Source: United States House of Representatives – Congressman Donald Payne Jr (Tenth District of New Jersey)
February 25, 2021
Media Contact: Patrick Wright — Patrick.Wright@mail.house.gov
Washington, D.C. — Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. voted for the Equality Act today. The bill (H.R. 5) would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in a wide range of areas, including employment, housing, public spaces and services, federally-funded programs, education, credit opportunities, and jury service.
“This bill would remove an injustice regarding how LGBTQ Americans are treated nationwide,” said Rep. Payne, Jr. “It would extend the rights guaranteed in the Constitution to all Americans. I am proud to support this bill and hope it becomes public law soon.”
The bill would expand the existing civil rights laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics. A few of the laws affected include the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. LGBTQ Americans continue to face discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity in many areas of society. Countless members of the national LGBTQ community still live in states where, though they have the right to marry, they have no explicit, state-level non-discrimination protections in other areas of daily life.
In 27 states, LGBTQ Americans lack state protections against being denied housing because of their sexual orientation. In 31 states, they do not have protections regarding access to education. In 38 states, they lack protections regarding jury service. In at least half of the states, a same-sex couple can get married one day and legally denied service at a restaurant or be evicted from their apartment the next day. The Equality Act amends existing federal civil rights laws to create a nationwide standard that explicitly prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity across the country.
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