Washington, D.C. — On the eve of the House of Representatives’ likely passage of the Equality Act—which would explicitly outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity for the first time at the federal level—Thinking CAP co-hosts Daniella Gibbs-Léger and Ed Chung sat down with Charlotte Clymer, press secretary for rapid response at the Human Rights Campaign, and Laura E. Durso, vice president for the LGBT Research and Communications Project at the Center for American Progress, to better understand how we got to this moment in a new podcast episode.
Marriage equality became the law of the land nationwide just four years ago. Despite that progress, LGBTQ Americans have continued to suffer many setbacks from the forces of discrimination, as pro-equality advocates and lawmakers alike have worked to fight complacency to keep pushing the movement forward. The Equality Act of 2019 is a critical step in the right direction, Clymer and Durso agreed.
“This is an incredible cultural moment,” Durso said. “To think about how we as a movement made a shift from achieving marriage equality to comprehensive nondiscrimination protection—we had to go fast … Now, we need the urgency that we felt with the marriage equality debate to happen with nondiscrimination, because we have had that [public] support for so long.”
The Center for American Progress and the Human Rights Campaign have been at the forefront of advancing comprehensive nondiscrimination protections at the federal level, including by highlighting the importance of this approach even before marriage equality was secured nationwide.
“If you start driving from San Francisco toward New York, across the country, the rights to which you’re entitled as an LGBTQ American will change several times,” Clymer added. “That should never be the case in a free society, and especially in a country in which gender identity and sexual orientation are said not to matter.”
Click here to listen to the full podcast: “The Urgency of Equality, With Charlotte Clymer and Laura Durso”
Thinking CAP is a weekly podcast hosted by Daniella Gibbs Leger and Ed Chung. Now in its second season, the hosts continue to speak with influential leaders within the progressive movement from across the country. New episodes are released every Thursday and are available to listen on iTunes, SoundCloud, and CAP’s website.