Equality Act introduced in House, Senate

“We just passed #HR1 and made history,” Rep, Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce, posted to Facebook shortly after the vote. “‪Our government belongs to the people, not corporations or special interests.”

In an effort to include additional protections to those in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, members of Congress introduced The Equality Act to the House of Representatives and Senate Wednesday.

It’s been reported that there are currently 30 states without full legal protections for LGBTQ people, according to the Human Rights Campaign, meaning it is legal in most parts of the country to discriminate against citizens in the areas of employment, housing and education strictly on the basis of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

Statistics like this are why the bill introduced Wednesday garnered more than 200 co-sponsors and the support of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, which is co-chaired by Rep. Katie Hill, D-Agua Dulce.

“As the first LGBTQ woman in Congress from the state of California, I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of a new generation of leaders who will finally pass this landmark legislation to protect the LGBTQ community from discrimination,” Hill said on Facebook Wednesday, thanking her colleague and caucus co-chair Rep. David Cicilline.

Cicilline added in multiple tweets Wednesday that the legislation seeks to extend federal civil rights protections to LGBTQ Americans.

“No one should have to worry about losing their job or housing simply because of who they are or who they love,” Ciciline tweeted.

Legislation similar to The Equality Act has been introduced to previous sessions of Congress, but it failed to gain enough support to make it to the president’s desk. However, members of the equality caucus, which has its largest membership group ever, are hopeful they’ll be able to pass the bill, “(and) ensure that all LGBTQ Americans can enjoy their most basic human rights no matter where they live, work or go to school,” according to a news release from the caucus.

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