Engel Helps Pass Historic Equality Act

Engel Helps Pass Historic Equality Act


The bill provides protections for LGBTQ Americans not currently provided under federal law


Washington, D.C.—Representatives Eliot L. Engel, a member of the House LGBT Equality Caucus, is pleased to announce the House’s passage of H.R.5, the Equality Act, a historic piece of legislation that ensures LGBTQ Americans are guaranteed the full protections under federal civil rights law. Engel, an original cosponsor of the bill, joined 235 colleagues in voting to pass the measure.


H.R. 5 extends anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Americans with regard to employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding, housing and public accommodations. Currently, only 21 states have laws barring discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public accommodations, while only 20 states have protections for gender identity.


“LGBTQ rights are human rights. It’s about time our laws reflected that,” Engel said. “The Equality Act rights an egregious wrong that has plagued our country for too long. Members of the LGBTQ community deserve the same protections under the law that are afforded to everyone else, period. I am as proud to help pass this landmark bill today as I was when I voted against the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, in 1996. Coupled with the introduction of my annual Day of Silence Resolution—which has more cosponsors this year than ever before—the Equality Act further proves that House Democrats are committed to defending LGBTQ rights while in the Majority.


“Passing the Equality Act marks another big step for our country, and I urge the Senate to follow our progressive lead by passing this bill as soon as possible.”