Does the Equality Act Have a Chance of Passing?

Now with 240-plus bipartisan members of Congress and 115 leading businesses endorsing legislation to guarantee full federal equality to LGBTQ people, the Equality Act may just have a chance of passing.

In 30 states, LGBTQ Americans remain at risk of being fired, denied housing, or turned away from a business simply because of who they are, this could change with the passage of the Act.

This is the three-year anniversary of the introduction of the Equality Act — critically important federal legislation that would finally add clear, comprehensive non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people to our nation’s civil rights laws. Discrimination is a real and persistent problem for far too many LGBTQ Americans. HRC polling has found that nearly two-thirds of self-identified LGBTQ Americans report experiencing discrimination.

Currently, 50 percent of LGBTQ Americans live in states that lack statewide legal protections, leaving their residents and visitors at risk of being fired, denied housing, or refused service because of who they are or whom they love. The Equality Act would extend existing civil rights protections to LGBTQ people by prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally-funded programs and jury service.

In addition to having bipartisan support in Congress, 115 major corporations have joined HRC’s Business Coalition for the Equality Act. While the overwhelming majority of America’s leading businesses have already started addressing workplace fairness for LGBTQ employees, these major employers know how important the need is for a federal standard that treats all employees the same no matter which state they live in. The slate of companies endorsing the Equality Act have combined operations in all 50 states, headquarters spanning 23 states, and collectively generate $2.6 trillion in revenue. In total, these companies employ more than 5.8 million people across the United States.

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