ACLU Statement on Reintroduction of the Equality Act

February 18, 2021 12:45 pm

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WASHINGTON — The Equality Act, which would codify last year’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County by adding explicit protections for LGBTQ people throughout federal law, was reintroduced in the House of Representatives today. This bill would also update our federal civil rights laws to address modern forms of discrimination, including against all women, people of color, and LGBTQ people in areas such as transportation, retail spaces, and taxpayer-funded programs — making it, for the first time under federal law, illegal to discriminate against individuals for “shopping while Black” or “flying while Brown.” It would also become illegal to sexually harass anyone while shopping or on transportation.

Ronald Newman, national political director at the American Civil Liberties Union, had the following response:

“Women’s rights groups are cheering the Equality Act. Racial justice groups are cheering the Equality Act. Religious groups are cheering the Equality Act. LGBTQ groups are cheering the Equality Act. All fair-minded people are cheering the Equality Act. This is legislation that will strengthen protections for all people, including women, religious minorities, people of color, and LGBTQ people. For people who live at the intersections of multiple targeted identities — particularly Black transgender women — discrimination is a persistent and painful daily reality. The Equality Act will make it clear that no one should be turned away, harassed or discriminated against because of who they are.”

Next week, the House will vote on the Equality Act. The ACLU will be scoring this vote in the organization’s congressional scorecard, available online here.

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The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.