NWLC Celebrates Introduction of the Equality Act

(Washington, D.C.) Today, the Equality Act is set to be introduced again in Congress. The Equality Act would provide protections for LGBTQ people across the country by including the following:

  • Providing consistent and explicit non-discrimination protections across key areas of life, including employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service;
  • Amending existing civil rights law to explicitly define sex discrimination to include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics;
  • Prohibiting discrimination in public spaces and services and federally funded programs on the basis of sex;
  • Updating the public spaces and services covered in current law to include retail stores, services such as banks and legal services, and transportation services;

The following is a statement by Sunu P. Chandy, Legal Director of the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC):

“The Equality Act makes clear what we already know and what courts have recognized: discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity is sex discrimination—and it’s illegal. This critical legislation closes longstanding gaps in civil rights law by adding new protections from discrimination on the basis of sex. It addresses the reality of people of color across the country who identify as LGBTQ+, who deserve to have all of our lived experiences reflected in the law and protected by the law. This legislation would give new protections to survivors, from those facing inadequate responses from police departments to those facing harassment in restaurants or public transportation. This bill protects the civil rights of everyone, and it’s long overdue.”