New federal legislation is a significant step forward for LGBTQ equality, but much more work to be done on the state level
BOSTON — July 23, 2015 — Today, Congress introduced The Equality Act, a groundbreaking new bill that will explicitly prohibit discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation in public accommodations, employment, housing, education, credit, jury service, and federally funded programs. In response to the bill’s introduction, MassEquality Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Krina Patel released the following statement:
“Nearly a month after the historic decision by the U.S. Supreme Court guaranteeing equal marriage rights to same-sex couples across the country and a week after the momentous decision by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act includes protection from employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, we are once again on the precipice of even more progress. We applaud Congress for introducing this measure that will provide full federal nondiscrimination protections in seven vital areas. However, we are keenly aware that many states across this nation still have a significant way to go to ensure their own full legal protections for LGBTQ people. In Massachusetts, transgender people are not explicitly protected under the law in public accommodations, and several states have significantly fewer statewide protections. Now more than ever, we must continue to fight on both the federal and statewide levels so that all LGBTQ people are provided comprehensive legal protections.”
According to a June 2015 study released by the Public Religion Research Institute, 70 percent of Americans support comprehensive nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people.
MassEquality is the leading statewide grassroots advocacy organization working to ensure that everyone across Massachusetts can thrive from cradle to grave without discrimination and oppression based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.