Bennet, Hickenlooper, Colleagues Introduce Historic Legislation to Protect LGBTQ+ Community

Equality Act Bans Discrimination Against Queer And Trans People And Strengthens LGBTQ+ Rights

Washington, D.C. This week, Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper joined 48 of their colleagues to reintroduce the Equality Act, which bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, education, employment public accommodations, federal funding, and more.

“American history has always been a struggle between our highest ideals and our worst instincts – and while Colorado has led the country by banning discrimination against people in the LGBTQ+ community, millions of Americans can still be fired, denied housing, or turned away from a store because of who they are,” said Bennet. “It’s time for the Senate to follow Colorado’s lead and pass the Equality Act.” 

“Our LGBTQ+ community deserves the right to be who they are without fear of discrimination and hate,” said Hickenlooper. “The Equality Act will follow Colorado’s lead so the LGBTQ+ community is as protected as everyone else. Love is love is love!”

Specifically, the Equality Act would amend the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 to explicitly add sexual orientation and gender identity to longstanding bans on discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, jury service, education, access to credit, federal funding, and more. The bill would also add protections against sex discrimination to federal laws where these protections had not been included previously, such as public accommodations and federal funding.

LGBTQ+ Americans around the country are facing an uptick in discrimination and dangerous state-sponsored legislation. Despite Americans’ increasing support of LGBTQ+ rights and protections, most states currently do not have fully-inclusive non-discrimination laws for members of the LGBTQ+ community, and state legislatures across the country have introduced nearly 500 pieces of legislation targeting LGBTQ+ rights. In Colorado, it has been illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity since 2008.

Bennet and Hickenlooper are ardent supporters of the LGBTQ+ community. This week, the senators joined a Senate resolution recognizing June 2023 as LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Last Congress, Bennet spoke on the Senate floor to urge his colleagues to support the Respect for Marriage Act to protect marriage equality, and in December, Bennet joined President Biden at the White House for its signing.

The text of the bill is available HERE.