For the second time in two years, the Equality Act — a invoice that may ban discrimination towards individuals primarily based on sexual orientation and gender id — has been handed by the U.S. House. But, like final time, advocates worry the invoice might fail within the Senate.
The House voted 224-206 on Thursday in favor of the Equality Act, which might explicitly lengthen the nondiscrimination protections enshrined within the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to lesbian, homosexual, bisexual and transgender individuals. It would additionally explicitly prohibit discrimination in public areas, equivalent to retail shops, banks and faculties, and would override the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Rep. Marie Newman (D-Ill.), whose daughter is transgender, lauded the passage of the invoice, saying that “today, love and progress triumphed over bullying and hate.”
Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.), each of whom determine as LGBTQ, additionally celebrated the milestone.
The Equality Act first handed within the House in 2019, but it surely stalled within the Senate, which was then managed by Republicans.
Today, Democrats management the Senate ― however by a razor-thin margin. As the invoice will want the approval of all 50 Democratic senators and at the very least 10 Republicans to move, it seems unlikely that it might be accredited, at the very least with out vital amendments.
Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who co-sponsored the Equality Act in 2019, told The Washington Blade this week that she wouldn’t co-sponsor it this time as a result of sure revisions she’d sought had not been applied.
Another average Republican, Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah), has said he received’t vote in favor of the invoice due to considerations round non secular freedoms.
President Joe Biden has expressed his full-throated assist for the Equality Act, describing the invoice as “a critical step toward ensuring that America lives up to our foundational values of equality and freedom for all.”
“Full equality has been denied to LGBTQ+ Americans and their families for far too long. Despite the extraordinary progress the LGBTQ+ community has made to secure their basic civil rights, discrimination is still rampant in many areas of our society,” Biden mentioned in a press release final week. “The Equality Act provides long overdue federal civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, locking in critical safeguards in our housing, education, public services, and lending systems — and codifying the courage and resilience of the LGBTQ+ movement into enduring law.”
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