Friday, May 17, 2019

Congressman Jared Huffman Votes to Pass the Equality Act for LGBTQ Americans

Posted By on Fri, May 17, 2019 at 1:16 PM

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With the help of North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman, the U.S. House of Representatives today passed the Equality Act, which aims to extend protections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and other civil rights laws by specifically prohibiting any form of discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.

“It’s 2019: how can federal law still allow Americans to be fired from their jobs, or denied service at a restaurant, simply because of their sexual orientation or who they love?” Huffman said in a press release. “The Constitution promises equality under the law for all, and Congress has a duty to uphold these fundamental rights.”

The Equality Act establishes guaranteed full protections of federal and civil rights laws for LGBTQ Americans and extends anti-discrimination protections in federal laws “covering employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding, housing and public accommodations.”

The act, which Huffman co-sponsored with almost every House Democrat, was first introduced in 2015 and reintroduced earlier this month by Representative David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island). It passed the House on a 236-173 vote and will now head to the Republican-controlled Senate for consideration.

According to the press release from Huffman's office, “In nearly 30 states, it is still legal to terminate someone’s employment or to deny housing, mortgages, routine business services, or emergency medical care to individuals if they or a family member identify as LGBTQ.”

“I’m glad today to vote for the Equality Act to protect LGBTQ Americans from legal discrimination and to continue to build on the civil rights protections that are so fundamental to our country’s values,” Huffman said.


Read the full press release below:
Rep. Huffman Votes to Pass The Equality Act To Protect LGBTQ Americans
Washington, D.C.- Today, Representative Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael) voted to pass H.R. 5, the Equality Act, landmark legislation that expands protections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and other federal civil rights laws by setting a national standard to prohibit any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Equality Act, authored by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) and cosponsored by Huffman along with nearly every House Democrat, was approved by the House of Representatives 236-173.

“It’s 2019: how can federal law still allow Americans to be fired from their jobs, or denied service at a restaurant, simply because of their sexual orientation or who they love?” said Rep. Huffman. “The Constitution promises equality under the law for all, and Congress has a duty to uphold these fundamental rights. I’m glad today to vote for the Equality Act to protect LGBTQ Americans from legal discrimination and to continue to build on the civil rights protections that are so fundamental to our country’s values.”

California has long-established non-discrimination laws on the books, but in nearly 30 states, it is still legal to terminate someone’s employment or to deny housing, mortgages, routine business services, or emergency medical care to individuals if they or a family member identify as LGBTQ.

The Equality Act ensures LGBTQ Americans are guaranteed the full protections of federal civil rights laws. This historic legislation extends anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Americans in federal statutes covering employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding, housing, and public accommodations.

This legislation is supported by 70 percent of Americans, including over 200 private companies with operations in all 50 states, such as Apple and Airbnb, Inc. Full text of the Equality Act can be found here.
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Iridian Casarez

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Iridian Casarez is a staff writer at the North Coast Journal.

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