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Foster Votes to Pass Historic Equality Act to End Discriminations Against LGBTQ Americans

Feb 25, 2021
Press Release

Washington, DC – Today, Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL) voted to pass H.R. 5, the Equality Act. The Equality Act would amend the Civil Rights Act to also ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the areas of employment, education, access to credit, jury service, federal funding, housing, and public accommodations. 

“No one should ever face discrimination because of who they are or whom they love," said Foster. “I'm proud that Illinois has been a leader on this issue, and I'm proud to join my colleagues to pass historic legislation to expand anti-discrimination protections for all LGBTQ Americans - no matter what state they live in. The Equality Act reaffirms that freedom from discrimination is a fundamental civil right that belongs to every American, and that no American should ever lose their job, their home, or be denied access to essential services simply because of who they are or whom they love.” 

Countless members of the national LGBTQ community still live in states where, though they have the right to marry, they have no explicit, state-level non-discrimination protections in other areas of daily life. In 27 states, LGBTQ Americans do not have state protections against being denied housing because of their sexual orientation; 31 states lack protections regarding access to education; and 38 states lack protections regarding jury service.  In at least half of the states, a same-sex couple can get married one day and legally denied service at a restaurant or be evicted from their apartment the next. The Equality Act amends existing federal civil rights laws to create a nationwide standard that explicitly prohibits discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity everywhere.  

The Equality Act enjoys the overwhelming support of the American people – 70 percent of whom favor the legislation’s vital protections – as well as robust support from the business community, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and hundreds of leading businesses and corporations that recognize that the strength of our economy and our society requires equal protection under the law.



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