Tagline: Until the Work Is Done
Equality California Celebrates House Passage of Equality Act, Calls for Senate to “Do What is Right.”
“We urge the Senate to do what is right and pass the Equality Act once and for all. America is ready for the Equality Act. Let’s get this done.”
February 25, 2021 at 2:48 pm

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February 25, 2021

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

WASHINGTON — With a bipartisan vote of 224-206 and all 42 California House Democrats as original co-sponsors, the Equality Act (H.R. 5) passed 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. Half of all LGBTQ+ Americans live in states without comprehensive LGBTQ+ civil rights protections, but 83 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, the nation’s largest statewide LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, released the following statement from Executive Director Rick Chavez Zbur:

“Today’s passage of the Equality Act is monumental — but we know that hard work lies ahead. As long as LGTBQ+ people — especially our transgender kids — face discrimination and hate in their day-to-day lives, we cannot and will not rest. Now, we urge the Senate to listen to the American people — Democrats and Republicans, people of faith and no faith at all — and pass the Equality Act. We urge the Senate to forget about cheap political points and instead think of the millions of lives that the Equality Act will improve. We urge the Senate to do what is right and pass the Equality Act once and for all.

“America is ready for the Equality Act. Let’s get this done.”

A Senate companion bill (S.393) was introduced Tuesday by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) and 48 co-sponsors. There, the bill must overcome the filibuster — an archaic tool that has been used to block civil rights legislation for decades — with the support of 60 senators. Alternatively, some have encouraged the Senate to reform the filibuster in order to pass the Equality Act and other bold legislation that enjoys bipartisan support from an overwhelming majority of voters — but has been held up by a minority of senators representing a minority of Americans.

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.


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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