The Equality Act Passes In House Committee

(stock photo via Depositphotos)
(stock photo via Depositphotos)

The Equality Act, which would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee.

Although the legislation had been introduced in the House twice before, this is the first time Democrats have been able to see bill move out of committee and on to the full House.

Even though recent polling shows nearly seven in ten  (69%) of Americans support the measure, the vote was a straight party-line affair. All 22 Democrats on the committee voted yes, while all 10 Republicans voted no.

Should The Equality Act be passed into law, it would prohibit LGBTQ-based discrimination in areas like housing, employment, public accommodations and more on a nationwide level.

Currently, you can be fired from your job in 30 states for being gay.

In addition to the strong support by Democratic lawmakers, The Equality Act has been endorsed by 165 major businesses and 288 statewide and national organizations. 

Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said in his opening statement, ‘It is time that the federal government recognizes that discrimination in any form is wrong and that we should move forward with these common-sense protections that simply build on existing statutes.’

The measure now heads to a vote by the full House, which could happen as soon as next week. With 240 co-sponsors in the House, and strenuous support by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the legislation is expected to easily pass.

However, the odds don’t look so good for the bill in the Republican-led Senate where Senate Leader Mitch McConnell probably won’t even allow the legislation to come up for a vote.

And, while Donald Trump campaigned saying he would be ‘better for the gays’ than Hillary Clinton, since he took office his administration has waged a war against LGBTQ rights. His evangelical base would probably rise up were he to sign the bill into law.

What do you think?