Tags: house | equality | lgbtq | bill

Three House Republicans Join Democrats in Passing Equality Act

Three House Republicans Join Democrats in Passing Equality Act
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Thursday, 25 February 2021 09:04 PM

Three House Republicans broke rank Thursday to vote with Democrats in passing the Equality Act, which guarantees LGBTQ protections under the nation's labor and civil rights laws.

Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., voted in favor of the Equality Act, which passed by a 224-206 vote, per the Daily Mail.

A similar measure was introduced Tuesday in the Senate, where it faced an uphill battle. A 60-vote threshold will be needed to avoid a filibuster in an upper chamber split evenly along party lines.

The bill was a top campaign priority for President Joe Biden, who aimed to see it passed during his first 100 days in office.

The legislation's protections would extend to:

  • Employment
  • Housing
  • Loan Applications
  • Education 
  • Public Accommodations

The Equality Act passed the last Congress in May 2019, when eight Republicans joined Democrat colleagues. Three other Republicans who voted yes no longer serve in Congress. 

The bill amends existing civil rights law to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identification as protected characteristics.

Some Republicans oppose the bill because they worry it would force people to take actions that contradict their religious beliefs. For example, faith-based adoption agencies seeking to place children with a married mother and father could be forced to close, or private schools would have to hire staff whose conduct violates tenets of the school's faith.

Rep. Chris Stewart, R-Utah, reportedly said he planned to introduce a similar bill, the Fairness for All Act, which both protects LGBTQ people and religious liberties.

Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., said the Equality Act will "affectively outlaw private facilities for women and girls."

"There will be no privacy or safety in bathrooms, locker rooms, showers because this bill requires, under penalty of federal law, for schools, any facility that's open to the public, that you take in biological males who identify as women and put them right next to the girls and the women in the showers, the locker rooms and bathrooms,'' Lesko said. 

Rep. Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., said allowing trans women to play sports with cisgender women would lead to lost opportunities and even injuries for the latter.

"Is [Vice President] Kamala Harris going to apologize to the girl who would lose her athletic scholarship to the boy who outplays her?" Boebert said. "Will Joe Biden tell the parents who gets her skull crushed, how fair that is? Will Nancy Pelosi please explain to our daughters why boys pretending to be girls are leering at them in the girls' locker room?"

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga. , posted a sign outside her office saying, "There are two genders: Male & Female. Trust the science!"

Taylor Greene took that action after Rep. Marie Newman, D-Ill., who has a trans daughter, installed a trans flag outside her office.

Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 6-3 in saying the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applied to LGBTQ workers when it comes to barring discrimination on the basis of sex. 

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Politics
Three House Republicans broke rank Thursday to vote with Democrats in passing the Equality Act, which guarantees LGBTQ protections under the nation's labor and civil rights laws. Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., Rep. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., voted in...
house, equality, lgbtq, bill
498
2021-04-25
Thursday, 25 February 2021 09:04 PM
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