Thursday, the House voted to pass H.R. 5, the Equality Act. The Equality Act ensures equal treatment of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning or Queer(LGBTQ) individuals by amending the Civil Rights Act, Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit and Opportunity Act, and the Jury Selection Act to create a single national prohibition on discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation in employment, housing, public accommodation, education, and more.
Currently, California is one of only 21 states to have an explicit law barring discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public accommodation. Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), an original cosponsor of the Equality Act, and Vice Chair of the Equality Caucus issued the following statement:
“Discrimination against LGBTQ individuals in where they can live, work, or eat, how they must go to the bathroom, what sports they can play and more is completely unjustifiable and cannot be tolerated. This discrimination is particularly harmful to younger people who are subjected to bullying and prejudice that can lead to depression and other long term repercussions.
But I know we are better than this, and I know we can do more to ensure a brighter future for everyone, no matter who they love. And that is why I am proud to support the Equality Act. Already, my state of California is a leader in promoting LGBTQ rights and our state is better off for it. It’s time we extend these same protections nationally, and that is what this bill does. Somebody’s sexual orientation should have no bearing on where they can live or work, it should have no bearing on their opportunities, and it should absolutely never be an excuse for discrimination.
Respect for others must extend both ways, which is why I am proud that this bill maintains respect for all religious beliefs without imposing restrictions on others. I am proud to stand on the side of equality.”