Congressman Carson Continues Fight to Ensure Full LGBT Equality
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman André Carson continued his efforts to fight discrimination against the LGBT community by helping to reintroduce The Equality Act, legislation banning discrimination against LGBT individuals in public accommodations, housing, employment, and other core areas of daily life.
“No one should ever be discriminated against or denied basic services based on who they are or who they love,” said Congressman Carson. “The Equality Act will ensure that LGBT Americans are afforded the same basic protections under the law as everyone else. I am proud to help lead this fight in the House of Representatives.”
The Equality Act, which was introduced by Congressman David Cicilline (D-RI) in the House of Representatives and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) in the Senate, will amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to make it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. Congressman Carson is an original cosponsor on the bill.
Despite significant advances, LGBT people across the country remain vulnerable to discrimination on a daily basis and too often have little recourse. With the advent of nationwide marriage equality, in many states, same-sex couples have the right to marry but have no explicit non-discrimination protections. In most states, this means that a same-sex couple could legally marry one day and risk being fired from their jobs, evicted from their apartment, or kicked out of a restaurant the next – simply because of who they are.
The Equality Act ensures that the same protections already extended to other protected classes are equally available to LGBT Americans. It amends existing federal civil rights laws to explicitly prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in education, employment, housing, credit, Federal jury service, public accommodations, and the use of Federal funds.
In some of these areas, federal law prohibiting sex discrimination has already been properly interpreted by federal courts and administrative agencies to include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The Equality Act affirms that understanding of existing law and makes the prohibition against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity explicit, in order to provide greater clarity to members of the public, employers, schools, businesses and other affected parties. In areas where sex discrimination is not already prohibited, the bill amends existing law to bar discrimination on the basis of sex, as well as sexual orientation, and gender identity.
Congressman Carson is a longtime supporter of LGBT rights. Earlier this year, he reintroduced the Equality for All resolution, which expressed the sense of Congress that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people should be protected from discrimination under the law. Congressman Carson is also a founding member of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus.