WASHINGTON – The House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, H.R.5, today, landmark legislation that would explicitly clarify LGBTQ+ people are covered under federal civil rights laws and strengthen public accommodation laws. The following is a statement from Damon Hewitt, acting president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law:
“Today marks a big step forward in the march for equality in our nation. For too long, LGBTQ+ people, particularly those of color, have been the victims of hate crimes and faced discriminatory barriers solely because of their identity. We applaud the House of Representatives for passing the Equality Act to ensure equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community and urge the Senate to swiftly pass this bill to ensure all Americans are able to live their lives free from discrimination.”
The Equality Act would clarify that LGBTQ+ persons are protected under our nation’s civil rights laws. The bill would also strengthen public accommodations laws, which would allow everyone in the country to engage in public life without the fear of harassment or discrimination.