Sens. Tom Carper and Chris Coons, both D-Delaware, along with 46 of their Senate colleagues, on June 18 called for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the Equality Act to the Senate floor for a vote.
The senators’ push comes after the Supreme Court issued a 6-3 ruling on June 15 to confirm that that the nation’s landmark civil rights legislation preventing workplace discrimination protects LGBTQIA+ Americans.
“Although nearly two-thirds of LGBTQIA+ Americans report experiencing discrimination, existing federal law provides insufficient recourse,” the senators wrote in their letter to McConnell. “The Equality Act would provide unequivocal non-discrimination protections for people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity in a number of areas, including public spaces and services, housing, education, credit, jury service and federally funded programs, as well as explicitly codifying the Supreme Court’s holding regarding employment. By explicitly including sexual orientation and gender identity in civil rights laws, we can ensure that every person can live their life free from harassment and discrimination.”
“We have a responsibility to reaffirm the principle that harassment and discrimination are not tolerated in our country,” the senators wrote. “We urge you to bring the Equality Act for a vote because all people, regardless of their sexual orientation and gender identity, should enjoy the same protections under law that all Americans already enjoy on the basis of religion, race, gender and more.”
Carper and Coons are original cosponsors of the Equality Act — comprehensive legislation that would add explicit protections for LGBTQIA+ Americans to the nation’s civil rights laws, ensuring that no American is evicted from their home or is denied a service based on their LGBTQ status. The bill, which was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in 2019, would clarify that just like religious, racial or gender discrimination, anti-LGBTQIA+ discrimination is illegal everywhere in the U.S.
The full text of the letter is available at bit.ly/3hFBl0B.