Congressional Democrats Renew Efforts To Pass Equality Act

Roetzel & Andress

Against the backdrop of the 2020 United States Supreme Court case of Bostock v. Clayton County, and with a Democratic president and majority in both houses of Congress, the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives has again introduced the Equality Act, which would amend federal civil rights laws to ban discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation. While the Equality Act was passed by a bipartisan House vote in 2019, the then-Republican-controlled Senate did not consider it. President Biden has identified this issue as a priority for his first 100 days in office.

The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include sexual orientation and gender identity, which in turn would provide protection for individuals when seeking housing, admission to educational institutions, access to public accommodations, and other rights protected under that statute.

An open and still-debated question is the effect religious objections to statutes which protect LGBTQ individuals. Courts are still debating these issues, and we will see much more debate before these issues are settled.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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