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WASHINGTON May 17, 2019 – The House of Representatives passed The Equality Act (H.R. 5,) by a 236-173 margin today.
This vote marks the first time in U.S. history that a chamber of Congress has advanced legislation providing for nationwide, explicit, and comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people. The legislation also fills significant gaps in our federal civil rights laws for all women and people of color, clarifying that everyone is protected under the law.
Ronald Newman, national political director at the ACLU, had the following response:
“This vote is a monumental step forward in the fight for true, lived equality for LGBTQ people. For too long, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, and especially transgender and non-binary members of our communities have had to live with the constant threat of discrimination and harassment. This law would protect them from being fired from their jobs if they came out as trans, turned away from a business serving the public because of their gender presentation, or denied a lease agreement if they applied with their same-sex partner.
“Finally, our elected officials stepped up to affirm that our nation’s civil rights laws protect everyone. It is now incumbent upon the Senate to finish this work. The ACLU will continue to fight for the advancement of this crucial legislation, and will be taking note of the members who stand in its way. The time for full equality for LGBTQ people is long overdue.”