The nation is on the forefront of seeing one of the biggest milestones in LGBTQ history, as The House of Representatives has ushered forward a “Yes” on equality.
In a majority vote of 236-173, the democratic-led House voted to pass through the Equality Act to the Senate on Friday, May 17. The Equality Act, originally introduced in 2015, is a bill that would protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing, the workplace, public accommodations, and more.
As OUT FRONT reported in March, the majority of Americans are pro LGBTQ rights and protections being implemented on a federal level, according to a poll taken by PRRI. The numbers remain above 50 percent even amongst groups that may typically be in opposition of such things, such as Evangelical Christians and older demographics, and in parts of the country that show the least likely to implement those protections, like Alabama and Mississippi.
One Colorado, the LGBTQ activist group promoting legal protections for all Coloradans said in a statement:
“Decades of civil rights history show that civil rights laws are effective in decreasing discrimination because they provide strong federal remedies targeted to specific vulnerable groups. By explicitly including sexual orientation and gender identity in these fundamental laws, LGBTQ people will finally be afforded the exact same protections as other covered characteristics under federal law.”
Congressman Jimmy Gomez said that because of the next step in implementing equal treatment for LGBTQ people, communities can begin to heal from decades of oppression.
“Today, with my brother and his husband in mind, I proudly voted to pass the Equality Act through the House of Representatives. For far too long, our government has failed to provide our LGBTQ constituents with the civil rights and federal protections they need and deserve,” he said. “I call on the U.S. Senate to follow our lead, reject discrimination disguised as religious freedom, and send the president the Equality Act to be signed into law.”
The bill will reach the Senate, where it is being speculated to fail passage due to the dominance of republican senators. However, many feel that this is a large drop in the bucket creating a ripple that will continue to forward legal recognition and acceptance of all persons.