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.
👏 Applause erupts as the #EqualityAct passes the House Judiciary Committee. 👏
We're proud to work with our partners and pro-equality members of Congress on this vital legislation. pic.twitter.com/hF84VTCBfI
— Human Rights Campaign (@HRC) May 1, 2019
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.
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.
— David Cicilline (@davidcicilline) May 1, 2019
🎉 The Equality Act just passed its committee vote.
That means nationwide, comprehensive, explicit protections from discrimination for LGBTQ people are on the way to a vote on the full House floor.
— ACLU (@ACLU) May 1, 2019
BREAKING: Historic moment as the House Judiciary Committee votes to advance the #EqualityAct to the full House of Representatives. It's time to protect all LGBTQ Americans from discrimination.
— Chad Griffin (@ChadHGriffin) May 1, 2019
Honored to preside over @HouseJudiciary as we passed the #EqualityAct. It is time we make clear that we support equal worth & equal rights of all people—including every LGBTQ person in this country. By passing this bill, we've taken a vital step toward moving our nation forward. pic.twitter.com/e8SkSa1aqj
— Rep. Nadler (@RepJerryNadler) May 1, 2019