RELEASE: LGBTQ Groups Build Momentum for the Equality Act

Washington, D.C. — Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision last month affirming workplace protections for LGBTQ people, the Center for American Progress, in partnership with national and local organizations, continued its push for the Equality Act with a nationwide virtual lobby day. Partners, including local LGBTQ community members and advocates, held virtual meetings with six Senate offices in key states. In addition to virtual meetings, CAP sent more than 1,000 constituent emails to senators urging them to co-sponsor the Equality Act.

Tuesday’s actions were the beginning of a renewed push between now and the election to put pressure on senators to bring the Equality Act, which passed this House last year with bipartisan support, to the floor for a vote. 

“Nobody should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president for External Affairs at CAP. “Every day that passes without the Senate taking action on the Equality Act is another day when LGBTQ people across the United States lack equal protection under the law. Our communities shouldn’t have to wait for another election, another Congress, another time to come. The right time for fairness and respect is now.”

“In America, everyone deserves a fair chance to support themselves, provide for their families, and live as their true selves free from the fear of harassment or discrimination,” said Ian Thompson, senior legislative representative with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “That is what the Equality Act means for millions of LGBTQ people across the country. ACLU affiliates in both Pennsylvania and West Virginia participated in this important effort because we remain committed to seeing the day when the Equality Act is signed into law.”

“The Equality Act is a critical piece of legislation that will ensure a better future for millions of LGBTQ youth and adults by affirming comprehensive LGBTQ nondiscrimination protections in virtually every area of life,” said Kasey Suffredini, CEO and national campaign director of Freedom for All Americans. “We are grateful for the diversity of voices who participated in meetings this week with federal lawmakers and staff who have the opportunity to move this bill forward. Veterans, parents, business experts, lawyers, and LGBTQ people who have faced discrimination all spoke out firsthand about the harms of being refused apartments, denied jobs, or being harassed in a public place. These personal stories have the power to advance this legislation as quickly as possible to create a better world for all Americans.”

“Too often, faith and LGBTQ+ equality are pitted against each other in debates about religious accommodations,” said Katy Joseph, director of Policy and Advocacy at Interfaith Alliance. “But religious freedom and nondiscrimination are rooted in the same basic principle: that every person deserves to be treated equally under the law. We’re proud to be a part of this powerful interfaith movement for justice. It’s time for the Senate to join us.”  

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