In the wake of transgender troops facing barriers to their military service, Congress has reintroduced the Equality Act, a bill to make it illegal to discriminate against anyone on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
The bill, first introduced three years ago, “would provide LGBTQ people with consistent, explicit and nationwide non-discrimination protections across all of the key areas of daily life, including employment, housing and access to public spaces and services,” according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin, D-Michigan, announced her co-sponsorship of the Equality Act with a personal story.
“My mom came out in the 1980s and lived the rest of her life as a gay woman. No one should be discriminated against for their sexual orientation or gender identity,” the congresswoman said in a tweet.
Slotkin, who is on the House Armed Services Committee as well as a wife and stepmother to service members, added “that certainly includes qualified individuals who wish to serve with dignity and respect in our military, and LGBTQ+ folks across our communities who still face barriers to equality. "
Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin said in a statement that this time around, the bill would receive “unprecedented” support.
“With the unprecedented backing of 70 percent of Americans, more than 280 members of Congress, 165 leading businesses and 288 organizations from across the country, now is the time to pass the bipartisan Equality Act,” Griffin said.
The bill was introduced on the U.S. House floor yesterday by Rep. David Cicilline, D-Rhode Island, and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pennsylvania. It is expected to receive bipartisan support, according to the Human Rights Campaign.