The US House of Representatives is preparing for a Thursday floor vote on the Equality Act, a historic piece of legislation that would expand the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The Equality Act is the most comprehensive LGBTQ civil rights legislation and expands protections into essential areas of life including education, credit and even jury service. President Biden has made its passage a priority of the first 100 days of his Administration, releasing a statement last week noting that “the Equality Act provides long overdue federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ Americans” and urging Congress to “swiftly pass this historic legislation”.
Equality Florida will issue a full statement immediately following the vote.
WHAT: Vote expected on the Equality Act in the U.S. House of Representatives
WHEN: Thursday, February 25, 2021
WHY: “The time has come for a modernized and updated federal Civil Rights Act that recognizes where discrimination still occurs today,” said Nadine Smith, Equality Florida Executive Director. “Floridians clearly support equal rights regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity and we call on Congress to join that bipartisan support.”
“Everyone, no matter how they identify or who they love, deserves to be treated with dignity and respect,” said Carlos Guillermo Smith, State Representative HD 49. “I have proudly championed civil rights protections for the LGBTQ community in the state legislature and now call on my colleagues in Washington to stand with us. The impact that The Equality Act will have on millions of Americans – Floridians included – cannot be overstated. Congress must pass the Equality Act and make clear that everyone deserves a fair shot at the American Dream.”
“As a queer, Black woman who ran on a commitment to fighting for equality and justice, I see the opportunity before Congress right now,” said Michele Rayner, State Representative HD 70. “We are at a critical moment in history. We can expand civil rights protections for vulnerable communities. We can provide justice to so many who have been marginalized by our system. We can blaze new trails toward equality for all. But we need our leaders to act. It is time for Congress to modernize civil rights protections in America. It is time to pass the Equality Act.”
“The Equality Act brings the law to where a strong bipartisan majority of the American people have been for years,” said Tampa Mayor Jane Castor. “Passage of the Equality Act will be a historic step forward in the effort to build a more perfect union by ensuring that civil rights protections cover LGBT Americans. I am proud to support this legislation.”