Equality Act of 2017 Introduced in Congress

Washington, D.C - May 2, 2017 - A bill that would ban discrimination against LGBT people under federal law was reintroduced today in both houses of Congress. 

The Equality Act of 2017 was introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act to bar anti-LGBT discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations, as well as other areas including jury service, credit, education and federal programs.

"Given the actions of the current administration, the need for this legislation is greater than ever," said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. "While California has the world's strongest laws protecting LGBTQ people, the daily reality remains that LGBTQ people across much of the country can still be fired, evicted, expelled from school or denied service or credit because of who they are.  It is our sincere hope that the Equality Act will address the significant discrimination that still persists for so many people across the country. We are grateful to Sen. Cicilline and Rep. Merkley for advancing this vital piece of legislation."

The bill was previously introduced in the last Congress. Equality California has twice sponsored resolutions by the California Legislature calling on Congress to pass the Equality Act. Currently over half of all LGBT Americans live in jurisdictions where they can be denied service, employment or housing because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Equality California is the nation's largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization dedicated to creating a fair and just society. Our mission is to achieve and maintain full and lasting equality, acceptance and social justice for all people in our diverse LGBT communities, inside and outside of California. Our mission includes advancing the health and well-being of LGBT Californians through direct healthcare service advocacy and education. Through electoral, advocacy, education and mobilization programs, we strive to create a broad and diverse alliance of LGBT people, educators, government officials, communities of color and faith, labor, business, and social justice communities to achieve our goals. www.eqca.org

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