Washington, DC – Congresswoman Hayes (CT-05) released the following statement after the United States House of Representatives successfully passed H.R. 5, the Equality Act. This historic piece of legislation extends full anti-discrimination protections under the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other key pillars of fairness and justice in our country, to LGBTQ+ Americans.
“It is far past time that we ensure that all Americans, no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity, are able to enjoy full civil rights as American citizens,” said Rep. Hayes. “I voted for this bill to fulfill the promise I made to so many during my campaign – that I would bring their voice to Washington. No one should ever lose their job, their home, or feel unsafe at school because of whom they are or whom they love.”
Only 21 states have explicit laws barring discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public accommodations, and only 20 states have such protections for gender identity. In most states, a same-sex couple can get married one day and legally denied service at a restaurant, be fired from their jobs or evicted from their apartment the next. The Equality Act amends existing federal civil rights laws to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit, Federal jury service, public accommodations, and the use of Federal funds across the United States. The Equality Act has the bipartisan support of Members of Congress, the strong support of the business community, and overwhelming support of the American people.
“I am proud to have worked with my colleagues to pass this crucial legislation,” Hayes said.