Lambda Legal reacts:
We applaud the introduction of this essential bill. Today, it spotlights the pervasive, unjust, and unacceptable discrimination facing LGBT Americans and their families; when passed, it will be a crucial next step forward in ending that discrimination. Its introduction comes nearly one month after the Supreme Court’s historic decision in Obergefell v. Hodges that made marriage equality the law of the land and just one week after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC) landmark ruling in Baldwin v. Foxx that the sex discrimination provisions of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, properly understood, protect employees who suffer workplace discrimination because of their sexual orientation. LGBT equality keeps advancing because fairness is a fundamental American value.
The ACLU reacts:
Today is a historic day that has been decades in the making. The Equality Act would transform the lives of countless women and LGBT people. Our country’s most basic promise of equal treatment under the law will never be real if you fear losing your job, being kicked out of your home, denied access to healthcare or turned away from a business because of who you are. Both the lack of clear and explicit federal protections for LGBT people and the lack of protections for women in core areas of American life are unacceptable. We urge Congress to take up this landmark bill and make our country a more just nation for all.
The Center For American Progress reacts:
This historic legislation would provide clear and vital protections from discrimination for LGBT Americans in all areas of life, from the workplace to the public marketplace. Despite last month’s historic Supreme Court decision, many LGBT people and their families live in constant fear that discrimination could lurk around any corner at school, in the office, or on Main Street. Modernizing our federal nondiscrimination laws to include sexual orientation, gender identity, and, where currently excluded, sex, will bring our laws into the 21st century and ensure that all Americans, including our LGBT friends and neighbors, are judged on their merits, can provide for their families, and live free from fear. The progressive cause in our country has always been about ensuring people can live free of fear regardless of who they are. This bill promises to be a major priority for the LGBT movement and broader progressive community moving forward, and CAP applauds Sens. Merkley, Booker, and Baldwin and Rep. Cicilline for their leadership on behalf of all Americans.
The HRC reacts:
The time has come for full federal equality — nothing more, nothing less. While America is now a marriage equality nation, the tragic reality is that millions of LGBT Americans face persistent discrimination in their lives each and every day. In most states in this country, a couple who gets married at 10 AM is at risk of being fired from their jobs by noon and evicted from their home by 2 PM, simply for posting their wedding photos online. Congress must pass the Equality Act to ensure that LGBT people and their families are just as safe at work or at school as they are in their marriages. This bill will guarantee all LGBT Americans have the clear, permanent, and explicit protections from discrimination that they deserve.