Rep. Deutch Joins Reintroduction of the Equality Act
Legislation introduced today will prohibit discrimination against LGBTQ Americans.
U.S. Representative Ted Deutch (FL-22) joined dozens of House Democrats today in introducing the Equality Act, sponsored by Representative David Cicilline. The bill, which passed the House in 2019, extends protections against discrimination to members of the LGBTQ community.
"This community - our family, friends, and neighbors - deserves the same rights that other Americans enjoy," said Congressman Deutch, Vice Chair of the House Equality Caucus and Chair of the LGBTQ Aging Issues Task Force. "I'm honored to represent a strong and tight-knit LGBTQ community in South Florida. To serve them and all LGBTQ Americans, we must fix our discriminatory laws. I am proudly supporting Congressman Cicilline's Equality Act to achieve equality under the law, regardless of who you love or how you identify."
Despite the success of the LGBTQ equality movement over the years, millions of LGBTQ Americans can still be discriminated against depending on the state they live in. In 27 states, a person is at risk of being denied housing because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBTQ people are also at risk of being denied access to education in 31 states, and the right to serve on a jury in 41 states.
The Equality Act remedies these disparities by amending existing federal civil rights laws to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment education, housing, credit, jury service, public accommodations, and federal funding.
“In 2021, every American should be treated with respect and dignity,” said Rep. Cicilline. “Yet, in most states, LGBTQ people can be discriminated against because of who they are, or who they love. It is past time for that to change. I’m proud to introduce the Equality Act today, and I look forward to continuing to work with Senator Merkley to get this bill signed into law.”
“Our nation was founded on the promise that all are created equal and are worthy of dignity and respect, regardless of who they are or whom they love,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “With the reintroduction of the Equality Act, Congressional Democrats are making a resounding commitment to this truth: that all Americans must be treated equally under the law, not just in the workplace, but in every place. The Democratic House will now swiftly pass this landmark legislation and will keep working until it is finally enacted into law – so that we can combat anti-LGBTQ discrimination that undermines our democracy and advance justice in America.”
President Biden has pledged to make the Equality Act a priority of his first 100 days in office. The House is expected to vote on the proposal next week, according to House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-05).
The legislation is endorsed by leading advocacy organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP, the Urban League, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Women’s Law Center, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Black Justice Coalition, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the National LGBTQ taskforce, Lambda Legal, Family Equality Council, the National Partnership for Women and Families, the Transgender Law Center, Freedom for all Americans, SAGE, PFLAG, and the Center for American Progress.