Democrats To Reintroduce LGBT Equality Act

Via press release:  

Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 2 at 11AM ET, members of the U.S. Congress will gather in the Capitol’s Rayburn Room with advocacy leaders and LGBT Americans who have suffered discrimination to announce the re-introduction of historic legislation to ban discrimination against LGBT individuals in federal law.

The Equality Act would outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, and other areas of law where discrimination is already prohibited for other protected classes.

In most states, this discrimination – including being fired, refused an apartment or mortgage, or refused service at a restaurant based on LGBT status – is not explicitly outlawed. The Equality Act would make clear that LGBT Americans are fully protected from discrimination under federal law.

Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley
Rep. David Cicilline
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
Senate Democratic Leader Charles E. Schumer
Senate Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray
Sen. Tammy Baldwin
Sen. Cory Booker
Chad Griffin, President, Human Rights Campaign
Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President, Center for American Progress
Mara Keisling, Executive Director, National Center for Transgender Equality
Emily Martin, General Counsel and Vice President, National Women’s Law Center

The press conference will be live-streamed on Facebook.

  • good. get them on the offical record.

  • Judas Peckerwood

    Thanks, Jeff. Glad you’re one of my Senators.

  • Boreal

    I know some will comment that this is a waste of time but keeping our rights front and center is needed right now.

    • Sorry, but that’s how I feel.

      • Boreal

        It’s ok to feel like that but most straight people I know think we have rights when in fact we don’t.

        • You do have a point.

          • Boreal

            My Doctor , who is open minded and fairly well informed, and I had a conversation after I got married and he had no idea that I could be fired or denied housing or public accommodations in 31 states.

        • metrored

          ^^This right here. I’m so sick of straight people acting like we have everything we’ve ever wanted just because gay marriage is legal.

          • Nowhereman

            Marriage was the least of my problems.

        • NowAnAgnostic

          They did as far back as 1985. Straight lady told me to claim discrimination over job promotion.

        • Nowhereman

          True that. I had a couple of acquaintances who thought that I had the same rights as they did. I disabused them of the notion. When you have rights, it’s easy to forget that others do not.

        • JT

          Yes, they tend to be clueless about this and are shocked to learn that in many states you can marry someone of the same sex one day and get fired for doing so the next.

        • Ninja0980

          Many still don’t know it’s perfectly legal to fire us in 31 states and deny us housing etc. solely because we are LGBT.

      • Judas Peckerwood

        Fatigue and pessimism are understandable. But giving up is not an option.

        • I am not giving up. You mischaracterize my position.

    • Butch

      Acknowledging that it probably isn’t going anywhere isn’t the same as saying it’s a waste of time – which is to say that I agree with you, Boreal.

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      It doesn’t hurt, but it would have been nice if they had done this when they had majorities in both houses and a Democrat in the WH.

      • Judas Peckerwood

        When Dems had majorities in both houses of Congress, the “Democrat in the WH” was still “evolving” on marriage equality.

        • Todd20036

          This wasn’t about just marriage, but yes, there was only a very small window of time, and our side squandered it.

          Still, given what is going on in Chechnya, as Boreal says, this can only help us, even if its just to keep our needs on the front burner.

          • Ninja0980

            Yup, with so many other things, Democrats wasted the time they had to push reforms in many areas.

      • Boreal

        I completely agree but dems got complacent. I think lots of our allies got complacent too after we gained marriage equality without realizing how much else we can still be denied.

        • Ninja0980

          The other problem was there were many conservative Democrats who were never going to be on board with giving us equal rights.
          Trying to block a filibuster without them wasn’t going to happen.

      • Bubba in TX

        We were SOOOO close several years ago. Lost in the Senate by one vote, I think (I could be wrong). At issue was the transgender inclusion–some say w/o it it would have sailed through.

        Thankfully, the issue of trans rights is front and center now, and many eyes have been opened and minds changed. If they had known then what they know now, we’d probably have a Federal law by this point.

      • kcken

        But don’t forget what Obama had inherited when he got the job. Financial collapse, loss of a million jobs a month, and two wars.
        We had a majority but only for something like 61 days or something.

      • Gerry Fisher

        That Congress was one of the most productive in history. We got hate crimes legislation and an end to DADT–which was pretty darn hard–in that Congress. (Not to mention Obamacare.) This isn’t to say that they are above criticism; that being said, I think it’s unfair to imply that they were sitting on their hands or being complacent.

    • StillALiberal

      Always good idea to at least have a roll call of allies and enemies even if it ultimately fails.

    • david fairfield

      It is imperative.

  • C’mon, enough with the pointless “won’t even be heard in committee” gestures.

    • metrored

      They’re trying to let us know where they stand and reminding us who we’re up against.

