By: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer
WASHINGTON D.C – Currently, the majority of U.S. states do not have protections for LGBTQ rights. In fact, did you know that it is perfectly legal for business owners to post a sign in their window stating “NO Gays Allowed”?
While there aren’t any reports of such behavior taking place, many feel that it is only a matter of time judging from the way the Trump administration is targeting the LGBTQ community.
Not to mention, Lesbian,Gay, Bisexual and Transgender citizens are not included in the nondiscrimination protections provided by the federal Civil Rights Act. In fact in more than 30 states, there are zero state protection laws for LGBTQ Americans from discrimination.
However that could soon change as a bipartisan federal bill introduced Tuesday May 2, could change that. If the bill comes up for a vote and passes, the Equality Act would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which currently only covers discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion and national origin.
A total of 194 members of congress joined forty-six Democratic senators introducing the legislatio last Tuesday. They went all out on introducing the bill with a introduction ceremony in Washington, D.C., led by Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley, openly lesbian Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, along with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and a huge amount of LGBTQ advocates.
“People will still discriminate if it’s illegal. But it should not be legal to discriminate,” said Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the first openly gay congressman from New York. “We are the last group of Americans for whom it is legal to discriminate against.” said Maloney.
The legislation could face a tough fight however from a republican controlled congress.
“It is clear this White House will be an obstacle, not an advocate, in the fight for full LGBT equality — including trans equality,” Pelosi said at Tuesday’s introduction ceremony. She cited some of the administration’s recent moves that raised the ire of LGBTQ advocates, including withdrawing protections for transgender students and a series of cabinet appointees with strongly anti-LGBTQ records.” said Pelosi. “Democrats will fight with our full strength to secure full equality for LGBT families,” pledged Pelosi.
The ViralVlog reported…
“A presidential order giving the nation a free pass to discriminate against LGBTQ people is hardly a stretch of the imagination. In September, a campaigning Trump pledged to sign the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), an anti-LGBTQ bill that closely resembles a draft executive order that leaked in February.
If the executive branch decides to shy away from explicitly encouraging discrimination, LGBTQ advocates say there will still be a need for a law that bans bias in services, employment and housing.
A report released Tuesday from the Center for American Progress found that more than half of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have experienced discrimination at work, and 68.5 percent of respondents said that anti-LGBTQ discrimination impacted their mental health.”
“Today, in most states, you can get married on Saturday, post your wedding photos on Facebook on Sunday and get fired from your job or kicked out of your apartment on Monday just because of who you are,” openly gay Rep. David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island, said on Tuesday. “This is completely wrong.” said Cicilline.
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