The House passed the Equality Act.
“Today is a historic day for our community but really a historic day for our country,” says Congressman David Cicilline, Rhode Island.
It is the first time congress has approved comprehensive LGBTQ rights legislation. It was a top Democratic priority and passed with just eight Republicans voting yes.
This is an important statement from the government saying we see you, we value you, we respect you,” says Congressman Cicilline.
Rhode Island Congressman David Cicilline, is the author of the Equality Act.
He says, “Equality and equal justice under law is one of the founding principles of this country.”
The legislation would update the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Georgia Congressman John Lewis is a veteran of the American Civil Rights movement.
“Today on this day we have an opportunity to send a message now, to help end discrimination in our country and set all of our people free,” says Congressman John Lewis, Georgia.
The bill encountered stiff resistance from Conservatives and religious groups. They say the legislation hurts women and families.
“Eliminates safe spaces for women, irreparably harm children, trample parental rights and attacks religious freedom,” says Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, Missouri.
“It would essentially allow the government to place it’s hard and unyielding fist inside the church walls to force compliance with the convictions and dictates with the state instead of the church,” says Congressman Ross Spano, Florida.
The bill faces a tough road in the Republican controlled Senate. And the President says he opposes the bill.