Today Equality Federation lauded the reintroduction of the Equality Act by Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) in the House and Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) in the Senate. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has made passage a top priority for the new Congress. The legislation has been introduced in various forms several times since 1974, and this year could mark the first time it receives a full vote.
Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director of Equality Federation, said, “As Americans, we believe that discrimination is wrong and that all of us deserve to be treated equally under the law. There should be a level playing field in every state and for that reason, signing this legislation into law is of critical importance to the LGBTQ community and to our country as a whole.”
eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us)
Ian Palmquist, Senior Director of Programs, added, “As I travel across the country for work or to visit family, I shouldn’t feel that my civil rights are in jeopardy based on what zip code I happen to be in. All Americans should have the freedom to hold a job, rent an apartment, or go out to dinner knowing they are protected from discrimination.”
Equality Federation’s 43 member organizations, from Equality Florida to OutNebraska to Equality California, have been leading the charge for nondiscrimination protections at the local level for decades, building momentum for a national solution. Today, 20 states and more than 100 cities have adopted these common-sense, inclusive and comprehensive protections for LGBTQ people.
The state-based equality organizations leveraged their deep relationships with lawmakers, corporations, and the public to produce historic support for the legislation, including over 280 members of congress. At least 165 corporate backers represent $3.1 trillion in revenue and operations across all 50 states. The LGBT caucus now has a record 157 members. Furthermore, years of educational advocacy led by state leaders has contributed to the vast majority of Americans, 70%, including a majority of Republicans, supporting nondiscrimination protections.