Feb 18, 2021 · Equality Act This bill 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.
Feb 18, 2021 · Text for H.R.5 - 117th Congress (2021-2022): Equality Act
- The Equality Act Simply Punishes Discrimination Against People Who Identify as Gay or Transgender. Fact: The Equality Act—introduced as H.R. 5 in the House of Representatives on February 18, 2021—makes mainstream beliefs about marriage, as well as basic biological facts about sex differences, punishable under the law.
- The Equality Act Preserves Religious Freedom. Fact: The Equality Act guts the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) and threatens constitutional freedoms by eliminating conscience protections from the Civil Rights Act.
- The Equality Act Does Not Expand the Scope of Federal Civil Rights Law. Fact: By expanding the definition of “public accommodations” under Title II of the Civil Rights Act to include “any establishment that provides a good, service, or program, including a store, shopping center, online retailer or service provider, salon, bank, gas station, food bank, service or care center, shelter, travel agency, or funeral parlor, or establishment that provides health care, accounting, or legal services,” many more individuals and establishments would, in fact, become liable to discrimination claims, including doctors who do not want to perform abortions.
- The Equality Act Is Irrelevant to Abortion. Fact: H.R. 5 endangers unborn children. The Equality Act opens the door to taxpayer funding for elective abortions, which the vast majority of Americans oppose, regardless of political affiliation.
Apr 28, 2021 · The Equality Act was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) on February 18, 2021, and in the Senate by Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) on February 23, 2021. The Equality Act passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on February 25, 2021, with a bipartisan vote of 224-206.
- Jury Service
- Federally Funded Programs
- Public Spaces and Services
- The Equality Act Protects and Advances Religious Liberty
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County7 that it is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 19648 for an employer to not hire, to fire, or to otherwise discriminate against individuals because of their sexual orientation or gender identity (SOGI).9The Equality Act would ensure that this interpretation is explicitly codified in the country’s civil rights laws by clarifying that existing sex discrimination protections prohibit discrimination based on SOGI.
The Equality Act similarly amends the Fair Housing Act (FHA) to explicitly codify SOGI protections, robustly prohibiting housing discrimination against LGBTQ people.10 Specifically, the law would prohibit differential treatment in renting, selling, pricing, eviction, service provision, shelter access, homeowners insurance, mortgage lending, and other activities, along with harassment, coercion, and retaliation in the exercise of their fair housing rights.11
The Equality Act would also codify the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau’s interpretive rule,12 explicitly adding SOGI as protected characteristics in the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.13Consequentially, the law would clarify that LGBTQ people cannot be denied car loans, mortgage loans, credit cards, student loans, or small-business loans simply because of who they are—and that differential treatment in credit transactions is prohibited. Access to credit is essential for promoting greater economic security and the financial stability of disadvantaged groups such as LGBTQ people.
By amending the Jury Selection and Service Act to explicitly include SOGI in its definition of sex discrimination, the Equality Act would codify existing interpretations to prohibit attorneys from rejecting prospective jurors simply because they are LGBTQ.14 Although sex discrimination is prohibited in jury selection nationwide, in the 42 states that currently lack explicit SOGI jury protections, attorneys may attempt to deprive LGBTQ people of their constitutional right to a jury of their peers.15
The federal government funds a wide range of programs, including shelters, schools, community health centers, adoption agencies, and law enforcement or carceral institutions. The Equality Act amends Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sex and SOGI, meaning that LGBTQ people and women would be protected from discrimination, mistreatment, or refusal by any of these programs.16 Given the difficulties faced by same-sex prospective parents considering adoption17 and the serious dangers that LGBTQ people, especially transgender individuals, face in confinement, these protections are needed and well overdue.18 The amendment of Title VI would benefit LGBTQ students in federally funded schools by clarifying federal protection against bullying and harassment and ensuring that students have the right to use sex-segregated facilities and participate in sex-segregated activities in accordance with their gender identity. The Equality Act would also protect transgender and nonbinar...
According to CAP’s 2020 survey, more than half of LGBTQ respondents who reported harassment or discrimination said that it occurred in a public space such as a store or restaurant.21 The Equality Act would establish sex and SOGI protections in public accommodations. This means that businesses open to the public, such as restaurants and pharmacies, would face accountability if they discriminate against, mistreat, or refuse to serve LGBTQ individuals. These amendments would not only benefit LGBTQ individuals; all women could no longer be charged higher prices than men for equivalent services or be denied services by establishments that provide health care. Currently, the 1964 Civil Rights Act is out of date and includes protections for only four areas of public accommodation: hotels, inns, motels, or similar lodging; restaurants; entertainment spaces such as movie theaters and sports arenas; and any entity physically located within one of those places.22 By expanding the range of publ...
The Equality Act would benefit many religious people and would not undermine existing religious exemptions in the amended civil rights laws, despite the suggestions of opponents of LGBTQ equality.24 People of faith would, in fact, receive new protections from discrimination—for example, protections from faith-based discrimination in more public accommodations, such as prohibiting the use of “No Muslims allowed” signs in retail stores. Meanwhile, religious organizations would retain all the same exemptions they already have under civil rights laws such as Title VII25 and the FHA:26 They would still be allowed to favor people of the same religion, so long as they do not discriminate based on other protected characteristics. Importantly, the Equality Act clarifies that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)27 cannot serve as a defense against claims of discrimination. This ensures that religion cannot be weaponized as a license to discriminate—including against people for their r...
The Equality Act would meaningfully expand civil rights protections for many Americans and advance equal treatment for LGBTQ people, women, people of faith, and people of color. The concrete benefits of the landmark civil rights laws that it would amend are clear—it’s time to extend these benefits equally to all. Theo Santos is the special assistant for the LGBTQ Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress. Caroline Medina is a policy analyst for the LGBTQ Research and Communications Project at the Center. Sharita Gruberg is the vice president for the LGBTQ Research and Communications Project at the Center.
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Feb 25, 2021 · (CNN) The House has passed the Equality Act, which would amend the 1964 Civil Rights Act to protect people from being discriminated based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment,...
Feb 24, 2021 · Updated Feb. 25, 4:39 p.m. ET The House of Representatives voted on Thursday to pass the Equality Act, a bill that would ban discrimination against people based on sexual orientation and gender...
- Danielle Kurtzleben
Mar 15, 2021 · Today, however, the Equality Act would prohibit discrimination on the basis of both sexual orientation and gender identity across multiple sectors of American life, including employment and...
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