We applaud the US House of Representatives for passing the Equality Act (H.R. 5). This important legislation amends existing civil rights laws, including the Civil Rights Act of 1967 and the Fair Housing Act, to explicitly prohibit discrimination against LGBTQIA+ individuals in the areas of employment, education, credit, jury service, federal funding, housing, public accommodations, and more. As US Representative David Cicilline (D-RI) said in his announcement reintroducing this legislation, “In 2021, every American should be treated with respect and dignity.”
Beyond the important protections for LGBTQIA+ individuals, the Equality Act broadens protections for groups already covered, including people of color, religious groups, and women, by expanding what counts as a place of public accommodation. It also closes longstanding gaps in federal law by prohibiting discrimination based on a person’s sex in all federally funded activities, public spaces, and services.
The Equality Act now moves to the U.S. Senate, where it is set to be introduced by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Cory Booker (D-NJ), but passage in this chamber is not guaranteed. The bill will need to garner broad bipartisan support to obtain the 60 votes necessary to pass.
The Equality Act is a key priority for President Biden during his first 100 days in office and he has asked Congress to pass the Equality Act “because no one should ever face discrimination or live in fear because of who they are or whom they love.”
We implore the U.S. Senate to pass the Equality Act swiftly and urge all of our IATSE kin to contact their Senators and ask them to vote in favor of the Equality Act.
The IATSE Pride Committee
Rachel McLendon, International Representative
Kim Holdridge, IATSE Local 631
Carl Mulert, IATSE Local USA 829
Doug Boney, IATSE Local 884