GLBT News

Federal Equality Act to be heard in House Committee

The Equality Act was first introduced in 1974 in Congress. On Tuesday April 2 at 7 am pacific time (10 am eastern) the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee will hear H.R. 5 (The Equality Act)  which has 237 Democratic and 2 Republican co-sponsors. This is the third attempt, in the last four years, to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federal funding, credit and in the jury system.

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is leading the battle and working to gain support for the federal bill to create equality in all 50 states. The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) also has thrown their support to the Act. Major corporations like Google, Apple, Facebook, American Airlines, General Mills, Levis Strauss & Co., and Nike are also in support of the Equality Act.

“There is more support for the Equality Act this year than ever before in the House,” Briana Escamilla, Nevada State Director of HRC, told therenogaypage. “The only member of the Nevada House delegation to not to sign-on and support the Equality Act is Congressman Mark Amodei.”

Amodei represents the second Nevada congressional district, which covers most of Northern Nevada from the California state line across the state to the Utah state line. He is the only Republican in the Nevada delegation.

In the latest poll on how Americans feel conducted by Public Region Research Institute as part of its annual American Values Atlas showed that 70% favored the Equality Act; 23% were opposed and 7% had no opinion.  The opposition cites Religious freedom concerns for opposing the Act.

In Nevada, the LGBTQ+ community has many more protections that many states.

The hearing can be streamed from Washington DC at https://judiciary.house.gov/news/watch-live

You can contact Congressman Amodei to register how you feel about H.R. 5. The Equality Act by telephone at (202) 225-6155 (His Washington DC office) or by email if you live in his congressional district at https://amodei.house.gov/email-me/.

The Act will have multiple hearings before several committees of the House. According to HRC there is a lot of support currently in the House to pass the measure. In 1974 the Equality Act was introduced by two New York Democratic members o the House, Bella Abzug and Ed Koch.

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