Statement by National Organization for Women President Toni Van Pelt:
Washington, D.C. — Today the U.S. House of Representatives took a stand for LGBTQIA rights by voting to provide consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections across many areas, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally-funded programs and jury service.
The National Organization for Women applauds the passage of The Equality Act (HR 5), which would ensure that sexual orientation and gender identity are covered under federal civil rights laws. We thank the bill’s sponsor Rep. David Cicilline, (D-R.I.), and all of the members who voted in favor of the legislation.
Currently, this country has no explicit protections at the federal level on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity when it comes to public accommodations, and for many federally-funded programs, because there are no federal sex discrimination protections in these areas. This Act would remedy that fact by providing explicit non-discrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Now we demand that the Senate pick up the mantle and ensure that sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity are among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation under law.
It is far past time for Congress to enact such protections for the LGBTQIA+ community and The Equality Act must become law in this legislative session.
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