Great to see the Equality Act pass; see below for comments by Virginia U.S. House members. Also note that every Virginia Democrat voted to protect LGBTQ Americans equally under law, while every single Virginia Republican voted to keep anti-LGBTQ discrimination going strong. Any further questions about the differences between Rs and Ds?
From Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-VA07):
U.S. House Passes Bipartisan Bill Spanberger Helped Introduce to Protect LGBTQ Americans Equally Under Law
Earlier this Year, the Congresswoman Helped Introduce the Equality Act, which would Prohibit Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives today voted to pass legislation U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger helped introduce to expand protections for LGBTQ people in Central Virginia and across the country.
Currently, only 21 states explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. This patchwork of protections is often insufficient to prevent the discrimination of LGBTQ people in employment, housing, and other areas of daily life.
In March, Spanberger helped introduce the bipartisan Equality Act of 2019, which would offer new anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ Americans who too often face discrimination without any legal recourse. Today, the House voted to pass the Equality Act on a bipartisan vote.
“As the U.S. Representative for Virginia’s Seventh District, I represent a diverse group of constituents—and I firmly believe that all those I serve should be afforded the exact same protections under law. But for too long, federal law has not fully protected our LGBTQ neighbors from facing discrimination—whether when buying a new home, accessing a quality education, or keeping a good-paying job,” said Spanberger. “Today marks a moment of progress in our work to protect the civil rights of all Americans. Since arriving in the House, I’ve been proud to help introduce and pass this bipartisan bill, because no American should face discrimination or harassment based on whom they love. I encourage our colleagues in the Senate to support and pass this bill, so that all Americans can obtain the rights and protections they deserve as U.S. citizens.”
The bipartisan legislation would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ensure that LGBTQ Americans are afforded the same protections against discrimination as every other American. Specifically, the bill would change existing civil rights laws to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations, federal financial assistance, education, employment, housing, access to credit, and federal jury service. Federal courts and agencies have already interpreted federal law banning sex discrimination to include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity—and the Equality Act affirms that understanding of existing law in order to provide more clarity to the public.
Spanberger is an original cosponsor of the Equality Act, which is led by U.S. Representatives David Cicilline (D-RI-01) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01).
From Rep. Donald McEachin (D-VA04):
McEachin Votes in Support of Equality Act
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) proudly supported H.R. 5, the Equality Act, which extends anti-discrimination protections under existing federal civil rights law to LGBTQ Americans.
“Since my days in the Virginia General Assembly, I have fought for legislation that would end discrimination against LGBTQ Americans. Building on that work, I proudly voted for the Equality Act,” said Congressman A. Donald McEachin. “No one should be mistreated or denied access to housing, credit, education, or other essential services because of who they love. I will never stop fighting until all Americans enjoy full equality.”
The Equality Act ensures that the same protections already extended to other protected classes are equally available to LGBTQ Americans. This bill amends existing federal civil rights laws to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the areas of education, employment, housing, credit, jury service, public accommodations, and federal funding.
From Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08):
At last — the House just passed the Equality Act, to ban discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual preference! I voted YES.
It’s up to the Senate now to join us in protecting LGBTQ Americans. https://t.co/T9sr8QBzqL
— Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) May 17, 2019
From Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA10):
PASSED: the #EqualityAct would ensure all Americans—no matter who you love or how you identify—are equal under the law.
We’re one step closer to realizing the fundamental promise of this nation that all Americans are created equal.
This is a truly historic moment. pic.twitter.com/OJRCLqWS0C
— Rep. Jennifer Wexton (@RepWexton) May 17, 2019
From Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA03):
Passage of the #EqualityAct 🏳️🌈 is long overdue. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in the House to make clear that LGBTQ individuals are equally protected from discrimination under the law. https://t.co/SrqgwiDLOF
— Rep. Bobby Scott (@BobbyScott) May 17, 2019
Virginia is for 🏳️🌈ALL🏳️🌈 lovers.
Cheers to the #EqualityAct!
— Rep. Jennifer Wexton (@RepWexton) May 17, 2019