Washington, D.C. - Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet today joined 45 senators in re-introducing comprehensive federal legislation to ban discrimination against LGBTQ Americans.
"It's past time we ensure our laws are entirely free from discrimination and protect all members of the LGBTQ community," Bennet said. "Fortunately, LGBTQ Coloradans already enjoy many of these protections. This bill will ensure that every American has the same protections and opportunities regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity."
Despite major advances in equality for LGBTQ Americans, including nationwide marriage equality, the majority of states still do not have explicit LGBTQ non-discrimination protection laws. The Equality Act of 2017 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 explicitly ban discrimination in a host of areas, including employment, housing, 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.
The legislation was filed simultaneously in the U.S. House of Representatives by 194 Representatives, led by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI).
"The Equality Act will guarantee that all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Americans have a fair chance to earn a living and provide a home for their families without fear of harassment or discrimination," Daniel Ramos, Executive Director of One Colorado, said. "No person should ever be fired from their job, bullied in their school, evicted from their home, or turned away from a business simply because of who they are or who they love. LGBTQ people deserve the same opportunities as everyone else to work hard, earn a living, and provide for themselves and their families. We applaud Senator Bennet for joining 240 other members of Congress in support of equality for all."
Click HERE for the full text of the Equality Act of 2017.