Blunt Rochester Votes to Pass Historic Equality Act to End Discrimination Against All LGBTQ Americans
Washington, February 25, 2021 | Andrew Donnelly (302-893-4406)
WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-Del.) voted to pass H.R. 5, the Equality Act, to ensure that all LGBTQ Americans are granted the full protections guaranteed by federal civil rights laws. The Equality Act extends anti-discrimination protections in employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding, housing and public accommodations.
“For decades, tireless leaders, activists and committed citizens have marched and mobilized to advance progress and secure the promise of equality and justice for the LGBTQ community in Delaware and across the country,” said Blunt Rochester. “While we’ve made a great deal of progress in fighting against discrimination, the reality is that our LGBTQ community deserves the full protection of federal law. The Equality Act is about recognizing a simple proposition - that every American - no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity - deserves to be treated with respect, with dignity, and with equal protection under the law.”
Countless members of the national LGBTQ community still live in states where, though they have the right to marry, they have no explicit, state-level non-discrimination protections in other areas of daily life. In 27 states, LGBTQ Americans do not have state protections against being denied housing because of their sexual orientation; 31 states lack protections regarding access to education; and 38 states lack protections regarding jury service. In at least half of the states, a same-sex couple can get married one day and legally denied service at a restaurant or be evicted from their apartment the next. The Equality Act amends existing federal civil rights laws to create a nationwide standard that explicitly prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity everywhere.
Despite the Supreme Court’s recent Bostock v. Clayton County decision affirming that LGBTQ Americans are protected from discrimination in the workplace under federal law, the Trump Administration advanced an anti-LGBTQ agenda that undermined the rights of LGBTQ Americans. In one of its first actions, the Biden-Harris Administration issued an Executive Order directing all federal agencies to fully comply with the Bostock decision, but the Equality Act remains necessary to codify civil rights protections in every arena of life in America and ensure that future administrations cannot reinterpret the Supreme Court ruling or deny LGBTQ individuals their full rights and protections.
The Equality Act enjoys the overwhelming support of the American people – 70 percent of whom favor the legislation’s vital protections – as well as robust support from the business community, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and hundreds of leading businesses and corporations that recognize that the strength of our economy and our society requires equal protection under the law.