The new speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, has vowed to pass the Equality Act law, banning anti-LGBT discrimination across the US, in her first speech.
As a record number of openly lesbian, gay and bisexual lawmakers were sworn in, the Democratic leader told Congress, “We will make America fairer by passing the Equality Act to end discrimination against the LGBTQ community.”
There are currently no federal-level protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the US. This means that it is legal to fire people for being gay in dozens of states due to uneven state-level protections.
The Democrats won back the House in November’s midterm election, taking 40 seats which will be largely occupied by queer lawmakers and allies.
Newly elected LGBT+ Democrats Angie Craig (MN), Sharice Davids (KS), Katie Hill (CA) and Chris Pappas (NH) were sworn in, alongside re-elected incumbents Mark Takano (CA), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY) and David Cicilline (RI).
And in the Senate, Arizona lawmaker Kyrsten Sinema became the first openly bisexual senator and second ever out LGBT+ senator, joining re-elected Wisconsin representative Tammy Baldwin.
The Equality Act bill faces a smooth path in the House, where the Democrats have a majority, but may struggle to get through the Republican-controlled Senate.
Bisexual Senator Kyrsten Sinema, from Arizona,
sworn in on a law book instead of The Bible
A national bill to extend discrimination protection to LGBT people is not going to pass under a Republican President or Republican Senate. However, employment protection exists in many large states including California, New York, and Illinois (blue states), and in major metropolitan areas in states like Florida, Texas, Georgia, and Missouri where corporate jobs that employ skilled workers are located. The areas in which a gay or trans person is not protected in employment are rural areas in red states - where it probably it not safe to be wide open and out anyway. However, it is safe to say that the great majority of LGBT Americans - I would guess over 92% - are protected in public and private employment, simply because fewer and fewer Americans are living in outlying rural counties in red states.ReplyDelete
Thanks for your comment Eddi, very interesting and realistic as usual.ReplyDelete