House Passes Equality Act; Now on to Senate

Yolanda Curtis
February 26, 2021

It is a top legislative priority of President Biden, who in a statement last week called the bill "a critical step toward ensuring that America lives up to our foundational values of equality and freedom for all".

This time, Republican Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania and John Katko and Tom Reed of NY sided with Democrats in voting for the bill.

"While today is a day of celebration for this momentous accomplishment, it is also a reminder that there is much work that must be done to ensure the Equality Act is passed swiftly in the United States Senate and signed into law by President Joe Biden". Currently, there are protections for discrimination against gender identity and sexual orientation in some, but not all, states.

It also makes it illegal to discriminate on public transportation, public spaces, and in any USA government funded program.

"If passed into law, the Equality Act could prohibit religious organizations-Jewish, Protestant, Catholic, Muslim, all-and churches from hiring only like-minded people who believe what they believe", he continued.

Supporters say the law would ensure that every person is treated equally under the law.

Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) speaks as Sen.

Apple CEO Tim Cook recently tweeted his approval on the upcoming Equality Act in the US House of Representatives, asking the Congress to "get it done". Tammy Baldwin represents. She represents Wisconsin.

The chamber also passed it in 2019, but it stalled in the Senate. Two Republicans did not vote.

The bill passed the House in 2019, but it was ignored by the Senate, then controlled by Republicans.

Despite its widespread support among activists, politicians, and the majority of Americans, the Equality Act now faces an uphill battle in the Senate, where it is expected to be challenged by Republications.

Next up was Rep. Katherine Clark (D-MA), who reiterated the bill's intent - to prevent discrimination against the LGBTQ community.

Gay and lesbian members of Congress spoke about how meaningful the bill is for them.

The Supreme Court's decision past year in Bostock v. Clayton County established that anti-LGBTQ+ employment discrimination is sex discrimination and therefore not allowed under the Civil Rights Act.

The Supreme Court's ruling last June in the case Bostock v. Clay County extended workplace protections to LGBTQ Americans, but groups such as the National Women's Law Center say the legislation would codify the court's decision and create explicit federal protections for LGBTQ Americans beyond the workplace.

The bill had universal support among Democrats. The landmark 1993 law has been invoked by many as a defense against various government mandates, but the Equality Act would override those religious freedom protections.

Republican congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene - one of the fiercest opponents of the bill - tried to halt passage of the legislation on the House floor.

Rep. Marie Newman, D-Ill., whose office sits across from Greene's, put a transgender flag outside her office "so she can look at it every time she opens her door".

Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill.) was moved by Newman's personal stake and placed a transgender flag in front of his office while quoting civil rights hero Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., "Hate can not drive out hate".

Other reports by iNewsToday