Engel, House Dems Introduce Equality Act

Engel, House Dems Introduce Equality Act

Washington, D.C.–Congressman Eliot Engel, a member of the House LGBT Equality Caucus, joined House colleagues today to introduce H.R. 5, The Equality Act, long overdue legislation that will expand federal protections for LGBTQ  individuals. Engel is an original cosponsor of the bill.

Currently, only 21 states have explicit laws barring discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public accommodations. Additionally, only 20 states have such protections for gender identity. The Equality Act amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit, federal jury service, public accommodations, and the use of federal funds.

“H.R. 5 isn’t just about updating the law—it’s about recognizing and protecting basic human rights,” Engel said. “Federal protections for the LGBTQ community are essential to ensuring true equality for every American. A recent survey showed that 42% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people, and 78% of transgender people, have experienced discrimination or harassment on the job because of who they are. Countless others have been denied housing, loans, school admissions, even the ability to serve their civic duty as members of a jury, just because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. This is why passing the Equality Act is so important.

“If we want a truly inclusive society, we have to look out for everyone equally. I am proud to cosponsor this bill and I urge it’s swift passage in Congress.”