    • Judas Peckerwood

      So what’s the answer? Just curl up in the fetal position for the next 4-8 years?

      • another_steve

        I sense that girl is just voicing the frustration we all feel. And that’s okay.

        Becca’s one of the most astute commenters on this blog imo.

        • Judas Peckerwood

          The thing is, that “there’s nothing we can do” thing is contagious. So I always try to nip it in the bud before it spreads.

          • another_steve

            Understood. Sometimes, though, we just need to throw our arms up in despair.

            And weep.

      • No. I argue instead for actions with consequences, not these PR events that result in nothing concrete.

        Dems negotiating with GOP on a 6 months budget extension and winning nearly every concession? That’s an accomplishment.

    • SoCalGal20

      It’s not pointless. It puts supporters on the record and it lets people out there know that there are Dems willing to fight the good fight even when they know they’re not going to get anywhere with this Congress.

  • Halou

    If Congress spends it’s time hearing this instead of the wall proposal, even if it doesn’t pass it is still a public service.

  • Skokieguy [Larry]

    There are plenty of reasonable people who have no idea that discrimination is legal in a majority of states. Get married on Monday, get fired on Tuesday. This isn’t pointless.

    • That_Looks_Delicious

      I think you mean legal, unless a few more states flipped and I didn’t hear about it.

    • Gerry Fisher

      A thought passed through my addled brain: Instead of compromising in regard to who it covers (trans folks), what would it be like if we compromised on the types of rights (ditch public accommodations for now), thereby sidestepping the whole bathroom nonsense. It would expose the Republicans as disagreeing with the 60% to 70% of Americans who are on board with the other parts of anti-discrimination (especially employment), we’ve been able to shame some businesses using public pressure instead of law when it comes to public accommodations, and it gives trans people some cover until we can work through this bathroom hang up we’ve got going on right now (the younger generation is totally on board, which bodes well for the future).

      The ultimate goal, of course, is full protection.

  • another_steve

    All deplorables who are LGBT or have LGBT children or other relatives — shame on you.


    • Skeptical_Inquirer

      They’re incapable of shame.

      • Todd20036

        And if Milo is any indication, incapable of fashion, as well

        • Cuberly

          …well to be honest I think that’s the point. Dressing like a color blind ADD sufferer is part of the schick, to stand out.

      • another_steve

        “They’re incapable of shame.”

        I think so, S_I.

        I think so.

    • Judas Peckerwood

      The leopards would never eat *their* children’s faces.

      • Adam Schmidt

        Geek moment here… My hubby and I have had an active D&D group for about 15+ years. The membership has shifted over time as people move or have kids. We had one member, “had” being an operative word, who was at Stacy’s and my wedding as a guest… one of five total. We consider these guys to be our family.

        Well this guy, Ed… he was and is a Trump supporter. I tried to explain just how toxic Trump was and that he had committed to a list of Supreme Court nominees who would rule in favor of banning same sex marriage. That voting for him was the same as saying that my marriage shouldn’t exist.

        His response was that well, Trump would never actually do that, he was just saying it to rile up the base. I responded asking my “friend” if he was willing to bet my marriage on that. His response… don’t worry, if it comes to that you can hide in my basement.

        Needless to say, we’re not exactly friends any more.

    • Ninja0980

      Many of them like my friend’s “parents” worry more about Jesus condemning them to hell for daring to support their LGBT offspring then anything else.

  • Boreal
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  • Sam_Handwich

    there’s a bear stuck up in a tree in downtown Roanoke right now

    anyone seen DaddyRay?

  • Nowhereman

    I’m thinking it has a snowball’s chance in hell of passing, but thank you for trying. I live in a state where I can now legally get married, but I can get fired from a job and thrown out of my rental just because I’m gay.

    • Tiger Quinn

      I don’t think they do either, it’s more about publicly putting the Republicans on record are voting against it going into the midterms. Sure, Trump’s base wants us dead, but Congress’ base has a lot of gay peeps.

    • EweTaw

      Supposedly, they can’t kick us out of our apartments but they can fire us here in the BeeHave State. That’s one reason it is so important for all LGBT folks to make that first hurdle of securing a loan, buying a house, and paying off a mortgage. Once you’ve bought property you are WAY connected to your city, town, county and have more leverage than without a mortgage. City and town councils tend to recognize taxpayers who are the base of a community instead of apartment dwellers.

      So if you haven’t already done it, get off yer butts and . . .
      buy a house and garden somewhere
      Along a country road a piece
      A little cottage on the outskirts
      Where we can really find release
      But nothing’s any good without you
      Cause baby you’re my centrepiece 🙂

    • stuckinthewoods

      We got a tenant that way. She was thrown out of her rental because she’s trans with “go rent from those gay guys.” And so she did.

  • Rex

    I’m encouraged, Trump is the best for LGBTQ community, isn’t he?

