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House Approves Equality Act

Last week, the House passed sweeping legislation to amend the Civil Rights Act

Last Friday, the House passed sweeping legislation to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to explicitly prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The bill, called the Equality Act, passed 236-173 with eight Republicans joining all Democrats in backing the measure. In addition to workplace protections, the bill would prohibit discrimination in public spaces and services and federally funded programs.

“Equal treatment under the law and a commitment to fairness and equality are founding values of our country,” said Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), the bill’s chief sponsor. “Discrimination of any kind is wrong and no one should ever be treated as less than equal because of who they are or who they love.”

ASAE joined other trade and professional associations in a letter of support for the Equality Act delivered to House lawmakers before last Friday’s vote.

Immediately following the vote, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) called on Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to hold a vote on the Equality Act in the Senate, but conservative lawmakers say the bill poses a threat to religious freedom.

“It is bad for freedom to force small business owners all across this country to provide services or products to the public that may violate their deeply held faith-based convictions,” said Rep. Ross Spano (R-FL) last week.

White House officials have signaled that President (Donald) Trump would veto the legislation if it reaches his desk.

This article was provided to OSAE by the Power of A and ASAE's Inroads.

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