Equality Act approved by House committee, without single Republican vote
The Equality Act has been approved by the House Judiciary Committee.
The bill, which would outlaw anti-LGBT discrimination across the US, was signed off by the United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary on Wednesday (May 1) by a vote of 22-10, with all Democratic members voting in favour, and all Republicans voting against.
Republican Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner also sought to stall the approval of the bill by ordering a clerk to read it out in full, in a tactic slammed as “petty” and “childish.”
The firm Republican opposition is a bad sign for the future of the bill, which is tipped for approval by the Democrat-controlled House, but is unlikely to pass through the Republican-controlled Senate without the backing of GOP Senators.
Lack of Republican votes ‘very disappointing’
The bill’s sponsor Rep. David Cicilline, one of just eight out LGBT+ lawmakers in the House, said: “Fairness and equality are core American values.
“This bill affirms those values and ensures members of the LGBTQ community can live their lives free from the fear of legal discrimination of any kind.
“Equal treatment under the law is a founding principle of America and it’s absurd that, in 2019, members of the LGBTQ community can be fired from their jobs, denied service in a restaurant or get thrown out of their apartment because of their sexual orientation or gender identify.
“It’s very disappointing that, in 2019, most of my Republican colleagues are standing on the wrong side of history. This bill to end discrimination against the LGBTQ community is long overdue.”
Equality Act will go before full House in May
House majority leader Steny Hoyer has said he will bring the bill to a vote before the full House of Representatives later in May.
He said: “LGBT Americans and their families deserve to be protected against all forms of discrimination, no matter where they live.
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