Engel, House Democrats Reintroduce Equality Act

Engel, House Democrats Reintroduce Equality Act

Washington D.C.—Congressman Eliot Engel, a member of the House LGBT Caucus, today joined Rep. David Cicilline (RI-01) and 192 of their House colleagues in reintroducing the Equality Act, which would provide explicit, permanent protections against discrimination for LGBT people in matters of employment, housing, access to public places, federal funding, credit, education and jury service.  It would also prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex with regards to federal funding and access to public places.

“No one should feel discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Engel said. “I was proud to be one of only 67 Members to vote “No” in 1996 against the highly discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, and I am proud to once again be an original cosponsor of the Equality Act. While we have made great progress with marriage equality, we still have far to go to end discrimination against LGBT Americans. I am committed to doing all that I can to see to it this legislation passes, so every American can be  guaranteed the same rights and protections.”

The Equality Act would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include nondiscrimination protections on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.  The legislation was also introduced in the U.S. Senate today by Senator Jeff Merkley (OR), with 45 original cosponsors.

Currently, LGBT Americans have no protection from discrimination in 29 states.  In these states, LGBT persons can be fired, evicted, or denied a loan just because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.  The Equality Act will ensure nationwide, comprehensive protection from discrimination for LGBT people.