Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus and a member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, today applauded passage of H.R. 5, the Equality Act, in the U.S. House of Representatives.
This landmark legislation would ensure that all Americans--including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans--would be protected from discrimination in employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service.
Despite significant progress, in many states -- including Michigan -- LGBT individuals can still be fired from their job, evicted from their home or denied a loan simply for being LGBT. Michigan, along with 29 other states, lacks protections for LGBT individuals in employment and housing protections.
"Every American should be able to live their life free from discrimination or harassment," Congressman Kildee said. "However, for our LGBT friends and neighbors, they can still be fired from their job or evicted from their home simply for who they are. This discrimination is wrong and must end. I am glad a new Democratic majority in the U.S. House of Representatives made passing the Equality Act a reality. I urge the U.S. Senate to take up this legislation without delay," Congressman Kildee continued.
"The Equality Caucus of Genesee County applauds the U.S. House in their passage of the Equality Act. For too long the LGBTQ community of Michigan and the country have been subject to discrimination in the workplace and in housing based on who they love and how they identify themselves. Though this fight is far from over, it's a large first step towards national LGBTQ equality," said Chair of the Equality Caucus of Genesee County Drew Marsh.
The Equality Act would amend existing civil rights law--including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Jury Selection and Services Act, and several laws regarding employment with the federal government--to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected characteristics.
The Equality Act has been endorsed by the Business Coalition for the Equality Act, a group of more than 160 major companies that employ 8.7 million people, including businesses that operate in Michigan.
Congressman Kildee, a member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, has been a champion for LGBT Americans in Congress, including cosponsoring the Equality Act every Congress he has been elected. Before the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling on marriage equality, Congressman Kildee filed an amicus curiae brief urging the High Court to strike down Michigan's decades-old discriminatory ban on same-sex marriage.