Pingree, Equality Caucus Reintroduce Landmark Bill to Ensure Explicit LGBTQ+ Protections
The Equality Act amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to extend non-discrimination protections to the LGBTQ+ community
Washington, June 21, 2023
Tags: Fighting for Equality
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree, Vice-Chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus, and fellow Equality Caucus members today reintroduced bicameral legislation to ensure explicit nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQI+ people. The landmark Equality Act amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to extend non-discrimination protections to the LGBTQ+ community and would explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation in employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding housing, and public accommodations.
“In Maine, we have ensured that everyone—regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation—has equal civil rights. With state legislatures across the country and Republicans in Congress continuously attacking LGBTQ+ people, it is critical that they have the same protections from discrimination as every other marginalized group,” said Pingree. “Passing the Equality Act has never been more urgent.”
“The promise of democracy means a great deal to me personally because I have felt the sting of its denial. As the first openly gay person of color to serve in Congress, I am acutely aware of the impacts lawful discrimination has on our marginalized communities in the United States, and the LGBTQI+ community have been subject to discrimination, violence, and the denial of their full personhood under the law for far too long. I’m proud to reintroduce the Equality Act as a long-overdue guarantee to all members of our community that we, too, benefit from the civil rights protections and the full promise of American democracy,” said Rep. Mark Takano, Co-Chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus.
The Equality Act would amend existing civil rights laws to explicitly prohibit discrimination against LGBTQI+ people in:
The Equality Act would also prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in public accommodations and federally funded programs.
The Equality Act is led by Equality Caucus Co-Chair Mark Takano, Chair Mark Pocan, and Co-Chairs Angie Craig, Sharice Davids, Chris Pappas, Ritchie Torres, Becca Balint, Robert Garcia, and Eric Sorensen. The bill is cosponsored by every Democratic member of the House of Representatives. Senator Jeff Merkley, Equality Caucus Co-Founder Senator Tammy Baldwin, and Senator Cory Booker will reintroduce the Senate companion. Pingree is an original cosponsor of the House bill.
The House passed the bill with bipartisan support in both the 116th and 117th Congresses.
In addition to the Equality Act, Pingree has pledged to support the following bills again when they’re reintroduced:
Click here to learn more about how Pingree is fighting for equality.