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Equality Act “Will Cover and Expand Protections for LGBTQ people and Women” in Time of Increased Discrimination and Violence
(Washington, DC March 13) The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund applauds Representatives David Cicilline and Brian Fitzpatrick and Senators Jeff Merkley, Tammy Baldwin, and Cory Booker for reintroducing the Equality Act in the U.S. House and Senate this week.
As a Christian, Black, Bisexual woman, if one of my identities is not protected under the law, then none of them are. The Equality Act will cover and expand protections for LGBTQ people and women, ensuring that no part of one’s identity can be used to discriminate against them in housing, credit, education, employment, publicly-funded programs like child welfare agencies, expanded public accommodations to include retail, taxis, and more. The Civil Rights Act must protect all Black people – including LGBTQ people and women.
Stacey Long Simmons, Advocacy & Action Director, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
LGBTQ people continue to face discrimination without explicit federal protections that cover all of who we are, all the time. We have seen an increase in discriminatory actions and hate violence against so many communities in the age of Trump, particularly religious minorities, people of color, immigrants, and LGBTQ people, making it all the more urgent to strengthen protections in existing civil and human rights laws.
Rea Carey, Executive Director, National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund
The expansion of legal protections is long overdue. In 1974, the Task Force was credited for getting Rep. Bella Abzug to introduce the original federal protections bill – the first piece of federal legislation that would have provided non-discrimination protections for sexual orientation. Today, according to The Center for American Progress, one in four LGBTQ people have reported being discriminated against. Transgender people and people of color endure even more detrimental impacts, with 47 percent of transgender people reporting workplace discrimination. Black people in same-sex relationships report rates of poverty that are double the rate of Black people in opposite-sex relationships.
The country is ready for Congress to strengthen existing federal protections and we are grateful to our Congressional champions for reintroducing this comprehensive measure. Now it’s time for lawmakers, progressive groups, and grassroots advocates to move swiftly to advance the Equality Act.
The National LGBTQ Task Force Action Fund builds power, takes action, and creates change to achieve freedom and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people.