Protect LGBTQ people from discrimination

Currently, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender non-conforming (LGBTQ) people face discrimination in a wide variety of areas. Most states do not have laws protecting LGBTQ people from discrimination and sexual orientation and gender identity are not explicitly protected classes under federal civil rights law, leaving the LGBTQ community vulnerable to discrimination in housing, education, credit, public accommodations, and federal funding.

The Equality Act (H.R. 5/S.393) passed the House of Representatives on February 25, 2021. Now, it is time for the Senate to guarantee federal civil rights protections to all LGBTQ people. Urge the Senate to swiftly pass the Equality Act. 

 

Background

The Equality Act (H.R.5/S.393) will address discrimination against LGBTQ people by amending existing civil rights laws to include protections based on actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. By building upon decades of civil rights legislation that have tangibly reduced discrimination, the Equality Act will significantly reduce the amount of discrimination LGBTQ people face and will provide an avenue for recourse for victims of discrimination. This bill will provide the same protections to LGBTQ people that are provided to other protected groups under federal law and will strengthen existing civil rights laws by expanding the definition of public accommodations and ensuring that people are protected from sex discrimination in public accommodations and federal funding. 

In June 2020, we celebrated the Supreme Court ruling in Bostock v. Clayton County, GA that no employer can discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. While this decision is a great victory, there is more work to be done to ensure that all forms of discrimination against LGBTQ+ people are explicitly prohibited by federal law.  

Jewish Values

Judaism teaches that all human beings are created b'tzelem Elohim, in the Divine image (Genesis 1:27). The belief that the stamp of the divine is present in all humans is fundamental to Reform Judaism and teaches us that we cannot tolerate discrimination against any person because of their identity.

 

For More Information

You can email your elected officials through our form, or you can call the Capitol Switchboard at 202.224.3121 and ask to speak directly with their offices. For more information on this issue, visit the RAC’s LGBTQ rights issue page or contact Senior Legislative Assistant Jacob Greenblatt.

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