Everyone Deserves to Be Treated Equally: What the Equality Act Means and What You Can Do to Help It Pass
The House of Representatives just approved the Equality Act on Friday, with a passing vote in the Democrat-led House of 236 to 173. The Equality Act bill would ban anti-LGBTQ discrimination and is the most detailed bill in favor of protecting LGBTQ rights that has passed so far in history. It would branch off of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Equality Act comes in the wake of the Alabama Abortion Law that just passed on May 14th and sparked outrage from millions of people, including quite a few celebrities:
I’m beyond upset about the passing of new abortion bans in Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia, and Ohio. This is Unconstitutional and Abhorrent. We can not tolerate this attack on women’s fundamental rights.
— Reese Witherspoon (@ReeseW) May 15, 2019
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) May 15, 2019
A lot of people are upset about the anti-abortion law, and with good reason. For instance, the law criminalizes doctors who perform abortions but not men who commit rape. It seemed like a step backward as far as equal rights go.
Fast forward three days, and we have the Equality Act. It should be a great chance for United States citizens to reclaim their right to be treated justly, fairly, and equally. The Equality Act would make LGBTQ people a protected class of people.
Tomorrow the House of Representatives will vote on the #EqualityAct, and for the first time go on the record about whether they support protections from discrimination for LGBTQ people. Call your reps and make sure they’ll be on the right side of history: https://t.co/tOrxqQ3RUx
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) May 16, 2019
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) May 14, 2019
The only problem is the Senate is comprised of people who are mostly not in favor of equal rights for LGBTQ people. So that means that the Equality Act probably won’t pass the Senate, which would mean it doesn’t become law. Laws have to pass both the House and the Senate in order to become enacted.
In 30 states, LGBTQ people remain at risk of being
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (@Ilhan) May 17, 2019
Many Republicans argued that the Equality Act would actually take away women’s rights and persecute people who are pro-life for religious reasons. Florida representative Ross Spano went as far as to say, “it would allow the government to force its rigid and unyielding fist inside the church.”
Exactly 15 years after Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriage, the House has passed the #EqualityAct.
I’ll fight to do the same in the Senate. Because LGBTQ Americans deserve to be treated equally, no matter where they live – or who they love. pic.twitter.com/zgkX6QsM0s
— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) May 17, 2019
If this enrages you at all, there is something you can do. You can call your local Senators. Per the U.S. Senate website, there are a few ways to do this. For immediate gratification, you can make a phone call: “You may phone the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.”