National Black Justice Coalition Celebrates House Passage of the Equality Act, Urges Senate to Follow Suit
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WASHINGTON, DC — Moments ago, the House of Representatives passed the Equality Act.
The Equality Act would expand the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, public accommodations, public education, federally funded programs, credit, and the jury system.
In reaction to the historic vote, David J. Johns, executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), a leading civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black LGBTQ+/SGL people, including people living with HIV/AIDS, issued the following statement:
“Today, marks the first step in the next phase toward what we hope will be sweeping civil rights reforms for all of us, in addition to historic, explicit federal protections from discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
“If passed, the Equality Act would be the first piece of federal legislation to create clear and consistent legal protections for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer+, and same-gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) people. While that fact is historic in and of itself, this bill does more than incorporate LGBTQ+ and same-gender loving people into existing civil rights protections, it also fills in significant gaps within existing civil rights laws for women, people of color, immigrants, religious groups, and those of us who live at the intersections of those identities.”
“We applaud the House for supporting this bill once again, as it did in 2019, and urge the Senate to follow suit. As Black History Month concludes, we implore Senators to vote in favor of the Equality Act like their lives depend on it, as ours do.”