Tagline: Until the Work Is Done
Equality California Applauds Introduction of Equality Act; Urges Congress to Pass Historic Civil Rights Legislation
"We’re ready for the Equality Act — and so is America.”
February 18, 2021 at 10:42 am

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February 18, 2021

CONTACT: Joshua Stikney, Equality California
PHONE: (323) 848-9801/MOBILE: (405) 315-4151/EMAIL: press@eqca.org

WASHINGTON —  Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Co-Chair Rep. David Cicilline (D-Rhode Island) introduced the Equality Act in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday. The landmark civil rights legislation would update existing federal laws to protect people from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) is expected to introduce the bill in the Senate next week. Half of all LGBTQ+ Americans live in states without explicit comprehensive LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections, but eighty-three percent of Americans say they favor LGBTQ+ nondiscrimination protections, including 68 percent of Republicans and a majority in every state in the country.

Equality California released the following statement from Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur:

“With pro-equality partners in the White House and Congress and a mandate from the American people, it’s clear: the time to pass the Equality Act is now. For decades, our LGBTQ+ community — and an ever-growing chorus of allies — have fought for federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ people. We’ve struggled. We’ve taken on extremists, stood up to bullies and faced down deadly epidemics. We’ve protested, marched and organized. Not all of us have lived to see justice. But justice will prevail.

“As LGBTQ+ people go about our lives, succeed in film, television, sports and nearly every industry and even assume some of the highest positions of responsibility in the country, too many of us still face discrimination every single day — at work and school, or when seeing the doctor or buying a home.

“No matter where you live or who you love, every American deserves to live, work, access services and receive healthcare without fear of harassment or discrimination. We’ve achieved some incredible victories, including the landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, but it’s time to finally assure that all LGBTQ+ Americans have the comprehensive civil rights protections we need. We’re ready for the Equality Act — and so is America.”

In 2019, the Equality Act was introduced in the House, where it passed with a bipartisan vote of 236-173. Then-Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked the bill from receiving a vote in the Senate.

A vote on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives is expected on February 25, 2022.


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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