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Neal Votes to Pass Historic Equality Act to End Discrimination Against All LGBTQ Americans

May 17, 2019
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, the United States House of Representatives passed H.R. 5, the Equality Act – a bill to ensure LGBTQ Americans are guaranteed the full protections of federal civil rights laws. This historic legislation extends anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ Americans with regard to employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding, housing and public accommodations.


“I am proud to be from the state of Massachusetts where we have been leading the way in LGBTQ protections for decades,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal, a co-sponsor of this bill. “No American citizen should be denied housing, the ability to attend school, to apply for a mortgage, or to serve on a jury because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The Equality Act will ensure that all LGBT Americans can enjoy their most basic human rights no matter where they live, work, or go to school.”


Despite significant legal advances over the past several years – including marriage equality, LGBTQ Americans remain vulnerable to discrimination on a daily basis and too often have little recourse. Fifty percent of the national LGBTQ community live in states where, though they have the right to marry, they have no explicit non-discrimination protections in other areas of daily life.


The Equality Act amends existing federal civil rights laws to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit, Federal jury service, public accommodations, and the use of Federal funds. It does so by adding sex in some places where it had not previously been protected, and clarifying that sex includes sexual orientation and gender identity.


This bill now heads to the Senate.