Congressman Dan Kildee (MI-05), Chief Deputy Whip of the House Democratic Caucus, today applauded passage of the Equality Act in the U.S. House of Representatives.
This landmark legislation would ensure that 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. Only 22 states and the District of Columbia have explicit laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
"Every American should be able to live their life free from discrimination or harassment," said Congressman Kildee. "However, for our LGBT friends, family and neighbors, they can still be fired from their job or evicted from their home simply for who they are. I am glad U.S. House of Representatives acted in a bipartisan fashion to pass the Equality Act. As this bill moves to the U.S. Senate, I am hopeful that enough Republicans will join with all Democrats to end a filibuster and pass this important legislation," said Congressman Kildee.
"Everyone should be guaranteed the security of their job, their home and to not live in hiding of who they are in order to not be discriminated against. State legislatures like ours in Lansing have repeatedly failed to secure these civil rights for the LGBTQ community. This is why it is essential that Congress pass the Equality Act now. We thank Congressman Kildee for his leadership on this bill and urge the Senate to take action on this crucial bill," 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.
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 served. 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.