The US House of Representatives passed HR 5, “The Equality Act,” Friday to protect LGBTQ individuals from various forms of discrimination.
The bill, first introduced in mid-March, aims to protect individuals from discrimination on the basis of sex, gender identity or sexual orientation. The bill accomplishes this by amending a number of existing laws to include the new protections. Among the more notable laws to be amended are the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fair Housing Act. Under these two laws it would be illegal to discriminate in most places of public accommodation including public facilities like government buildings or municipal stadiums as well as public schools or public housing programs. The bill also provides specific guidelines on how language added and amended is supposed intended by Congress to be interpreted by the courts.
The Equality act passed 236-173 largely along party lines. This bill comes a little over a month after the House voted to block the Trump administration’s ban on transgender troops serving in the military. The Equality Act now heads to the Senate and if passed there will head to President Donald Trump.