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U.S. House passes Equality Act

The Equality Act (H.R. 5) will provide federal civil rights protections to LGBTQ people across the country
Photo credit:
San Diego Pride

Despite reports that the Trump administration was against The Equality Act, a bill which proposes to add federal LGBT anti-discrimination protections across all 50 states, it passed in the U.S. House of Representatives Friday morning. It will now head to the U.S. Senate. 

Executive Director of Equality California, Rick Zbur in response to the historic passage released the following statement:

"Today's passage of the Equality Act in the U.S. House sends a loud and clear message that discrimination of any kind is unacceptable, no matter who you are, who you love or where you live," he said. "The vote today isn't just a major milestone, but also a testament to the strength of LGBTQ people and our movement, as we advance this critical civil rights legislation in the face of such a fiercely anti-LGBTQ Administration — and we aren't done yet."

Zbur also remarked on the president's reported aversion to the amendment. 

"Earlier this week, President Trump announced his opposition to the Equality Act, but LGBTQ Americans can rest assured that the pro-equality House majority — led by California's own Speaker Nancy Pelosi — has our backs. Equality California remains committed to fighting for full federal equality in our nation's Capitol, in the courts and in the streets."

The Equality Act (H.R. 5) will provide federal civil rights protections to LGBTQ people across the country — more than half of whom currently live in a state with no such protections.

Specifically, the Equality Act will amend existing federal civil rights laws — including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Jury Selection and Services Act — to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill will also amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination in public spaces and services and in federally funded programs on the basis of sex.

The Equality Act is co-sponsored by every Democratic member of California’s Congressional delegation, including openly LGBTQ U.S. Representatives Mark Takano and Katie Hill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus and Equality California have made passing the Equality Act a top priority in the 116th Congress.

The bill now waits to be taken up by the U.S. Senate.