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Congresswoman Joyce Beatty

Representing the 3rd District of Ohio

Congresswoman Beatty Helps Introduce Equality Act

Feb 22, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Joyce Beatty (OH-03) joined congressional leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate to introduce the Equality Act, H.R. 5, comprehensive civil rights legislation that prohibits discrimination against members of the LGBTQ community in employment, education, credit, jury service, federal funding, housing, and public accommodations.

“It is truly unfathomable that a person can get married on a Sunday and fired on Monday—or even lose their home—because of the person they love,” Beatty said. “I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the Equality Act and call on my colleagues to support this critical piece of legislation so that all Americans are treated equally under the law.” She continued, “Not just in the workplace, but in every place.” 

Despite progress made at the federal level in recent years, many forms of discrimination against LGBTQ Americans persist. Millions of LGBTQ people can get married on Sunday, post their wedding photos to Facebook on Monday, and then get thrown out of their apartment on Tuesday for no reason other than the fact that they are LGBTQ. In fact, in 27 states, a person can be denied housing because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBTQ people can also be denied access to education in 31 states, and the right to serve on a jury in 41 states. The Equality Act fixes these problems by amending existing federal civil rights laws to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, education, housing, credit, jury service, public accommodations, and federal funding.

H.R. 5 is endorsed by leading advocacy organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign, the NAACP, the Urban League, the American Civil Liberties Union, the National Women’s Law Center, the National Center for Transgender Equality, the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the National Black Justice Coalition, the National Center for Lesbian Rights, the National LGBTQ taskforce, Lambda Legal, Family Equality Council, the National Partnership for Women and Families, the Transgender Law Center, Freedom for all Americans, SAGE, PFLAG, and the Center for American Progress.

Of note, the Equality Act was passed by the House in 2019 on a bipartisan 236-173 vote. Unfortunately, then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refused to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. However, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD-05) indicated the House will again consider the Equality Act this week.