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Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus Celebrates House Passage of Equality Act

Feb 25, 2021
Press Release


DATE:  February 25, 2021





Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus

Celebrates House Passage of Equality Act


Washington, D.C. – The Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus celebrates today’s historic House passage of the Equality Act (HR 5), legislation that expands the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other existing statutes, to extend non-discrimination protections to the LGBTQ community.


“Every American deserves to be treated with respect and dignity,” said Equality Caucus Chair David N. Cicilline (RI-01), who authored the Equality Act. “With today’s vote, the House has again affirmed that LGBTQ people should enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as all other Americans. I look forward to seeing President Biden sign the Equality Act into law.”


“In the year 2021, LGBTQ Americans are still discriminated against just because of who they are and who they love. LGBTQ people deserve the federal protections under this bill to live equal and proud lives – no matter what state they live in,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18). “I’m proud to help pass the Equality Act and will fight to get it signed into law under the Biden-Harris Administration.”


“No person should face discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity—period. The Equality Act codifies LGBTQ+ equality into law and explicitly bans LGBTQ+ discrimination in employment, housing, education, and much more. We have a long path forward to ensuring true equality for all people, but passing this bill is a massive step forward. Regardless of who you are or whom you love, you have the right to live freely and openly in our country,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Mark Pocan (WI-02).


“Over the past few years, we have seen progress being made to establish rights for LGBTQ+ people in America. Marriage equality is a right nationwide and last year the Supreme Court extended protection from discrimination to LGBTQ+ people in the workplace. But the sad reality is that in far too many states, the LGBTQ+ community still faces discrimination in key areas of life, and they do not enjoy the same civil rights as other Americans. This disparity is particularly harmful to vulnerable members of our community, including trans people and queer people of color, who face greater discrimination and violence motivated by hate,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Mark Takano (CA-41). “Today’s historic passage of the Equality Act in the House is a major step toward fixing this injustice and guaranteeing full federal civil rights protections for the LGBTQ+ community. Now, we have to use every legislative tool at our disposal to get the Equality Act passed in the Senate and signed into law by President Biden.”


“As the first openly lesbian mom in Congress, I am incredibly proud to help pass this crucial piece of legislation and to fight for the rights of LGBTQ Americans across the country,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Angie Craig (MN-02). “Those of us who are fortunate enough to serve our country in Congress have a responsibility to pass bills like the Equality Act to ensure that all of our constituents have equal protection under the law. Because when we outlaw discrimination and harassment against some, the benefits are shared by all of us – and our communities are stronger.”


“Every American should have equal protection under the law – plain and simple. But in the majority of states across the county, including my home state of Kansas, it’s still legal to discriminate against LGBTQ+ Americans in housing, education, health care, and other core areas of day to day life. The Equality Act would amend existing civil rights laws to bar discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, helping to ensure that all LGBTQ+ Americans can enjoy their most basic human rights no matter where they live, work, or go to school. I truly believe this is the kind of legislation that can save lives – that will send a message to LGBTQ+ youth that their experience is valid and that they are seen and heard by their elected officials. We have the opportunity right now to finally get the Equality Act signed into law, and we shouldn’t waste any time getting it done,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Sharice Davids (KS-03).  


“Full equality under the law. Nothing less, nothing more. That’s what the Equality Act means to our LGBTQ family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues who for far too long have gone without these same legal protections guaranteed to others,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Chris Pappas (NH-01). “America is only made stronger by recognizing our diversity and guaranteeing greater equality for all under the law, and the Equality Act will steer our nation closer to the promise of its founding principles.”


"After four years of enduring racist, sexist, homophobic, and transphobic attacks, and generations of systemic discrimination, LGBTQ+ people deserve dignity, respect, and equal protection under the law," said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Mondaire Jones (NY-17). "No one should face discrimination because of who they are or who they love, but from housing and education to our justice system, LGBTQ+ discrimination pervades every area of our society. With the Equality Act, we will take a powerful step toward affirming the rights of LGBTQ+ people. As the first openly gay, Black Member of Congress, this fight is personal to me, and I’ll do everything in my power to ensure the Equality Act makes it across the finish line."


“The Equality Act opens the door to what is possible in America: a country where every LGBTQ+ individual is treated equally and with respect under the law. No one should have to fear losing their job, home, or education because of who they are or who they love. We cannot be a country where one set of rules applies to one group of people, and a different set applies to another. When the bill moves to the House floor, I proudly voted in support of the Equality Act to establish permanent federal protections against discrimination in housing, education, employment and credit. With its passage, we have affirmed our country’s ideals: fairness, equality, security, respect and dignity for all,” said Equality Caucus Co-Chair Ritchie Torres (NY-15).


Please contact Shawn Gaylord at 202-257-8416 or with press inquiries.


Founded in 2008, the mission of the Congressional LGBTQ+ Equality Caucus is to promote equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Caucus, which is led by the nine openly LGBTQ+ members of the House of Representatives, is strongly committed to achieving the full enjoyment of human rights for LGBTQ+ people in the U.S. and around the world.