  • Cuberly

    THIS is creepy as hell. How is this not a cult?

    • Skeptical_Inquirer

      If there was an afterlife, Jim Jones would be writhing in jealousy.

      • Cuberly

        That or todays winner of the Ignatius Reilly award.

        “My life is a rather grim one. One day I shall perhaps describe it to you in great detail.”

        • Acronym Jim

          Oh sweet Lurline, this country managed to elect an Ignatius Reilly, only without the charm.

          A Confederacy of Dunces, indeed. Are we sure Trump’s accent is NY or is it Yat?

          • Cuberly

            lol…it does fit, on a lot of levels no less. But Ignatius used words with more than 3 syllables so not sure it’s a complete fit.

          • Beagle

            The two accents are fairly close. I’ve witnessed an argument over whether the Yat accent is more Bronx or Brooklyn.

    • yes b’y

      Whoa, that guy is creepy.

      • Skeptical_Inquirer

        Repetition is a key part of indoctrination. I bet he starts his daily prayers with this stuff.

        • safari

          Slogans are designed to stop thought.

      • Rambie

        So is the guy behind Trump

    • Mike_in_the_Tundra


      • Cuberly

        Exactly….and all of it recited back with a crazy-ass grin. (shudder)

    • Jeffrey
      • Cuberly

        lol…when I first saw it I thought it was Todd Starnes.

  • Lawerence Collins

    I’m not fooled, by you. Cory Booker.
    You’re a charlatan and a fraud.

  • Will Kohler

    Perhaps one day they will introduce equality legislation when they actually have some control over Congress

    • Treant

      Possibly. However, both sides tend to have legislation they never get around to introducing when they have control. They make tolerably good bargaining chips and/or money-raising arguments when out of power.

      These things tend to be points of contention with tolerable, but not universal, acceptance within the given party and violently opposed by the other.

      (Who, me, cynical? Never!)

    • EweTaw

      If at first you don’t succeed, keep on trying. If nothing else, always submitting this bill shows us those who continues to be our enemies. It helps in gathering ammunition to unseat them from office. 🙂

      • jixter

        I didn’t ‘see this coming’, but my guess is that it has something to do with the Washington Post story about the on-going ties to Putin by the NRA, Brian Brown, ad nauseam, that JMG linked to earlier today.

  • greenmanTN

    I would love to show my appreciation to Cory Booker if it weren’t for that restraining order. 😉

    • AmeriCanadian

      Ha ha. He’s such a hottie, isn’t he?

      • Oscarlating Wildely

        Met him in person. Still swooning at the memory.

    • Hank

      When did you get Yours??? I got mine, while he was still Mayor of Newark!!!

      • greenmanTN

        I was late to the game, only after Rachel Maddow interviewed him. They are friends from being Rhodes Scholars at the same time but frankly he’s wasted on a lesbian. 😉

  • Michael

    Don’t expect to see Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) listed as a co-sponsorr

    • another_steve

      An organization has formed to find viable Democratic primary challengers to him and the other traitors in Congress who call themselves “Democrats.”

      See here:

  • Gerry Fisher

    I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, I know that we need to keep the issue alive, even though this bill won’t pass in this session. On the other hand, I wish I felt confident that Democratic leaders are crafting a better, more compelling, more succinct message about how the party is part of the resistance and why their plans are better than Trump’s. Reintroducing this bill does not accomplish that. Are they forgoing tougher work and throwing tidbits to the base because it’s easier?

    For example, one of the reasons why it’s been so hard to pass this bill is because 1) People already think we have these rights, and 2) They don’t understand that their behavior last fall–giving Republicans so much control–really screwed over their LGBT friends and relatives. (I’m talking about approaching the moveable middle, not the hardcore Deplorables.) Coming up with a strategy to address THAT would be real leadership and could set the stage for connecting issues to elections. But…that’s harder than reintroducing a bill that we all approve off (“sure LOOKS as if they’re working and they care about us!”) and that will die a pretty quick death in this Congress.

    We Democrats just have to stop doing it all the same way. You know that saying about doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

    • Sam_Handwich

      Dems made out a lot better with the spending bill than the White House and GOP did. PP and ACA funded, no “wall” money

      • Gerry Fisher

        I just read about that. I’d like to understand how they managed that. Interesting. (I have a gut feeling that a number of the Republicans are playing a game–a dangerous game–in that they appear to be on Trump’s side in their public statements, but they aren’t on board legislatively. Not to the extent that Trump/Bannon want to take it. I would bet we got some help from Republicans on this issue.)

        • Tor

          You’re not suggesting some R’s are a little “two-faced,” are you?

      • Treant

        I have a very great suspicion that, at the moment, many Republicans are hedging their bets. The one thing a politician is very good at doing is not going down with the current administration, although they may get caught in the fallout later, of course.

