Speakers detail harms of discrimination and discuss what’s next for national legislation
Washington, D.C.—Today, leading LGBTQ+ advocacy organizations Family Equality and Freedom for All Americans hosted a telebriefing and Q&A for media to provide an update on what’s next for the Equality Act and share stories that demonstrate why national nondiscrimination protections are broadly popular and urgently needed.
The powerful stories shared from parents, people of faith, advocates, and policy experts illustrate the harms that LGBTQ+ Americans continue to experience in the absence of nationwide protections against discrimination.
“[The Equality Act] is legislation that’s urgently needed,” said Stacey Stevenson, CEO of Family Equality. “I know the pain and the uncertainty that comes with experiencing discrimination – not just because of the families I work with through my role at Family Equality, but because of the discrimination my wife and I have faced in our home state of Texas. Unfortunately, experiences like these are all too common for LGBTQ people and families – and in 29 states, including here in Texas, there are still no laws that explicitly protect us.”
A recent study by the Center for American Progress found that at least one in three LGB Americans faced discrimination in the past year, and that figure climbs to three in five for transgender Americans. If passed, the Equality Act would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Recent polling from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) found that 82 percent of Americans support nondiscrimination protections, including 67 percent of Republicans and majorities of people in every single state. PRRI polling also found broad support for nondiscrimination protections from all religious denominations. The bill passed the House in February with bipartisan support and received a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee earlier this year. President Biden has vowed to sign the bill into law when it reaches his desk.
“The discrimination LGBTQ+ people face is everywhere. It happens every day in situations most people take for granted. And it’s devastating not only to them but to their friends, family members, co-workers, anyone who supports them and, frankly, anyone who relies on them,” said Kasey Suffredini, CEO and National Campaign Director of Freedom for All Americans. “The reality is that more than half of LGBTQ people have faced discrimination and that’s millions and millions of people. That is not okay.”
“Ultimately, for organizations like LCFS and me as a person who of faith who came into the field of social work as a calling in my life, non-discrimination protections are a continued expression of our faith in the belief of humanity, love for our neighbor, service, and belief the blessings of God’s grace and freedoms should be able to be experienced by all,” added LaTasha Roberson-Guifarro, Associate Vice President of Strategy & Organizational Excellence at Lutheran Child and Family Services, who provided her perspective on the Equality Act as a person of faith, social worker, and representative at one of the largest faith-based child welfare and adoption organizations in Illinois.
For more information please visit the Family Equality and Freedom For All Americans websites or the social media pages of Family Equality (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook) and Freedom for All Americans (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook).
About Family Equality
Family Equality advances legal and lived equality for LGBTQ+ families, and for those who wish to form them, through building community, changing hearts and minds, and driving policy change. Family Equality believes every LGBTQ+ person should have the right and opportunity to form and sustain a loving family, regardless of who they are or where they live. Learn more at familyequality.org.
About Freedom for All Americans
Freedom for All Americans is the bipartisan campaign to secure full nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people nationwide. Our work brings together Republicans and Democrats, businesses large and small, people of faith, and allies from all walks of life to make the case for comprehensive nondiscrimination protections that ensure everyone is treated fairly and equally.
# # #
Chief Communications Officer/
646-880-3005 ext. 157