Today the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of the Equality Act, federal legislation that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, credit, education, public accommodations, federally funded programs, and jury service. It is the first time ever that the House of Representatives has passed a bill to extend nondiscrimination protections to LGBTQ people.
Allison Scott, Director of Policy and Programs for the Campaign for Southern Equality, said today:
“Today’s vote in favor of the Equality Act, which passed with votes from many Southern Representatives, is a reflection of the broad public support for LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections, including majority support in every state in the South. The House’s passage of the legislation underlines the change that is possible when LGBTQ people in the South come together, share our stories, and help our neighbors understand the unique challenges we face.”
“We’re grateful to the House of Representatives for taking action, and now it’s time for the Senate to thoughtfully consider: Are we a country that allows people to be disadvantaged because of who they are or who they love? Or are we a country that identifies injustice, stands up, and fixes it? We implore our Senators to open their hearts and recognize that it’s well past time to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in every sphere of life.”
Are we a country that allows people to be disadvantaged because of who they are or who they love? Or are we a country that identifies injustice, stands up, and fixes it? – Allison Scott, Campaign for Southern Equality
More than a third of LGBTQ people in the United States live in the South – but not a single Southern state has passed statewide protections from anti-LGBTQ discrimination. On top of this, most of the anti-LGBTQ bills filed each year are filed in Southern states, and we continue to hear story after story of LGBTQ people who are fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes, and denied service because of who they are.
It’s time for nondiscrimination protections for all LGBTQ people across the country, including in the South. That’s why today’s vote is so historic and so important – and why lawmakers in the Senate and ultimately President Trump must sign the bill into law.