Despite the fact that there is currently a Republican majority, the Democratic Party are reportedly planning on proposing a new LGBT rights bill in Congress.
You’ll probably remember that at the moment, the Republicans control both Houses of Congress, and that they actually successfully blocked the Employment Non-Discrimination Act from coming to a vote.
However, despite their disadvantage, the Democrats are hoping to use the momentum gained from the SCOTUS ruling on marriage equality to push through rights laws.
The new legislation, which is called the Equality Act, is set to be introduced in both the Senate and the Senate and House of Representatives on LGBT rights for the first time since the US Supreme Court made their historic ruling.
According to information posted on Buzzfeed, David Cicilline (a Rhode Island democrat) is actively seeking co-sponsors for the bill in the House.
Reportedly, he wrote a letter which reads: “In most states, a same-sex couple can get married on Saturday, post pictures on Facebook on Sunday, and then risk being fired from their job or kicked out of their apartment on Monday. A majority of states in our country do not have laws that protect LGBT individuals against discrimination… we need a uniform federal standard that protects all LGBT Americans from discrimination.”
While it has been previously ruled by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that other laws do cover LGBT community protection, the Equality Act would provide more specific guidelines.
Cicilline is set to introduce the bill to the House, and explain how it intends to defend LGBT rights in housing, education, employment and other divisions within the next few days. So, hopefully we could have some news by next week.
Allison Steinberg, who is the spokeswoman for the American Civil Liberties Union, said: “Open for business means open for all. A public serving business owner can’t turn someone away because of their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, nor should they be allowed to deny someone service because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
We did have a bit of progress on this already this month, as the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decided that discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal. However, only 22 out of 50 states have individual laws against such practices, despite the federal ban.