBy Shane Stahl • December 30, 2019 • 4:27 pm
2019 saw a lot of movement when it came to protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination. From cities in states like New York, Kansas and Georgia, we saw a number of laws passed to uphold the dignity of local LGBTQ populations – and we helped block harmful anti-LGBTQ legislation across the country. With nearly 70 percent of Americans now supporting nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people 2020 promises to be just as eventful, if not more. Now is the time to keep the momentum going and move us towards our ultimate goal of securing nondiscrimination protections for all LGBTQ people, in all areas of life, in every state across the country.
So as we approach the new year, how do we keep the momentum? Here’s a list of FFAA’s New Year’s Resolutions – ways to help move us forward in 2020:
Resolution 1: Continue Working Toward Federal Nondiscrimination Legislation
LGBTQ nondiscrimination had a huge day in the U.S. House of Representatives on May 17, when the Equality Act passed the chamber with a bipartisan vote of 236-173, the first time in history that a comprehensive federal LGBTQ nondiscrimination bill made it through a house of Congress.
If the bill were to be signed into law, it would provide protections to over 7 million LGBTQ Americans in 30 states that do not currently have statewide laws on the books. FFAA helped coordinate support for the bill, assisting in the delivery of over 130,000 signatures in support of the Equality Act to lead sponsor, Rep. David Cicilline. Additionally, we helped bring 70 religious organizations and more than 5,000 faith leaders to the table to show their support.
But we cannot stop there. The Equality Act is currently in the hands of the U.S. Senate, where it has yet to be brought to the floor. In 2020, we’ll keep working with our Members of Congress in the House AND the Senate to bolster bipartisan support for the bill. Members of both parties can agree: all LGBTQ people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. In 2020, let’s turn sentiment into law by working to get the Equality Act over the finish line in both chambers.
Resolution 2: Bring Growing Numbers of Conservatives Into the Fold
This past year, FFAA was proud to launch Conservatives Against Discrimination, a coalition of conservative Americans who believe LGBTQ Americans should be free from discrimination. This coalition provides resources and opportunities for conservative Americans from all walks of life who support protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination.
We launched the project with a video from former Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, who serves as co-chair of the coalition alongside former U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.
We’ve seen growing bipartisan support for protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination. Eight Republicans in the House of Representatives voted in favor of the Equality Act in May. In 2018, New Hampshire’s Republican-majority state government passed a bill guaranteeing statewide protections for transgender Granite Staters — and the bill was signed into law by Republican Governor Chris Sununu.
When every American is given the opportunity to work hard and earn a living, our nation will succeed. People shouldn’t be judged simply because of who they are – but rather for the skills, the commitment, and the character they bring to the table. No more, no less. That’s what so many conservatives from across the country believe. And that’s why in 2020, we’ll keep working to bring together Americans from both parties to ultimately secure passage of nondiscrimination protections for everybody.
Resolution 3: Continue to Build Business Support
FFAA launched our America Competes coalition this year, made up of businesses large and small who have declared their support for protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination. Among the coalition members are major companies like Dell, Dow Chemical, Levi Strauss & Co., and Marriott International.
America Competes members oppose discriminatory measures that hurt workforce development, innovation, tourism, economic growth, and quality of life. They believe that comprehensive nondiscrimination laws that explicitly protect LGBTQ people are necessary to build thriving state and national economies.
We’ve seen a surge of state business coalitions in recent years, many of them with FFAA as a founding partner. These coalitions represent thousands of employers, and give corporate America and small business owners a voice on the clear business case for nondiscrimination.
The Bottom Line: We’re Moving Forward
As 2020 begins, we’ll continue our efforts to work toward the day when all LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination. We’ll work in states to pass nondiscrimination laws as well as fight back against anti-LGBTQ legislation; we’ll keep building coalitions of people from all walks of life, bringing them together to help make the case for nondiscrimination; and we’ll have our eye on the prize — a federal bill that will prevent discrimination against all LGBTQ Americans.
Make sure to keep up with all our efforts — follow us on Facebook and Twitter, sign our petition in support of federal nondiscrimination legislation, and add yourself to our mailing list at the top of our homepage to be among the first to know our latest efforts.