Less than half of all states explicitly protect people against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. This is why the Equality Act is essential for LGBT progress.
The language of the Constitution fails to fully contemplate LGBT identities, and rights advocates say an update is needed.
An addendum has been recommended to the 1964 Civil Rights Act – providing explicit protections against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and sexual orientation, in line with the framework that has applied to categories of sex and race for decades.
The Equality Act would leave no ambiguity that the fundamental foundation of equality under the Constitution applies equally to LGBTQ communities as it does to women, people of color, immigrants, and religious groups.
Moreover, the legislation would amend the existing 1995 Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which rolled back civil-rights mandates for individuals and institutions claiming religiously based exemptions, so that the new law could prevent religion from being used as a pretext for discrimination “on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
via The Nation
photo: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images