Here’s a quick glimpse into the historic civil rights protections for LGBTQ+ humans.
The bill “prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system.” This is important because an individual may not be denied access to a shared facility (locker room, restroom, and dressing room) in accordance with the individual’s gender identity.
These protections also extend to women, people of color, and people of all faiths.
As it currently stands, there are 28 states in the U.S. that do not have protections in place to prevent LGBTQ+ humans from discrimination… 28 out of 50. In some of these states, there are some protections, but not full protections. Humans can still be denied basic rights because of who they are. A study from the Center for American Progress found that LGTBQ+ humans continue to face discrimination in the workplace, public spaces, health care access, and their personal lives.
Nearly ⅔ of LGBTQ+ people have reported experiencing discrimination and with discrimination running rampant still, there are many adverse effects for the individuals experiencing it, such as financial, mental, and physical well-being. Oftentimes we forget the privileges we live with, whether that’s access to clean water or the ability to receive an education, but the Equality Act would help to level the playing field, particularly for LGBTQ+ Americans through extending the same federal nondiscrimination protections that others have enjoyed for decades.
So what can YOU do?
It is crucial that we put pressure on our Senators to support the Equality Act! In order for the Equality Act to pass, it will require the support of 60 Senators. Go sign the petition and tell YOUR Senators to pass the Equality Act NOW.
**Written with guidance from Equality Florida. Equality Florida is the largest civil rights organization dedicated to securing full equality for Florida’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community. Through education, grassroots organizing, coalition building, and lobbying, we are changing Florida so that no one suffers harassment or discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.