Lawmakers Must Make Comprehensive LGBTQ Nondiscrimination Protections a Priority
Today, Henderson Equality Center and Equality Nevada joined a coalition of more than 150 state, local and national lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) organizations in calling on Congress to swiftly pass the Equality Act.
“Across our state, LGBTQ people and their families and friends, business owners and faith leaders have all been making their support for the Equality Act known,” said Mr. Davin. “This law would be a significant step forward for the LGBTQ community, and we are committed to mobilizing our communities in Las Vegas and Henderson, Nevada to make sure our lawmakers know this is about people, not politics.”
The Equality Act, introduced today in the U.S. House of Representatives, is a landmark nondiscrimination and civil rights bill that would update existing federal laws to protect people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation and gender identity. It has broad and deep support across lines of political party, demographics, and geography.
Discrimination is still commonplace for LGBTQ Americans. Opponents of LGBTQ equality continue to file discriminatory bills in states across the country in an attempt to undermine existing protections in adoption, marriage and access to basic public services and businesses. According to a 2020 study, one in three LGBTQ Americans faced discrimination in the previous year, including three in five transgender Americans. The Equality Act would ensure that all LGBTQ Americans can live, work, and access public spaces free from discrimination, no matter what state they call home.
The Equality Act has broad and deep support across lines of political party, demographics, and geography, with 83 percent of Americans saying they favor LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections, including 68 percent of Republicans and a majority in every state in the country.
“It’s time for our lawmakers to listen to their constituents, show leadership and make passage of the Equality Act a priority,” said Mr. Davin. “All Americans, including LGBTQ people, should be able to live, work, and access services like banks and medical care without fear of harassment or discrimination. Inequality perpetuates a culture that doesn’t work for this country.”
Although 21 states and more than 330 cities have passed LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections, half of LGBTQ people live in the 29 states that still lack comprehensive statewide laws. From our work in Las Vegas and Henderson, NV we know firsthand that this patchwork of protections is unsustainable and leaves too many people behind.
In 2019, the Equality Act was introduced in the House of Representatives. It passed the House on May 17, 2019 with a bipartisan 236-173 vote. It was not heard in the Senate.
Today, the House will be presenting the Equality Act, with a vote in the House coming as early as next week. In the coming days, we will have information on our website, so you can reach out to your Senators here in Nevada as well as every state in America, to make sure that the Equality Act passes, and those in our governmental systems are acting on behalf of the people and not politics.