Equality Act Reintroduced in Congress

The Equality Act, a bill that would ban discrimination for LGBTQ+ discrimination on the basis of employment, housing, education, etc., was introduced by Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, last month. It was originally introduced in 2015, but never made it past Congress.

This bill will add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, making it illegal to discriminate against members of the LGBTQ+ community in all places, including department stores and banks. What makes this bill especially powerful, if it were to pass, is that it will not allow discrimination based on one’s own personal religious beliefs. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act cannot apply to contexts that include civil liberties.

David Cicilline, a congressman representing Rhode Island’s first congressional district, has shown his support for the bill, especially since he is one of the ten openly LGBTQ+ members of Congress. Cicilline commented on the importance of this bill, saying, “In most states in this country, a gay couple can be married on Saturday, post their wedding photos on Instagram on Sunday, and lose their jobs or get kicked out of their apartments on Monday, just because of who they are. This is wrong.”

If the Equality Act were to pass, it would be the first federal law to protect the LGBTQ+ community on the basis of discrimination. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, this bill would allow me to work anywhere without the fear of being fired for being gay, and this is so important. We need to take a stand against discrimination of LGBTQ+ people, and this bill is trying to do just that.