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H.R.5 - Equality Act

Photo of Congress member Representative David Cicilline

To prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity, and sexual orientation, and for other purposes.



You might favor this bill if:
►  You believe existing civil rights law should extend protections to the LGBTQ community. Even though such protections have been granted by the federal courts, LGBTQ Americans need anti-discrimination protections written in the law in order to reaffirm access to employment, education, credit, jury service, federal funding, housing, and other public accommodations.

You might oppose this bill if:
►  You believe that federal law prohibiting sex discrimination has already been properly interpreted by federal courts and administrative to include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. There is no need to make it the law.


The Equality Act modifies existing civil rights law to extend anti-discrimination protections to LGBT Americans in access to employment, education, credit, jury service, federal funding, housing, and public accommodations.

Despite significant advances, LGBT people across the country remain vulnerable to discrimination on a daily basis and too often have little recourse. Millions of LGBT Americans have the right to marry but no explicit non-discrimination protections in other areas of daily life. In most states, a same-sex couple can get married one day and legally be fired from their jobs, evicted from their apartment, or kicked out of a restaurant the next.

The Equality Act ensures that the same protections already extended to other protected classes are equally available to LGBT Americans. It amends existing federal civil rights laws to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit, Federal jury service, public accommodations, and the use of Federal funds.

In some of these areas, federal law prohibiting sex discrimination has already been properly interpreted by federal courts and administrative agencies to include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Equality Act affirms that understanding of existing law and makes the prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity explicit, in order to provide greater clarity to members of the public, employers, schools, businesses and other affected parties. In areas where sex discrimination is not already prohibited, the bill amends existing law to bar discrimination on the basis of sex, as well as sexual orientation, and gender identity.

"It is past time for the Equality Act to be written into law," said Rep. Cicilline, sponsor of the legislation. "No American should ever be treated as less than equal in the eyes of the law. I’m looking forward to getting this bill through the House this spring. Senator McConnell should take it up without delay."


H.R.5

Sponsored by: Rep. Cicilline, David N. [D-RI-1].

Cosponsored by: 3 Rep / 237 Dem.

See list of cosponsors.


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