Family Equality Applauds the Reintroduction of the Equality Act

The Equality Act is federal legislation that would modernize America’s civil rights laws by including explicit protections for LGBTQI+ people—as well as expanding protections for women, people of color, and people of all faiths. 

House and Senate Democrats reintroduced the Equality Act, an extension of federal nondiscrimination protections to LGBTQ+ Americans, on Wednesday, June 21. Rep. Mark Takano from California, co-chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus, joined Congressional leaders and advocates to announce the reintroduction of H.R.15, the Equality Act.

Family Equality applauds the reintroduction of the Equality Act.

“With the escalation of anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric and the over 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills introduced across the country, it’s absolutely critical that LGBTQ+ Americans have protections at the federal level,” said Stacey Stevenson, CEO of Family Equality. “Right now, the majority of states do not have protections in place for the LGBTQ+ community and that leaves many of them in danger of discrimination in employment, housing, and more. The Equality Act will help protect LGBTQ+ Americans in all corners of the U.S.”

Representative Takano was joined by:

  • Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) 
  • Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) 
  • Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) 
  • Rep. Mark Pocan, Chair, Congressional Equality Caucus 
  • House of Representatives Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) 
  • Senate Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) 
  • Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) 

“The promise of democracy means a great deal to me personally because I have felt the sting of its denial,” said Rep. Mark Takano. “As the first openly gay person of color to serve in Congress, I am acutely aware of the impacts lawful discrimination has on our marginalized communities in the United States, and the LGBTQI+ community have been subject to discrimination, violence, and the denial of their full personhood under the law for far too long. I’m proud to reintroduce the Equality Act as a long-overdue guarantee to all members of our community that we, too, benefit from explicit civil rights protections and the full promise of American democracy.” 

Full text of the Equality Act is available here. Background information can be found here.

The Senate companion bill was reintroduced by Senator Jeff Merkley.

“The civil rights of LGBTQ+ folks must be protected,” said Stevenson. “Our freedom is at stake.”