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Maloney, Co-Chair of Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, Joins Colleagues to Introduce Equality Act

Mar 13, 2019
Press Release
LGTBQ Americans Currently Have no Consistent Federal Civil Rights Protections

WASHINGTON – Representative Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18), the first and only out member of Congress from the State of New York and a Co-Chair of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, has joined his colleagues to introduce the Equality Act. The legislation would extend federal civil rights protections to members of the LGBTQ community. Currently, federal protections in the Civil Rights Act and other federal civil rights laws do not apply to sexual orientation or gender identity. This means LGBTQ Americans must rely on a patchwork of state laws to protect themselves from discrimination in employment, education, housing, and public accommodation.

“Most people I talk to are shocked to hear that their LGBTQ friends and family have basically no federal protections from discrimination,” said Rep. Maloney. “It sounds crazy, but it’s true – you can step across a state line and suddenly you have no equal protection under the law. We need to get rid of this mishmash of state laws and make it clear that you can’t discriminate against any American based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. We’re going to get this passed in the House this year.”

The Equality Act would extend existing civil rights protections in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Fair Housing Act, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Jury Selection and Services Act, and other federal employment laws to cover sexual orientation and gender identity. Currently, those laws protect people from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, and in most cases, sex, disability, and religion.