Washington, DC - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today joined 39 senators led by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) to introduce historic, comprehensive federal legislation to ban discrimination against LGBT Americans.
The bill was filed simultaneously in the U.S. House of Representatives by 158 Representatives.
"While we've witnessed a number of great strides toward full equality for our LGBT family and friends, it's time to ensure our laws are entirely free from discrimination," Bennet said. "Thankfully, LGBT Coloradans already enjoy many of these protections. This bill will ensure that every American has the same opportunities for success, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity."
Despite major advances in equality for LGBT Americans, including nationwide marriage equality, in the majority of states, too many people are at risk of being fired from their jobs or evicted from their homes based on their sexual orientation.
The Equality Act of 2015 would ensure full federal non-discrimination equality by adding sexual orientation and gender identity to other protected classes, such as race or religion, in existing federal laws.
The bill would ban discrimination in a host of areas, including employment, housing, public education, public accommodations, jury service, access to credit, and federal funding.
The bill would also add protections against sex discrimination in parts of anti-discrimination laws where these protections had not been included previously, including in public accommodations and federal funding.
In addition to Bennet, Merkley, Baldwin, and Booker, the bill is cosponsored in the Senate by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Chris Coons (D-DE), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jack Reed (D-RI), Harry Reid (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Mark Warner (D-VA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).
For further information about the Equality Act:
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