History Made as Equality Bill Passes House – BUT NOW is the Time for HUGE LGBTQ Advocacy

Today the House of Representatives took the historic step of passing the Equality Act, the federal bill that would finally afford basic civil rights protections for the LGBTQI community. If it passes the Senate and is signed by the President, it would amend the Civil Rights Act to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit, and the jury system.

“This moment has been 45 years in the making,” said Mayor Annise Parker, LGBTQ Victory Institute President & CEO. “The LGBTQ community has come a long way since a non-discrimination law was first introduced in the U.S. House in 1974, and yet LGBTQ people can still be fired for their sexual orientation in 28 states – and 30 for their gender identity. All ten openly LGBTQ members of Congress banded together to share their lived experiences and pass this commonsense reform – and their advocacy was crucial to courting the votes it received today. America is beyond ready to enshrine LGBTQ equality in public life and now the U.S. Senate must step up!”

The two openly LGBTQ members of the U.S. Senate are Tammy Baldwin and Kyrsten Sinema. The eight openly LGBTQ members of the U.S. Congress are David Cicilline, Angie Craig, Sharice Davids, Katie Hill, Sean Patrick Maloney, Chris Pappas, Mark Pocan and Mark Takano.

This is a day to celebrate — not only for the LGBTQ community, but for all people who believe in treating their family members, friends, neighbors, and fellow community members with dignity and respect,” said Masen Davis, CEO of Freedom for All Americans. “For the first time in American history, members of Congress have affirmed that LGBTQ people need express and enduring protections in their daily lives. This is the latest indicator of the mounting evidence of bipartisan momentum across the country in support of LGBTQ Americans, no matter who they are or who they love. It’s urgent that we keep the momentum going and bring people together from all walks of life in order to secure the strongest protections for as many people as we can, as soon as possible. We are grateful to Speaker Pelosi, Rep. Cicilline, and Democratic leadership in the House for prioritizing this crucial legislation.”

It is time for us all to advocate like our lives depend on it – and for many lives that is true  – need I say more… centuries of being treated like criminals and second class citizens must end!

Now we must target the Senate!

The hateful opposition is already sending emails right wing supporters, as they noted in their current Press release: “American Family Association (AFA) had previously written a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to voice its opposition to the measure, as well as sent an Action Alert on the subject to its nearly 1 million friends and supporters.”

There are Senators who need to be convinced to support the Bill and many who are being targeted by the right wingers to vote it down.

Yes, we will also need a president willing to sign these critical protections into law. While that may seem unlikely, do not let it deter you. We need ALL of you to reach out to Senators and the White House – to inform them of the support the Equality Act already has accomplished. That hundreds of corporations support the Equality Act. That millions of families and voters agree LGBTQI people should have full equality under the law!

Look at ALL your emails and all the calls for action. Follow the lead of organizations calling you to respond. Lets make a BIG NOISE!

Also keep an eye on the cases headed to SCOTUS. This is the most critical time to be aware and ACT.

Make no bones about it – our LGBTQ enemies are going full on to spew a no vote to the Senators and Trump – and the fact that Trump’s base is Evangelically inclined will, when push comes to shove, steer his course! By way of illustration – the moment the Equality Bill passed the house – here was The American Family Association, a vitriolic anti-LGBT organization’s Press release :

The U.S. House of Representatives today passed the controversial Equality Act (H.R. 5), which would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include extrinsic qualities, sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes. The Hill reports that eight Republicans sided with Democrats on the issue.

“The Equality Act is designed to wield a wrecking ball to religious liberty,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “The bill has nothing to do with equality, but everything to do with punishing Christians’ religious liberty. The result will unleash radical liberals to attack those whose faith teaches that marriage is only between one man and one woman, and that sexual identity of male and female is a fixed, biological fact. As the Democrat Party’s platform states, ‘We support a progressive vision of religious freedom that respects pluralism and rejects the misuse of religion to discriminate,’ it’s clear party members have clearly laid out their intent to force Christians into subjugation to radical sexual deviancy.” – View the media page for AFA here. For more information on American Family Association, visit www.afa.net or follow AFA on Facebook or on Twitter @AmericanFamAssc.

 

PFAW Applauds House Passage of the Equality Act

People For the American Way (PFAW) today applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for passing H.R. 5, the Equality Act, which recognizes that every American deserves full and equal rights under the law, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill passed the House today by a vote of 236 to 173.

“We applaud U.S. Rep. Cicilline and H.R. 5’s cosponsors for their leadership on this crucial piece of legislation that strengthens civil rights protections for every person in the U.S.,” PFAW President Michael Keegan said. “Everyone deserves full and equal rights under the law, and the Equality Act is an important step in that direction.”

The bill adds affirmative protections for sexual orientation and gender identity to federal laws including the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and the Jury Selection and Service Act. It also updates federal public accommodations law to include protections against sex discrimination and covers more public services. H.R. 5 also plainly states that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not provide an exemption from federal civil rights laws.

