A bill was re-introduced in Washington by Democrats seeking to protect people from discrimination, based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
While it’s expected to breeze through the U.S. House, News13 Washington Correspondent Alexandra Limon reports it will face opposition in the Senate.
Democratic lawmakers say it’s time to update the nation’s civil rights laws to include protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“In 29 states today, it is still legal to discriminate against Americans because of who they are or who they love,” said Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon).
That’s why democrats have re-introduced the “Equality Act.”
“In over half our country, you can in fact stand and make a lifetime commitment in marriage to your partner. And yet, be thrown out of your apartment, thrown out of restaurant and fired from your job,” Sen. Merkley also said.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is confident the bill will pass in her chamber.
“This bill has nearly 240 bipartisan cosponsors in the House, and we look forward to swift, strong and successful vote on this bill,” Pelosi said.
In the U.S. Senate it will be a tougher fight as Democrats are working to get bipartisan support and they announced Senator Susan Collins signed on as the first Republican co-sponsor in the Senate.
Groups like the Family Research Council say this is an issue of religious liberty, and call the bill the “Un-equality Act,” saying it provides special privileges to people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
In a statement, the group says the bill would “change more than 25 provisions of the U.S. Code and would effectively require high schools to allow boys in the girls’ locker rooms.”
Conservative lawmakers indicate they plan to oppose the bill.