Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, a bipartisan measure that would ban discrimination against LGBTQ people in nearly all aspects of daily life. This comes just more than four years after the Center for American Progress published a groundbreaking report that helped lay the groundwork for comprehensive legislation that bars discrimination against LGBTQ people. In response, CAP President and CEO Neera Tanden issued the following statement:
Today marks a historic turning point in American civil rights history. The Equality Act would give millions of LGBTQ people around the country the equal rights and dignity they have long deserved. This bill gives everyone an equal chance to earn a living, shop on Main Street, and find a home without fear of discrimination simply because of who they are and who they love. It would for the first time explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in our nation’s civil rights laws so that LGBTQ people can live their lives without fear.
It’s now time for the Senate to follow suit and bring our civil rights laws into the 21st century. This is a measure supported by a majority of Americans—both Republican and Democrat—as well as the nation’s business community. Discrimination is still a daily occurrence for millions of LGBTQ Americans, and they deserve the same common-sense protections as others covered under federal law for race and religion. Passage in the House is a major step, but we will not stop working alongside our allies in the broad progressive community until this measure becomes law.