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Equality Act Re-Introduced in Congress with Broad Support
Equality California Calls for Bill's Passage
March 13, 2019 at 11:40 am

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 13, 2019

CONTACT: Samuel Garrett-Pate, Equality California
PHONE: (323) 848-9801/MOBILE: (973) 476-3770/EMAIL: sam@eqca.org

WASHINGTON — Equality California, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization released the following statement after Representative David Cicilline (D-RI), Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus announced the introduction of the Equality Act (H.R. 5):

“It is unacceptable that in 2019, our nation’s civil rights laws do not clearly and consistently protect millions of LGBTQ Americans from discrimination. You shouldn’t have to live in fear of being fired from your job, denied a home, kicked out of school or turned away by a doctor simply because of who you are or whom you love.

“An overwhelming bipartisan majority of Americans agree: LGBTQ people deserve to be treated equally under the law. Here in California, we’ve led the way in protecting the LGBTQ community and all Californians from discrimination. But which state you live in shouldn’t determine whether or not you have basic legal protections. It’s time to pass the Equality Act.”

The Equality Act (H.R. 5) will provide federal civil rights protections to LGBTQ people across the country — more than half of whom currently live in a state with no such protections. Specifically, the Equality Act will amend existing federal civil rights laws — including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act and the Jury Selection and Services Act — to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill will also amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination in public spaces and services and federally funded programs on the basis of sex.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus have made passing the Equality Act a top priority in the 116th Congress. U.S. Representatives Mark Takano and Katie Hill, both of California, serve as co-chairs of the Caucus. Six of the Caucus’s 18 vice chairs are also from California, as are 30 of the Caucus’s 129 general members, with representatives from the Golden State making up nearly 25 percent of the Caucus’s current membership.

In 2017, Equality California opened a Washington, DC office, led by National Policy Director Valerie Ploumpis, to fight back against the Trump-Pence Administration’s anti-LGBTQ agenda and to work with the Equality Caucus and members of the California Congressional Delegation to advance LGBTQ civil rights and social justice at the federal level. Last week, Equality California hosted a reception on Capitol Hill in honor of the state’s overwhelmingly pro-equality delegation.

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Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization. We bring the voices of LGBTQ people and allies to institutions of power in California and across the United States, striving to create a world that is healthy, just, and fully equal for all LGBTQ people. We advance civil rights and social justice by inspiring, advocating and mobilizing through an inclusive movement that works tirelessly on behalf of those we serve. www.eqca.org


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