Last week, President Biden called on Congress to pass the Equality Act which would expand protections for the LGBTQ+ community. On Thursday, The bill passed in the House and will move to the Senate for further
The newly introduced act will alter existing federal civil rights laws to extend protections for LGBTQ+ Americans in what Democratic lawmakers and advocates say would make¬†significant progress toward legal protections for all Americans. It is one of President Joe Biden's top legislative priorities in his first 100 days in office.¬†
"Full equality has been denied to LGBTQ+ Americans and their families for far too long. Despite the extraordinary progress the LGBTQ+ community has made to secure their basic civil rights, discrimination is still rampant in many areas of our society," Biden wrote in a statement.
However, the bill is not without opposition. As the legislation moves to the Senate, its future is uncertain.
Recently making headlines was Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, after she posted an anti-transgender sign outside of her office, directly across the hall from another lawmaker who has a transgender child.
Illinois Rep. Marie Newman, whose daughter is transgender, posted a¬†video¬†on Twitter of her hanging the pink and blue transgender pride flag outside her office Wednesday afternoon, captioning that Greene tried to block the act "because she believes prohibiting discrimination against trans Americans is 'disgusting, immoral, and evil,'" adding, "thought we'd put up our Transgender flag so she can look at it every time she opens her door" with winking and transgender flag emojis.¬†
That evening, Greene retweeted Newman's post and¬†added a video¬†of her hanging a sign that reads "There are TWO genders: MALE & FEMALE ...Trust The Science!"
What would the Equality Act do for the LGBTQ+ community?
The legislation amends civil rights laws such as the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which had banned discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion and¬†national origin, to include protections on the basis of sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. The Equality Act also would¬†prohibit LGBTQ+ discrimination in public places, on transportation¬†and in government-funded programs.¬†
Specifically, the bill preserves these protections for sexual orientation and gender identity, rather than the umbrella term of "sex."
Currently, nine members of the House openly identify as LGBTQ while two identify in the Senate. Together, this amount to about 2% of each chamber.¬†A recent Gallup Poll showed a record 5.6% of U.S. adults¬†identified¬†as LGBTQ.¬†