        In this instance, many more “centrist” (of what, comparatively, remains) Republicans are dodging and weaving to avoid getting pinned with the “Trump Supporter” label. They’re entirely capable of doing the calculus–it may enable them to dodge a Trump purge in 2018 and, even if not, raised the probability of them doing so. But if Trump is popular, they’ll survive just on the weight of being Republicans.

        Don’t put too much credit on highly-visible legislation like the budget or Trumpcare, in other words. Not until after the mid-terms, anyway. Unless destroyed at that point, the Republicans are going to get really ugly really, really fast.

        • Gerry Fisher


  • greenmanTN

    OT, An important message from Melania Trump.

  • Timothy W.

    Unrelated but I just wanted to say that he’s Vegan for the animals, for equality and I just find that to be terrific.

  • Ninja0980

    While it won’t get done, it will still highlight the fact that contrary to popular belief, we still have a long way to go for full equality in this country when it comes to LGBT rights.

    • Tor

      Agreed. That may be helpful against them who claim we are already an empowered group

  • bkmn

    Let’s put this much effort into this the next time we actually have a chance of passing this.

  • margaretpoa

    Any and every Democratic Senator or Representative who doesn’t sign on to this needs to be refused re-election assistance from the DNC, the DSCC and the DCCC.

  • LovesIrony

    thanks dears, but not during the tea party. Let’s talk again during the clean up.

    • Tor

      But the clean up is so nasty.

  • thom

    If we (the voters) do our job in the midterm then this has a chance in a couple years.
    Not wholly convinced Trump would veto this, either

  • thom

    This is truly disgusting, Commerece Secretary of The United States describing the Syrian strikes as “after dinner entertainment at Mar-a-lago”

    • Steverino

      The banality of evil.

    • Tor

      Pardon me. I am puking. And it was a very fine scotch.

  • Henry Auvil

    If Mr. Cory McSwoony could get his dick out of Wall Street’s butt, I’d suggest a few other places he could put it.

    • JAX

      Step aside.
      I saw him first!

  • Jmdintpa

    Nice but total waste of time. how bout doing this when you guys have a chance at it passing.

  • Orly

    Ah if only it had a chance to actually pass.

  • Paul David

    Please oh please oh please don’t let the 2020 Democratic nominee be that skeezy, Wall Street-funded shitbag.

    I swear to god, Dems, if you put of Booker I will never stop vomiting.

    What a careerist piece-of-shit.

    • joe ho


      What? You want a grifting pied-piper parasite like Bernie who couldn’t even win California?

  • KnownDonorDad

    Both parties are the same, though, right?

  • MBear

    LOL – good luck with that. Did yall furgit yer in murrikkka?

  • Chrissy

    So this is the democratic party version of overturning Obamacare

    • andrew

      No it isn’t. The Equality Act is proposed legislation that would extend protection against all kinds of discrimination to LGBT Americans.

      • Chrissy

        Sorry, let me clarify — there is NO FUCKING WAY that this bill will pass both REPUBLICAN houses and get signed by a REPUBLICAN president. This is just a dog and pony show the same way repealing Obamacare was a dog and pony show for the Republicans.

        • stevenj

          Dog and pony shows are popular this year.

        • andrew

          While The Equality Act may not pass both Houses of Congress and get signed by Trump, it is no mere dog and pony show. It is important that these Democrats are proposing this expansion of civil rights in America and building the ground work for it’s eventual passage. Thanks for the clarification. I now understand your point even though I don’t agree with it.

          • Chrissy

            “it is no mere dog and pony show” It is, they are bringing it up knowing that it won’t pass.

            “ground work for it’s eventual passage” There is no ground work needed. This and it’s other name ENDA has been around for ages.

          • andrew

            The ground work that is needed is getting more Americans to see the injustice that still exists in our nation that denies LGBT people full equality. Many polls have shown that Americans have been gradually moving toward the idea that LGBT people should have full equality. Proposed legislation like The Equality Act will enliven the debate again and continue our move, as a nation, to full equality, The alternative is not to propose legislation like this and put the issue of LGBT equality on the back burner and largely ignore it. That’s the way I see it. if you don’t, that’s your prerogative.

  • david fairfield

    This will be shot down faster than Trump can say something stupid about it.

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  • John Calendo

    Kabuki theater. Repub House, Repub Senate, Repub president. The act will go nowhere.

    If it has any use, it will be to get Repubs on the record opposing it. Is anyone confused about what party is against equal rights in each and every case? Okay, the Log Cabin quislings are pretty confused, but I meant serious people. So this is just a lot of pro-gay politicians posturing. Would you like tea with that eggroll?

  • Larz

    These dems are gluttons for punishment.