Lawmakers look to pass Equality Act for better protections for LGBTQ community

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Lawmakers plan to begin hearings this week on the Equality Act. Democrats say the act would provide equal protection for the LGBTQ community.

Lawmakers and advocates want swift action from Congress on the Equality Act. 

Sarah McBride, of the Human Rights Campaign, says, “In 30 states, LGBTQ people are still at risk of being fired from their job, denied housing or refused services simply because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.”

On Capitol Hill, the Human Rights Campaign is calling for stronger protections for the LGBTQ community. 

McBride says, “Every person in every corner of this country should be treated with dignity and fairness. That simple but profound principle is at the heart of the Equality Act.”

The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. 

Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon says, “The willingness of survivors to speak out is what has finally forced the nation to see the LGBTQ community’s barriers to the American dream.”

Scanlon is the Vice Chair of the House Judiciary Committee, she’s encouraged the House will have a hearing on the topic Tuesday.

“At long last the Equality Act will be getting the consideration it deserves.”

But some see the bill as an over-reach by the government and worry women’s safety could be at risk.

Marybeth Waddell, of the Family Research Council says the “biggest issues are really erasing every private space in public for women; every bathroom, every shower, every locker room…”

Waddell says the legislation isn’t needed.

“Everyone has the equal protections of laws and everyone deserves human dignity and respect and has that 100 percent.”

The bill will likely pass the House but not likely the Republican-controlled Senate.

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