As spelled out in PFAW’s May 14 letter to members of Congress, the organization “strongly agrees with the courts that have held that existing federal sex discrimination laws already protect LGBTQ+ people from discrimination, but we also know that the Equality Act is necessary to affirm those protections and ensure that they apply consistently nationwide.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell must now bring H.R. 5 to a vote in his chamber before it can be sent to the president for his signature.

NBJC Statement on Equality Act Vote

Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5, the Equality Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system. In response to the news and Trump’s reported opposition to the Equality Act, David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), released the following statement:

“Every day, members of the Black community face discrimination as a result of who we are and how we show up in the world. There is much more work to do to ensure that each of us are spared from discrimination and spared from attacks on our constitutional rights and the passage of the Equality Act is a critical step in the right direction.

“Our community has been on the frontlines of the work that led to the passage of extensive civil and human rights protections in the 60s, yet our work today is far from complete. In spite of existing federal protections against discrimination and bias, Black people are still denied access to public accommodations and services; fired from jobs or denied promotions because of our natural hair; experience housing discrimination when seeking rentals, home ownership and financing; and blocked from jury service. All of this contributes to negative social and economic outcomes for Black people, our communities and the country at large. Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (SGL) people are impacted even more when we are not protected by federal legislation from discrimination while on the job or seeking to access public accommodations.

“To this end, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), stands proudly, in coalition with advocates for racial equality and LGBTQ/SGL equality to support the passage of H.R.5, the Equality Act.  These critical civil protections, along with the preservation of existing civil rights laws are paramount to our collective efforts to ensure that every member of the Black community is safe and supported in participating fully in democracy.  Today we celebrate forward movement, we also understand our work continues.”

Muslim Advocates Applauds House Passage of Equality Act

The following is a statement from Muslim Advocates Executive Director Farhana Khera on the passage of the Equality Act in the U.S. House of Representatives:

“Today’s passage of the Equality Act in the U.S. House of Representatives is a welcome victory in the fight against discrimination. It is a disgrace that LGBTQ Americans can lose their jobs and homes or can be denied credit due to their gender identity or sexual orientation.

American Muslims come from every race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender identity, and they should be protected from discrimination in all of its forms. This is one reason why we proudly support the Equality Act, a necessary measure that helps achieve our mission to stop bigotry in its tracks.

We now call on the Senate to pass this important civil rights bill and ensure that all Americans can live free from discrimination.”

PFLAG Statement

“PFLAG families have been fighting for over four decades for these protections and equal rights as promised by the U.S. Constitution, and now they are closer to achieving that promise…”

Today, PFLAG National—the nation’s first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies—celebrated the historic passage of the Equality Act (H.R.5) in the U.S. House of Representatives, a federal bill that would add LGBTQ+ people to existing civil rights laws.

“PFLAGers across the country thank Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) for their leadership in introducing the Equality Act, and the many Representatives from across the country who today cast their historic votes in favor of equality, fairness, and safety,” said Brian K. Bond, former Obama White House official and now Executive Director of PFLAG National. “PFLAG families want for their LGBTQ+ loved ones the same things that all families want: job security, a home, a family, and unfettered access to healthcare and other crucial services. PFLAG families have been fighting for over four decades for these protections and equal rights as promised by the U.S. Constitution, and now they are ever closer to achieving that promise.”

The PFLAG National Board of Directors this week issued a unanimously passed resolution in support of the Equality Act, which has also been translated into Spanish. Additionally, hundreds of PFLAG chapter leaders from across the country endorsed the legislation, and have committed to working together in every zip code across the country until the Equality Act passes in the Senate and is signed into law by a President of the United States.

TLDEF Statement on Historic Passage of Equality Act in the U.S. House of Representatives

“Today’s historic passage of The Equality Act is a tremendous step towards achieving full and lived equality for transgender people. All of us deserve the fundamental right to earn a decent living, provide for ourselves and our loved ones, have access to housing, and receive quality health care free from bias. The Equality Act ensures that everyone is guaranteed a fair opportunity to realize their full potential and thrive in our communities.” Andy Marra, Executive Director, Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund
More Notes from Mel:
Let me add a message to Donald J. Trump, charged as president with signing the legislation:  If you have told Mayor Pete Buttigieg that you are supportive of his same-sex marriage then how can you be against all the other crucial aspects of equality for LGBTQ people?

POSTED BY MELANIE NATHAN
Commissionermnathan@gmail.com

Divorce and Family Mediation: http://www.privatecourts.com
Advocacy: African Human Rights Coalition
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One thought on “History Made as Equality Bill Passes House – BUT NOW is the Time for HUGE LGBTQ Advocacy

  1. It’s a start but it will never become law unless the Democrats can beat Trump in 2020 and win both houses of Congress. Even then Trump’s packed Supreme Court poses a threat to all progressive legislation.

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