This bill was re-introduced in the House by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and in the Senate by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) on March 13, 2019.

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Summary

The Equality Act:

  • protects LGBTQ+ people from discrimination based on their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity;
  • updates the law to add additional protections from discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion
  • includes protections for those who associate with others who are targets of unlawful discrimination (for example, children, parents or families of LGBTQ+ people).
  • prohibits discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation or gender identity at work, and in the context of housing, credit, education, and jury service;
  • prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex in programs that receive federal funding and places of public accommodations;
  • expands the list of protected places of public accommodations to include retail stores, transportation services like airports, taxis and bus stations, and service providers like accountants, for all protected characteristics.

PFLAG Talking Points

  • We all share the bedrock value that every person living in the United States and its territories deserves to be treated equally under the law.
  • Discrimination is wrong. But in 30 states, LGBTQ+ people are at risk of being fired, refused housing, or denied critical services under state law because of who they are and whom they love.
  • No one’s basic rights should depend on the state or zip code they live in. But today, if [I/an LGBTQ+ person] were to drive from Maine to Los Angeles, my/their rights would literally change dozens of times.
  • The harsh reality is that discrimination is a real and persistent problem for LGBTQ+ people and their loved ones. Nearly two-thirds of LGBTQ+ people in the United States and its territories report having experienced discrimination in their everyday lives.
  • This is why we need the Equality Act, a federal bill that will add LGBTQ+ people to existing civil rights laws and will strengthen protections for all people.
  • The Equality Act would provide clear, consistent protections nationwide in employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.
  • A growing majority of people in the United States and its territories—70 percent—support passing these protections, including a majority of Republicans as well as Democrats. This legislation was introduced with unprecedented support from hundreds of lawmakers, many leading companies, and more than 200 national and statewide organizations.
  • At the end of the day, every person should be judged on their merits, and deserves a fair chance to earn a living, provide for their family, and live free from the fear or fact of harassment or discrimination.

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